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Noise Pollution

W. Clark Cooper, MD
JAMA. 1968;206(11):2523. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150110071020.
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To the Editor:—  The editorial on "Noise Pollution" (205:928, 1968) was a disappointing minor explosion, full of beguiling irrelevancies. Nowhere did it address itself to the quotation from the Public Health Service which prompted the essayist's digressions.I do not believe that Mr. Jones and Dr. Cohen were really talking about transistor radios on camping trips or the sound of a steam locomotive when they said that noise has its effects on health. Your conclusion that "the quality of noise needs improvement,... but the quantity is only reasonable" ignores the fact that the quantity is not evenly dispersed. Nor is all local noise pollution occupational. The noise of a jet plane or the 110 decibels near a rock band can be a very real nuisance or even a hazard.We should not take all environmental problems too seriously—we need some sense of proportion—but you went a little too far


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