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Noise Exposure Linked to Heart Disease, Strokes and Diabetes

Pipedown, along with other anti-noise groups such as the UK Noise Association, has long argued that noise directly harms human health, physical as well as psychological. A recent survey, reported in Time Health,  provides further more detailed evidence of this harm. It is becoming increasingly clear that noise affects human health as directly as smoking does. A new review in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology,  reports that  high levels of noise are probably very bad for your heart. A connection between noise pollution and cardiovascular disease has been observed in numerous studies over the years,  the new review said. High noise levels from road traffic and aircraft are connected to high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure even after allowing for other factors like air pollution and socioeconomic status.But despite this growing body of evidence, little is known about how noise pollution might contribute to heart problems. To shed some light on that question, researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany compiled and analysed findings from dozens of previous studies on noise and various health outcomes.Based on the existing evidence, the new review suggests that noise disrupts the body on the cellular level. Specifically, researchers say, it induces stress responses and activates the sympathetic “fight or flight” nervous system. This causes a spike in stress hormones, which can eventually lead to cardiovascular damage. Noise also seems to be a driving factor in oxidative stress and metabolic abnormalities which could contribute to other diseases like diabetes. For people who already have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, living in a noisy environment could accelerate issues like atherosclerosis.“The important point is that noise is not just annoying,” lead author Dr. Thomas Munzel, director of the department of internal medicine, said. While his paper focuses largely on cardiovascular and metabolic implications of noise, he also points out that there’s growing evidence that chronic noise can also cause mental-health diseases (including depression and anxiety), and can impair the cognitive development of children.One way noise pollution probably affects heart health is by disrupting sleep. In studies, nighttime noise has been linked to an increase in blood pressure,  even when people didn’t wake up or realise their sleep had been disrupted. ‘You can can close your eyes but not your ears,” Munzel said. ‘Our body will always react with a stress reaction.’But even chronic noise during the day will probably have major effects on the body, said Dr. James O’Keefe, a cardiologist at the Mid America Heart Institute, Saint Luke’s Hospital, in Kansas City. ‘When we’re exposed to loud noises, the sympathetic nervous system dominates,” said O’Keefe, who was not involved in the new review. “That can really put your system on alert and makes you jumpy, which can wear down your resilience — just like any other type of physical or mental stress.” O’Keefe said that, as a cardiologist who focuses on prevention, he’s read a lot about the connection between noise pollution and heart health. “But I don’t really think it’s something the average physician or cardiologist is particularly tuned into,” he said.Munzel said people in urban areas all over the world should worry about noise pollution, and that the problem is getting worse as more and more people are living in large cities. “It is important to note that no one can develop tolerance to noise,” he said, despite what many people believe. In fact, people’s cardiovascular systems actually seem to become more sensitive to noise — and so more easily damaged — over time.While there’s no volume threshold established for heart-disease risk, Munzel said that chronic exposure to anything over 60 decibels (the level of a typical conversation in an office) has the potential to do harm to the cardiovascular system. A telephone ringing produces about 80 decibels, a jackhammer about 100, and an aircraft at takeoff about 120.Most background music is between 80 and 90 decibels, well over the threshold at which damage to the cardiovascular system has been observed if below that at which damage to hearing becomes apparent. “I hope that in future politicians will make laws that protect the people from environmental stressors,” he said. A reduction in overall noise pollution, he said, “will be a factor that can be influenced by politicians only and not by patients and doctors.’ Pipedown, in association with other groups, intends to keep pressing politicians on this absolutely vital issue. In the long run, it is indeed a matter of life and death.

APRA is the organisation that collects fees from shops that play licensed music and distributes income to the original songwriters. Though they claim to protect the rights of musicians, they may be hurting up-and-coming artists playing live music at local venues by driving shops to shut down live performances. If a band plays a cover song, penalties can be considerable per song against the shop. And the problem is that money collected from live performances, which are usually smaller genres (blues, folk, or any music other than mainstream) often don’t go to the composers. Because of the immense fees, many shops have closed down venues for live music and struggle with their business leading to bankruptcy.

