Home Equipment and Appliances

Modern Technology's Negative Impact: 50% Hearing Loss in Some People (Apr. 16, 2000). According to the Chicago Sun-Times, today's modern society is hazardous to our hearing, and overexposure to loud noise can mean a permanent loss of hearing, affecting such known figures as Pete Townshend, Peter Frampton and President Clinton.

Reader Complains About Noisy Faucets in Home (Apr. 12, 2000). The San Francisco Examiner published a question and answer column to "Mr. HandyPerson." One reader poses a question about a hot-water tap that causes thumping sounds and vibrating noises, and wonders if it has to do with air in the pipes.

Homeowners Can Build Their Own Garden Sound Berms to Block Noise from Neighbors (Apr. 12, 2000). The San Francisco Chronicle publishes a gardening column. The columnist, Michele Driscoll Alioto, suggests that if readers are bothered by noise from traffic or neighbors' equipment when they are seeking peace and quiet in their gardens, they can help solve the problem by using plants and soil as a noise barrier.

Common Household Noise Dangers (Apr. 9, 2000). The Sunday Mercury in Birmingham, England reports that our hearing can be damaged by exposure to all types of seemingly harmless things in the home and in our everyday lives. Loud music is usually the first offender that comes to mind, but there are many others as well.

Woodworker Wonders Why His Bandsaw Makes Such a Racket (Apr. 9, 2000). The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports that a reader recently asked for help in determining the cause of extremely loud noise from his bandsaw. The newspaper's woodworking expert, Jack Warner, attempts to answer the question.

Noise Exposure and Hearing Loss Education Needed (Apr. 3, 2000). The Plain Dealer printed an article that first appeared in the Los Angeles Times. The article reports on how noise exposure can result in hearing loss.

Noise Pollution Expert Les Blomberg Comments on Hearing Loss (Apr. 1, 2000). Prevention Magazine reports on how hearing loss can occur, and ways in which people can avoid hearing loss. Twenty-eight million Americans suffer from some type of hearing loss.

International Comfort Products Announces New Line of Quieter Air Conditioners (Mar. 29, 2000). The PR Newswire printed a press release issued by International Comfort Products announcing the company's new line of air conditioners. The press release is reprinted here in its entirety:

Reader in Bristol, England Comments on Low-Level Low Frequency Noise (Mar. 16, 2000). The Bristol United Press in Bristol, England printed a letter by reader M. Ashby concerning low-level low frequency noise. The letter is reprinted here in its entirety:

Some Practical Solutions to Personal Computer Noise (Mar. 16, 2000). The Sacramento Bee reports that a reader wrote in to expert Cheryl Leff to ask her if the bothersome noise coming from her new computer is normal, and how she can help to make it quieter.

A Range of Noise from Slight to Loud Can Damage Hearing (Feb. 16, 2000). According to the Cincinatti Enquirer, damage to the ear that can eventually result in a hearing loss is not always caused by a prolonged, loud noise.

Reader Complains About Pittsburgh Noise (Feb. 16, 2000). The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a Letter to the Editor by Barbara Hays of Squirrel Hill responding to a February 9 Post-Gazette editorial by Eileen Reutzel Colianni titled "The Noise Pollution of Daily Life." Her letter is reprinted here in its entirety:

New York Town Official Begins Fourth Term Promising a Limit on Leaf Blowers (Feb. 7, 2000). According to an article in Newsday, a local city official began her fourth term in North Hempstead, promising to limit the use of leaf blowers.

West Boca, Florida Couple Complains that a Neighbor Stomps In Wooden Clogs at Night and Allows Her Dogs to Bark Constantly; Neighbor Files Suit to Stop Their "Harassment" (Jan. 30, 2000). The Sun-Sentinel reports that in West Boca, Florida, an elderly couple claims their upstairs neighbor stomps around with wooden clogs at night and allows her two dogs to constantly bark. The neighbor, who now wears socks at night, said she is suing the couple for harassing her.

Noise Levels in US Homes Increasing (Jan. 14, 2000). An article from the PR Newswire reported that modern technology and decreasing lot sizes mean more noise for American homeowners, and that means more stress and less sleep.

Pennsylvania Township Delayed Expansion of Store Because of Noise Concerns (Jan. 12, 2000). The Intelligencer Journal reported that town's zoning board delayed a decision on granting a permit for expansion of a local convenience store after the first two zoning hearings included almost eight hours of testimony from residents opposing the expansion. The article said they feared the expansion would create light and noise problems and excessive traffic.

Louisiana Leaf Blowers Worse Than Rockets and Drag Races (Jan. 12, 2000). The Times-Picayune printed a tongue-in-cheek but none-the-less serious editorial that condemned leaf blowers, worse than car alarms, boom cars or garbage trucks at 5:00 am.

Quantum Hard Drive Manufacturer Introduces Quiet Drive Technology, Substantially Reducing Noise (Dec. 8, 1999). M2 Presswire reports that Quantum, a computer company, is now shipping the world's quietest hard drive as measured by an independent consultant.

Law Lords in U.K. Rule that Landlords Aren't Responsible for Soundproofing Apartments to Protect Tenants from Sounds of Everyday Life from Neighbors (Nov. 22, 1999). The Lawyer reports that the U.K.'s House of Lords ruled that landlords are not responsible for soundproofing their properties just because tenants can hear sounds of everyday life from their neighbors. The lords clarified the definition of "quiet enjoyment," saying that "in the eyes of the law "quiet enjoyment" had nothing to do with freedom from the noise of normal domestic activities." Quiet enjoyment could theoretically be affected by noise, but it would be noise more abnormal than that cited in the case.

