International Noise Awareness Day was started to encourage the public to take steps to reduce bothersome noise at work, at home, and at play.

20th International Noise Awareness Day Celebrated

The Center for Hearing and Communication began it in 1996 to call attention to the dangers of long-term exposure to noise.

People, organizations, and governments worldwide will commemorate the 20th annual International Noise Awareness Day on April 29, joining the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) in marking a day to encourage people to do something about bothersome noise where they work, live, and play.

The center (founded in 1910 and originally named The League for the Hard of Hearing, it adopted the current name in 2009) began observing INAD in 1996 to call attention to the dangers of long-term exposure to noise. "It is time to address the threat that noise poses to hearing, health, learning, and behavior," said Nancy Nadler, assistant executive director at the center.

Continuous exposure to noise above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss, but research shows that even below that threshold, noise instigates physiological changes, according to CHC. Blood pressure elevation, sleep and digestion problems, and other stress-related disorders are linked to environmental noise. "It is time that we take responsibility to quiet our surroundings and create a healthful environment for ourselves and our children," Nadler said.

Among the activities planned for the day is public observance of the what CHC calls the Quiet Diet: one minute of quiet, regardless of time zone, from 2:15 p.m. to 2:16 p.m.

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