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Rebecca BerisIn 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”
Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

A 2013 study on mice  published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice. The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.
In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information   during silence

A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.”When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues. When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech.
Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.

Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.
Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills. But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise. 
Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighbourhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

The Joy of Quiet

By PICO IYERDEC. 29, 2011
ABOUT a year ago, I flew to Singapore to join the writer Malcolm Gladwell, the fashion designer Marc Ecko and the graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister in addressing a group of advertising people on “Marketing to the Child of Tomorrow.” Soon after I arrived, the chief executive of the agency that had invited us took me aside. What he was most interested in, he began — I braced myself for mention of some next-generation stealth campaign — was stillness.A few months later, I read an interview with the perennially cutting-edge designer Philippe Starck. What allowed him to remain so consistently ahead of the curve? “I never read any magazines or watch TV,” he said, perhaps a little hyperbolically. “Nor do I go to cocktail parties, dinners or anything like that.” He lived outside conventional ideas, he implied, because “I live alone mostly, in the middle of nowhere.”Around the same time, I noticed that those who part with $2,285 a night to stay in a cliff-top room at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur pay partly for the privilege of not having a TV in their rooms; the future of travel, I’m reliably told, lies in “black-hole resorts,” which charge high prices precisely because you can’t get online in their rooms.Has it really come to this?In barely one generation we’ve moved from exulting in the time-saving devices that have so expanded our lives to trying to get away from them — often in order to make more time. The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug. Like teenagers, we appear to have gone from knowing nothing about the world to knowing too much all but overnight.Internet rescue camps in South Korea and China try to save kids addicted to the screen.Writer friends of mine pay good money to get the Freedom software that enables them to disable (for up to eight hours) the very Internet connections that seemed so emancipating not long ago. Even Intel (of all companies) experimented in 2007 with conferring four uninterrupted hours of quiet time every Tuesday morning on 300 engineers and managers. (The average office worker today, researchers have found, enjoys no more than three minutes at a time at his or her desk without interruption.) During this period the workers were not allowed to use the phone or send e-mail, but simply had the chance to clear their heads and to hear themselves think. A majority of Intel’s trial group recommended that the policy be extended to others.
THE average American spends at least eight and a half hours a day in front of a screen, Nicholas Carr notes in his eye-opening book “The Shallows,” in part because the number of hours American adults spent online doubled between 2005 and 2009 (and the number of hours spent in front of a TV screen, often simultaneously, is also steadily increasing).
The average American teenager sends or receives 75 text messages a day, though one girl in Sacramento managed to handle an average of 10,000 every 24 hours for a month. Since luxury, as any economist will tell you, is a function of scarcity, the children of tomorrow, I heard myself tell the marketers in Singapore, will crave nothing more than freedom, if only for a short while, from all the blinking machines, streaming videos and scrolling headlines that leave them feeling empty and too full all at once.The urgency of slowing down — to find the time and space to think — is nothing new, of course, and wiser souls have always reminded us that the more attention we pay to the moment, the less time and energy we have to place it in some larger context. “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries,” the French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in the 17th century, “and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” He also famously remarked that all of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.When telegraphs and trains brought in the idea that convenience was more important than content — and speedier means could make up for unimproved ends — Henry David Thoreau reminded us that “the man whose horse trots a mile in a minute does not carry the most important messages.” Even half a century ago, Marshall McLuhan, who came closer than most to seeing what was coming, warned, “When things come at you very fast, naturally you lose touch with yourself.” Thomas Merton struck a chord with millions, by not just noting that “Man was made for the highest activity, which is, in fact, his rest,” but by also acting on it, and stepping out of the rat race and into a Cistercian cloister.Yet few of those voices can be heard these days, precisely because “breaking news” is coming through (perpetually) on CNN and Debbie is just posting images of her summer vacation and the phone is ringing. We barely have enough time to see how little time we have (most Web pages, researchers find, are visited for 10 seconds or less). And the more that floods in on us (the Kardashians, Obamacare, “Dancing with the Stars”), the less of ourselves we have to give to every snippet. All we notice is that the distinctions that used to guide and steady us — between Sunday and Monday, public and private, here and there — are gone.
