Noise pollution is the new ‘secondhand smoke’ according to experts

May 14, 2018 by  
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Noise pollution is “the new secondhand-smoke.” Researchers at New York University are conducting a five-year study of noise in the City  to better understand how the sounds that constantly surround us impact our health, which is important since a recent study showed that 97% of the population is subjected to manmade noise. Scientists generally agree that anything over 50 decibels increases stress, anxiety, hypertension, and heart attack risk – that’s the same level of sound as a quiet suburb. Now, experts are asking what we can do with this information to help change are sound landscape, or risk harming our collective health like we did for decades with secondhand smoke. There have been no definitive studies on change in city noise levels, which is what makes this study so vital. But while there is no official word, yet, there have been greater numbers of lawsuits over noise and more people with hearing problems, as well as short-term studies that point to the negative health effects of noise. “It took decades to educate people on the dangers of secondhand smoke. We may need decades to show the impact of secondhand noise, ”activist Bradley Vite told the Washington Post. Policymakers in the United States have some catching-up to do when it comes to noise pollution. “We’re in active denial,” Rick Neitzel, director of environmental health policy at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, told the Washington Post. “We’re far, far behind what Europe is doing.” In 2009, the European Union (EU) approved regulations that set noise levels to 40 decibels at night to “protect human health,” while also limiting continuous day-time noise to 50 decibels. Related: The National Park System just got its first Dark Sky Sanctuary In the United States, 97 percent of the population must contend with human-caused noise. Even national parks are subject to loud human activity, with over two-thirds reporting significant levels of noise pollution, much of which is caused by airplanes and industrial activity such as drilling. So what can we do? To combat this rising threat, Texas is testing specially-grooved concrete that is capable of reducing highway sound levels by 5.8 decibels on average. In Phoenix, more than 200 highways have been repaved with a concrete-tire mix that uses recycled tires to create a more sound-absorbent roadway. Elkhart, Indiana recently approved high fines on “loud and raucous sounds,” such as caravans of motorcycles. “These biker gangs that roar through town can get up to 125 decibels,” Vite said. As a result of these fines, Elkhart has received $1.6 million in new revenue, which it has used to purchase four new police cars. Via the Washington Post Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Noise pollution is the new ‘secondhand smoke’ according to experts

The disturbing reason so many farmed salmon are partially deaf

February 2, 2018 by  
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Farmed salmon are “three times more likely to be partially deaf” than wild salmon, according to the University of Melbourne ‘s Pursuit publication. Roughly every second farmed salmon that humans consume has lost a great deal of its ability to hear. And last year, scientists figured out why. Rapid growth causes a deformity in a salmon’s ear, leading to partial deafness. The scientists scrutinized salmon farmed in Australia, Norway, Canada, Chile, and Scotland and discovered the impairment was widespread – and that the fastest-growing salmon were three times more likely to be impacted than the slowest-growing ones. Study lead author Tormey Reimer told Pursuit, “We also found that we could reduce the incidence of the deformity by reducing how fast a fish grew. Such a clear result was unprecedented.” Related: FDA approves genetically engineered salmon for human consumption The otoliths, small crystals in a salmon’s inner ear, are where the deformity happens. Normal otoliths are comprised of aragonite, but deformed ones are partly comprised of vaterite – and fish with deformed otoliths can lose as much as 50 percent of their hearing, per Pursuit. Diet, genetics, and longer daylight exposure – some fish farms expose the creatures to bright lights 24 hours every day – seem to cause vaterite. Growth rate was the one factor linking them, according to Pursuit. Since fish farms are noisy, it’s possible hearing loss could actually reduce stress, but even so, study co-author Tim Dempster said their research raises “serious questions about the welfare of farmed fish.” And it could shine light on the failures of some conservation methods. With wild salmon in decline in some regions, farmed ones have been released into spawning rivers. But fish in the wild might use their hearing for detecting prey and predators. Reimer said, “Future research may find ways to prevent the deformity without compromising growth rate. Our results provide hope of a solution.” The Journal of Experimental Biology published the research last year . The University of Melbourne led the research with scientists from institutions in Norway contributing. + Pursuit/University of Melbourne Images via Depositphotos and Pixabay

