Earth Day will be marked all over the world this Sunday, April 22. Let us think of something we can do to help heal our planet not just for one day, but every day of our lives.
As consumers, we can do a lot to help ease the world’s environmental problems. Our consumption habits, our choices can either waste or conserve resources. It is always wise to remember the three Rs—reduce, reuse, recycle—in whatever we do.
Lisa Spector, in an article for Care2 Healthy Living, suggests that this Earth Day let us think of another kind of pollution—noise, which is just as damaging as the contamination of our water, air and soil.
She says noises that approach 85 decibels (dB) “can cause harm to the human ear, particularly when they are continuous. She says the loudest noise a person can handle without pain is about 120 dB, but even at this level, prolonged exposure can cause damage to the eardrum. Beyond 120 dB, a person’s ears begin to ache.
“However, this does not mean that noise has to reach such intensity to cause harm. Noise of even close to 85 dB can be harmful to the ears, a fact only made stronger and worse when the sound is continuous. When sound of this intensity affects the ears for a prolonged period of time, it can damage the eardrum,” Spector stresses.
She cites NoiseHelp.com that gives examples of sources of loud noises that can cause hearing loss. They include things whose sounds we take for granted. Spector says motorcycles, firecrackers and small firearms all emit sounds from 120-140 dB.
Other loud noises come from emergency vehicle sirens (115 dB), a jet plane takeoff (140 dB) or a rock concert (110 dB).
Spector writes, “According to the (United States) Occupational and Safety Health Administration, exposure to loud noises is the second most common cause of hearing loss, and often we are exposed to secondhand noise over which we have little control: leaf blowers, lawn mowers, airplanes, construction equipment.
“But we can control what we expose our neighbors to, and by doing so, maybe we can lower the decibel levels in our communities. Better yet, maybe we can spare someone else his or her hearing loss or an earache, or maybe just make it a little easier for somebody to focus on any given day.”
She suggests that on Earth Day, we should not just think about proper waste disposal or reducing our carbon footprint in the world, but should also think about ways to reduce noise pollution.
On her part, Spector says, “I vow to use a hand sanitizer rather than the loud air-blowing machines often found in public bathrooms, which ironically have replaced the use of paper hand towels that harm the planet.”
Cecilia Hofmann of Dumaguete City raised concerns about risk to people’s health from the mango production process. She was reacting to last week’s column on the benefits of the tropical fruit.
Hofmann said, while mangoes were magnificent, “current commercial production involves the use of hormones to promote flowering, followed by repeated pesticide spraying. Chemical residues are part of what we eat.”
She said the same concerns applied to meat products. She pointed out that food animals were raised with growth hormones, antibiotics and feeds that could contain harmful products.
Hofmann said people needed a movement for ethical, truly natural and healthy food.
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