We have more and more ways to communicate, as Thoreau noted, but less and less to say. Partly because we’re so busy communicating. And — as he might also have said — we’re rushing to meet so many deadlines that we hardly register that what we need most are lifelines.So what to do? The central paradox of the machines that have made our lives so much brighter, quicker, longer and healthier is that they cannot teach us how to make the best use of them; the information revolution came without an instruction manual. All the data in the world cannot teach us how to sift through data; images don’t show us how to process images. The only way to do justice to our onscreen lives is by summoning exactly the emotional and moral clarity that can’t be found on any screen.MAYBE that’s why more and more people I know, even if they have no religious commitment, seem to be turning to yoga, or meditation, or tai chi; these aren’t New Age fads so much as ways to connect with what could be called the wisdom of old age. Two journalist friends of mine observe an “Internet sabbath” every week, turning off their online connections from Friday night to Monday morning, so as to try to revive those ancient customs known as family meals and conversation. Finding myself at breakfast with a group of lawyers in Oxford four months ago, I noticed that all their talk was of sailing — or riding or bridge: anything that would allow them to get out of radio contact for a few hours.Other friends try to go on long walks every Sunday, or to “forget” their cellphones at home. A series of tests in recent years has shown, Mr. Carr points out, that after spending time in quiet rural settings, subjects “exhibit greater attentiveness, stronger memory and generally improved cognition. Their brains become both calmer and sharper.” More than that, empathy, as well as deep thought, depends (as neuroscientists like Antonio Damasio have found) on neural processes that are “inherently slow.” The very ones our high-speed lives have little time for.In my own case, I turn to eccentric and often extreme measures to try to keep my sanity and ensure that I have time to do nothing at all (which is the only time when I can see what I should be doing the rest of the time). I’ve yet to use a cellphone and I’ve never Tweeted or entered Facebook. I try not to go online till my day’s writing is finished, and I moved from Manhattan to rural Japan in part so I could more easily survive for long stretches entirely on foot, and every trip to the movies would be an event.
None of this is a matter of principle or asceticism; it’s just pure selfishness. Nothing makes me feel better — calmer, clearer and happier — than being in one place, absorbed in a book, a conversation, a piece of music. It’s actually something deeper than mere happiness: it’s joy, which the monk David Steindl-Rast describes as “that kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.”It’s vital, of course, to stay in touch with the world, and to know what’s going on; I took pains this past year to make separate trips to Jerusalem and Hyderabad and Oman and St. Petersburg, to rural Arkansas and Thailand and the stricken nuclear plant in Fukushima and Dubai. But it’s only by having some distance from the world that you can see it whole, and understand what you should be doing with it.For more than 20 years, therefore, I’ve been going several times a year — often for no longer than three days — to a Benedictine hermitage, 40 minutes down the road, as it happens, from the Post Ranch Inn. I don’t attend services when I’m there, and I’ve never meditated, there or anywhere; I just take walks and read and lose myself in the stillness, recalling that it’s only by stepping briefly away from my wife and bosses and friends that I’ll have anything useful to bring to them. The last time I was in the hermitage, three months ago, I happened to pass, on the monastery road, a youngish-looking man with a 3-year-old around his shoulders.
Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, The Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.“You’re Pico, aren’t you?” the man said, and introduced himself as Larry; we’d met, I gathered, 19 years before, when he’d been living in the cloister as an assistant to one of the monks.“What are you doing now?” I asked.“I work for MTV. Down in L.A.”We smiled. No words were necessary.“I try to bring my kids here as often as I can,” he went on, as he looked out at the great blue expanse of the Pacific on one side of us, the high, brown hills of the Central Coast on the other. “My oldest son” — he pointed at a 7-year-old running along the deserted, radiant mountain road in front of his mother — “this is his third time.”The child of tomorrow, I realized, may actually be ahead of us, in terms of sensing not what’s new, but what’s essential.