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The disturbing reason so many farmed salmon are partially deaf

e2a Architects Renovate Old School into Aluminum-Clad Centre of Hearing and Language

December 27, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of e2a Architects Renovate Old School into Aluminum-Clad Centre of Hearing and Language Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: aluminum exterior , Architecture , building renovation , Center of Hearing and Language , e2a architects , renovated buidings , school renovations , Swiss architecture , Zurich        

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e2a Architects Renovate Old School into Aluminum-Clad Centre of Hearing and Language

Dissent Rocks Final Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Hearing

October 7, 2011 by  
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Photo: Jungbim via Wikimedia Commons , CC BY-SA 3.0 Today saw the US State Department’s final public hearing before the Obama administration reaches a decision on whether or not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline . The 1,700 mile pipeline would, as you likely know, carry exceptionally … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Dissent Rocks Final Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Hearing

Chart Shows Corruption in Govt Review of Keystone XL Pipeline

October 7, 2011 by  
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Image via foe.org A new chart out today illustrates the revolving door between politics in DC and the oil industry: specifically TransCanada , the company behind the Keystone … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Chart Shows Corruption in Govt Review of Keystone XL Pipeline

Bidder 70, Tim Dechristopher, Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison

July 27, 2011 by  
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photo via DemocracyNow ! Tim DeChristopher, 29, the courageous activist who posed as an oil industry bidder to monkeywrench an oil and gas lease sale in Utah, was sentenced this afternoon to two years in prison. “Mr. DeChristopher had many other lawful ways to express his disapproval with the oil and gas leasing process,” said U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson at the hearing. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Bidder 70, Tim Dechristopher, Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison

Six Gorillas Orphaned by Poachers Get Airlifted Home

July 26, 2011 by  
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Photo: heatherlyone / cc In their few short years of life, six young mountain gorillas from the Congo have experienced humanity at both its worst and at its best. When these threatened animals were just infants, poachers killed their parents and smuggled them across the border into Rwanda, likely to be sold as pets on the illegal wildlife market, or killed for the bushmeat trade. But thanks to a collaborative effort between the two nations and conservation organizations, the endangered gorillas were rescued from the grip… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Six Gorillas Orphaned by Poachers Get Airlifted Home

Does Steel Construction Have A Lower Carbon Footprint Than Wood?

July 26, 2011 by  
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You want fancy graphs? We’ve got fancy graphs. Carbon emission reduction by displacing non-wood products, credit Corrim. Climate Progress asks Which Emits the Most CO2 in Home Construction: Steel, Concrete or Timber? and concludes that building a house with wood has CO2 footprint that is 4.44 times as high as a steel framed house. But I think there are problems with this…. Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Does Steel Construction Have A Lower Carbon Footprint Than Wood?

US and China Strike a Deal On Renewable Energy Information Sharing

November 17, 2009 by  
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Photo via the Wall Street Journal Presidents Obama and Hu Jintao made the wrong sort of news this past weekend when they dashed any hope of a binding treaty next month in Copenhagen. But today they made news for the right reasons, agreeing on a new partnership between their two nations–the biggest two polluters on the planet–to share information about renewable energy technolog..

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US and China Strike a Deal On Renewable Energy Information Sharing

Out of Ideas, Senate Climate Deniers Go To Procedural Tricks

October 31, 2009 by  
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Sen. James Inhofe (Image via Flickr) The Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee is set to begin mark up of the Senate climate bill next week, but Republicans on the committee, led by prominent climate change denier Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, are threatening to boycott the hearing, making progress difficult for chair Sen

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Out of Ideas, Senate Climate Deniers Go To Procedural Tricks

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