Decades of Noise Research Falls on Deaf Ears

“Ears evolved in an acoustic environment that was nothing like the one we live in today”—and the disconnect is causing serious health problems, writes David Owen.

For decades, researchers around the globe and under the sea have been dedicated to measuring noise and its wide-ranging health impacts from tinnitus to heart disease and for marine mammals—mating calls.

Yet scientists and politicians have hesitated to act on the data to bring about tougher noise regulations—at their peril, warned former Surgeon General William H. Stewart back in 1968: “In protecting health, absolute proof comes late. To wait for it is to invite disaster…”

The New Yorker

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