Eating out may be bad for your ears

A restaurant in Washington. (Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)   By Gail Richard July 7, 2017Gail Richard is president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a faculty member in the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences at Eastern Illinois University.I’m deaf in one ear. When I dine out, I prefer to be seated with that ear against the window or wall and my good ear aimed toward my companions. But at especially loud restaurants, I can’t hear anyone who isn’t right next to me, no matter where I sit.I’m certainly not alone. Loud restaurants have become a widespread bane of customers. The most desperate have even reported wearing noise-canceling headphones out to dinner.Such drastic measures are increasingly necessary. From a health perspective, we should be as worried about the rising decibels of our favorite neighborhood joints and national chains as we are about their ballooning portion sizes.📷The story must be told.Your subscription supports journalism that matters.,The decibel levels at many popular dining spots are rising above what audiologists consider safe for extended periods. Consistently listening to noise levels above 70 decibels can cause hearing loss over time. And it is not unusual for restaurant reviewers who regularly list restaurant noise in their reviews to find levels above 70 and even 80 decibels. Our dining habits could be damaging our hearing.Hearing loss is America’s third most widespread chronic health condition — more common than diabetes or cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And noise encountered in everyday life is more of a culprit than you might suspect. A recent CDC study found that 1 in 5 U.S. adults who had a hearing test and reported no noise exposure at work had hearing damage most likely caused by everyday environmental noise. Teens and young adults are at risk of noise-induced hearing loss, too — 1.1 billion of them around the world, according to the World Health Organization.Many restaurateurs believe they’re giving restaurant-goers what they want by building high volume into the design of their spaces. Sleek surfaces made of wood, marble and other materials that don’t absorb sound are staples of a typical 21st century dining experience. An open floor plan that amplifies patron noise is part of the “vibe.”But all that din in the dining room may not be as good for the bottom line as restaurant owners think — not to mention the hearing health of the restaurant workers regularly exposed to it. Consumer Reports says noise is the top complaint among restaurant patrons it surveyed last year, above bad service. And a recent poll conducted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association revealed that more than 30 percent of people 18 and older say loud noises reduce their enjoyment of out-of-home leisure activities, including restaurants; more than a quarter have chosen not to go back to a place that is too noisy.If eateries want to keep their customers — and show they care about the public’s hearing just as much as they care about complying with health standards in the kitchen — there are steps they can take. They can create “quiet zones” for diners with hearing loss and others who prefer a less noisy scene. In addition, simple adjustments to a restaurant’s decor — such as draperies, acoustic tiles, partitions and carpeting — can improve sound absorption, break up the noise and protect people’s ears.Consumers and restaurant workers also can take action. There are apps you can download to monitor noise level. And if a venue is too loud, don’t be sheepish: Put in foam earplugs or don those noise-canceling headphones. And it might sound obvious, but you can also ask restaurant managers to turn down music or move you to a quieter part of the dining room. I’m never shy about making either of these requests when I dine out, and restaurant staff are usually willing to accommodate.Finally, more restaurant reviewers could list decibel levels alongside stars when they review restaurants, as The Post’s Tom Sietsema has done for years. This allows consumers to protect their hearing health, either by choosing not to go to a particular restaurant or by calling ahead to ask for a quiet table.When people go to sporting events or concerts, they expect it to be loud and may bring along earplugs. A restaurant, on the other hand, is not a venue people go to thinking, “This could hurt my hearing.” But maybe they should — at least until more restaurateurs recognize that reducing noise is the right thing to do.

'Quiet hour' launched in Coles  to help shoppers with autism

By Lucia Stein
We may take it for granted but for some, a quick trip to the local supermarket can quickly become a nightmare.For individuals on the autism spectrum, the bright lights and loud sounds of a busy supermarket can cause sensory overload.In response to customer feedback, Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) in partnership with Coles, has rolled out "Quiet Hour" in 68 supermarket stores today to make the shopping experience a little easier.After a successful trial in August, the initiative aims to prevent sensory overload by dimming the lights by 50 per cent, turning off the radio, turning down register and scanner volumes, avoiding PA announcements and avoiding trolley collections.People on the autism spectrum can find it difficult to process sensory information and can find sounds, light, smell, touch and taste overwhelming.Aspect community engagement and operations officer Linzi Coyle said the modifications were not just been about creating low physical and sensory stimulators."We're achieving a 'no-judgement' shopping space where people on the spectrum and their families can feel comfortable and welcome whilst grocery shopping," she said on the organisation's website."With autism affecting one in 100 Australians, expanding this low-sensory shopping experience … will have a significant improvement on the lives of many children, young people and adults on the spectrum, as well as their family members."The program will take place every between 10:30am and 11:30am every Tuesday at 68 stores and all customers are invited to participate.Aspect has also trained team members to "increase their understanding of sensory overload and how to best respond to customer needs".The program is just one example of how Aspect is trying to create a more inclusive environment for individuals on the autism spectrum.We asked how "Quiet Hour" would improve your shopping experience, and if you thought more initiatives like this should be encouraged.

What inspired the trial?

Autism Australia's national manager Melissa Webster told ABC Radio National Drive Aspect was looking at working on similar programs with other organisations."We're wanting to gain as much information from people that access many different stores and have lots of different experience so that we can look at how we can approach those different environments to do things differently," she said during the early stages of the trial in August.Ms Webster said the changes had been made after both organisations received feedback on some of the challenges people with autism were experiencing while shopping in supermarkets."For example the lighting has some challenges, sometimes the volume of music, particular sounds with cash registers scanning certain items, sometimes it can be very crowded, busy," she said.Some even said they would sometimes avoid supermarkets as a result.

How does the program make the experience easier?

"We've had to date [August] a large amount of positive feedback from people who have been to the stores," she said."One of the mums that went with an eight-year-old child spoke to one of the Coles workers and said that, for the first time, she's ever been able to take her son around Coles and the hardest decision for her was what to choose for dinner and not focus on people looking at her because her son was having a meltdown and being genuinely quite upset.
Ms Webster said the feedback from other customers was the program had made "a big difference to their shopping experience".It has also had a flow on effect for other customers, particularly the elderly population, who have said they felt more comfortable with less crowds.


An epidemic of deafness may be threatening the world. The World Health Organization estimates that 360 million people worldwide already have moderate/profound hearing loss with another 1.1 billion people at risk. In the UK 11 million people – one in six – have some form of hearing loss. This proportion could rise to one in five by 2035.

It has long been known that noise exposure during work, for example among stonemasons and miners, can cause hearing loss. There is no accepted safe noise exposure for the public anywhere in the world. Dr. Daniel Fink, in a paper presented to the Institute for Noise Control Engineering meeting in Providence, RI  on 14 June 2016, discussed the fact that 85 decibels (dBA), widely seen as safe for the public, is an ‘industrial strength’ occupational noise exposure standard. (‘Normal’ conversation is around 60 dB while noise from a jet plane taking off 300m away is about 100 dB, or 16 times as loud – the scale is logarithmic, not arithmetic.)

Because little research has been done on noise and hearing loss in normal life, the work standard has been thought safe for the general public. This is almost certainly wrong for two reasons. First, 85 dBA exposure will cause hearing loss in at least 15% of workers exposed to this noise level during their working lives. 4 Second, noise unlike other workplace pollutants, continues outside the workplace. The U.S. Environmental Protection adjusted the 85 dBA occupational noise exposure level for the additional exposure time – 24 hours a day instead of 8 hours, 365 days a year instead of 240 days at work- to come up with 70 decibels (unweighted) average as the safe environmental noise exposure level to prevent hearing loss.

Dr. Fink writes: ‘Noise exposure…causes auditory damage. Hearing loss is not part of normal physiological aging. In quiet primitive societies, auditory acuity is preserved into old age.” He draws useful analogies between tooth loss and hearing loss. Both used to be accepted as a “normal” part of ageing, so that by their mid-60s many people were almost toothless. Today, thanks to better dental care most older people keep their teeth. Dentures work but natural teeth work better. Similarly, needing hearing aids in old age is not normal either. And hearing aids are no substitute for preserved hearing. Hearing aids do not correct hearing in the same way that eyeglasses correct faulty vision, because hearing loss involves irreparable nerve and sensory organ damage in the inner ear.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on 16 May 2016 recommended only 70 dB average noise exposure for the public with only one hour noise exposure at 85 dB. This recommendation, as it becomes widely known, should revolutionise overall attitudes towards noise. Noise resembles secondary tobacco smoke in being not just a nuisance but also a major health hazard causing hearing loss, tinnitus and other health problems. (from Pipedown UK)

Your stories

Send us your personal stories and we will share with other pipedowners.

"I wish piped music in shopping centres didn't exist for it does not help anyone with their shopping, mood etc. I have often left a shopping centre and not shopped anymore due to all the noise. Mobile phones going off everywhere around you, loud chatter (often in other languages than English), kids screaming are more than enough noise without music being mixed in with all that. You can no longer eat out without music being played over table conversation which is very difficult because you have to shout to be heard by other at your table which takes the enjoyment of eating out. I have a child with autism and they wears earphone whenever we go out, even for a meal due to all the noise (especially background music) and so no conversation happens while we eat, because of the music and they are on edge the whole time. We use to shop at midnightin Sydney and it was much quieter, but shops in the country region close at 10pm, so I now shop alone. The bottom line is that we DO NOT NEED PIPED MUSIC WHEN WE ARE OUT AND ABOUT. If you want it wear your own earphones and listen to what you want, why make everyone listen to other's music (if you want to call it that). All for a quieter Australia in more ways then one...... Thanks for listening to my feedback......Heather Scott. March 2018

I just would like to be involved, even if it's only a financial contribution, because I am driven to distraction by the constant noise around me. I wear ear plugs when shopping just so I can think about what I need to buy and recently I had to actually really raise my voice at a worker to be heard over the muzak when asking where a product was. I always walk out of shopping centres stressed and can't imagine what it must be like for people with autistic children or are hard of hearing. I'm worried that people have lost the ability to just 'be' and I'm firmly convinced that the incessant loud noise is a contributor to the manic and aggressive way people live their lives these days. I live in a town of less than 2000 people and was horrified to go into town late last year to hear the local radio station being  (loudly) piped out into the main street so there really was no escape - luckily it only lasted a couple of months but I have to ask myself why some committee thought that would be a good idea!

I run a small business on my own from home doing transcriptions for universities and research companies so if you ever interview people and need a transcript, perhaps I can make myself useful in that way?

All the best and I shall stay informed via the website.

Thank you

Ruth Harris March 2018


Nicola Benedetti protests against forced music on planes

Nicola Benedetti, the award-winning violinist, has just tweeted to her followers: “Why is it necessary to subject us all to loud pop music on the plane? It’s like being forced to eat something you don’t want” She was travelling with Vueling, a Spanish airline (you have been warned!)  Vueling replied, saying the music was supposed to be enjoyable. Nicola thanked them for their reply but went on to say, “Quiet is a rare and precious thing these days. I think many of us would enjoy that more”. In July 2014 Nicola, who is 28, went into the Top Twenty of the Top of the Pops with her recording of Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, written in 1880.  

Media reports

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