Orange County, California Grand Jury's Decision Last Year to Allow Local Bans of Leaf Blowers Has Resulted In Only One Half-Hearted Local Ban (Nov. 21, 1999). The Los Angeles Times reports that although the Orange County, California Grand Jury proposed a ban on leaf blowers earlier this year, only one locality has followed suit; one other requires registration of the machines. The columnist believes that the real solution is pressuring manufacturers to make quieter machines, or using the old-fashioned rake.

Noise Case Against Cook County, Illinois Judge is Reassigned to Preserve Impartiality; Neighbors Claim Granite Floors Cause Too Much Noise (Nov. 10, 1999). The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a noise case against a Cook County, Illinois judge has been reassigned after the first judge said she was a friend of the defendant/judge. The judge plans to carpet his granite floors, though he claims that much of the noise his neighbor complains about is not produced by them.

Davis, California City Council Stops Short of Banning Leafblowers, Opting Instead for Programs to Reduce Their Noise (Nov. 4, 1999). The Sacramento Bee reports that the Davis, California City Council stopped short of banning noisy leafblowers, but will establish a three-part program to reduce the noise they create.

Columbia, Pennsylvania Resident Says Abating Noise Should Be Prioritized Behind Other Work (Nov. 2, 1999). The Intelligencer Journal prints a letter from a Columbia, Pennsylvania resident who says that a loud cooling system at a museum is the least of the problems of the city.

Connecticut's Fairfield University Steps Up Attempts to Reduce Resident Complaints About Disruptive Off-Campus Students at the Beach (Oct. 17, 1999). The Boston Globe reports that Connecticut's Fairfield University is taking more responsibility for disruptive and intoxicated off-campus students after years of claiming it is not their responsibility. A special task force, an off-campus student coordinator, a new dormitory, a delayed homecoming weekend, and more on-campus entertainment are intended to reduce disruptions at the nearby beach, where students frequently engage in rowdy behavior. Police are also stepping up enforcement of nuisance ordinances. Students maintain that most students are responsible, but a few students cause most of the noise and other trouble.

Noise Measurements Show Noise From Leesburg, Virginia Restaurant's Air Conditioners to Be Within Reasonable Limits, Despite Resident Complaints (Oct. 17, 1999). The Washington Post reports that after continued complaints regarding noise at a local restaurant in Leesburg, Virginia, a consulting firm determined sound levels were not severe.

Renter Asks If He Has Any Recourse Against Noise from Natural Childbirth; Columnists Say "No, Other Than Discussion With the Neighbor In Question" (Oct. 17, 1999). The San Diego Union-Tribune prints a question and answer column for renters and landlords. One questioner asks if a tenant can prevent a planned natural childbirth in his complex -- which could be noisy -- or receive a discount on his rent for any disturbance. The columnists say that the only real recourse that the complainer has is to talk to the couple himself, or to ask the landlord or another neighbor to talk to them in his place; they also say to just "relax".

Tenant Wonders Whether Landlord Is Accountable for Noise from Neighbors Due to Inadequate Insulation; Expert Says "No, Unless Landlord Promised Silence or Knew Other Tenants Would Be Loud" (Oct. 17, 1999). The Boston Globe prints a realty question from a tenant who says his landlord misled him in saying that noise would not be a problem in his apartment. The columnist says effective action would probably need proof that the landlord knew the other tenants would be disruptive, and an unquestionably misleading statement by the landlord. The questioner admitted the tenants were not particularly disruptive, and that the landlord's low-noise claim was ambiguous.

Anchorage, Alaska Resident Charged With Disorderly Conduct for Operating a Bug Zapper (Sep. 17, 1999). The Anchorage Daily News reports that a man in Anchorage, Alaska has been charged with disorderly conduct after a neighbor complained about the noise from his bug zapper. The owner also sells bug zappers, and notes that bugs must be zapped throughout the night to be effectively controlled. Members of the local Assembly say that while the charge may be legitimate, it should have been settled without the government. According to city officials, sound-absorbing panels installed around the zapper reduces noise to acceptable levels.

Torbay, U.K. Railway Agrees to Limit Tree-cutting -- Necessary Every Year Along the Tracks -- to Daytimes on Monday through Saturday (Sep. 10, 1999). The Herald Express reports that tree-cutting along railroad tracks in Torbay, U.K. must now be performed between 7:30 AM and 10 PM on non-Sunday mornings. It normally takes up to four days of work with flailing machines along the seven-mile section of track to finish the job. Work at night, necessitated by train schedules, has prompted resident complaints. The railway was originally slapped with a noise abatement order, but the last minute deal avoided the need for an appeal.

New Jersey Couple Wins Appeal Against Builders; Builders Must Fix Defects that Have Led to Noise (Aug. 30, 1999). The New Jersey Lawyer reports that a New Jersey couple won an appeal against the builder who designed their house. The decision requires the builder to correct problems in workmanship that have led to noise from heating ducts under the floors of four rooms.

Jaffrey, New Hampshire Police Begin Enforcement of Noise Ordinance (Aug. 28, 1999). The Union Leader reports that after loud car stereos caused noise problems outside quiet memorial day services this year, police in Jaffrey, New Hampshire decided to begin enforcing their noise ordinance. The ordinance also covers barking dogs, and loud motorcycles. Fines are $100.

Use of Mediation in Neighbour Disputes Growing in United Kingdom (Aug. 28, 1999). The Independent reports an article that discusses disputes between neighbours in the United Kingdom. In the U.K., approximately 90 percent of neighbor conflicts result form personality differences; one owner's enemy could be the next owner's friend.

High-Rise Condo Tenants in Chicago Sue Upstairs Neighbor -- Who Happens to Be a Judge -- Over 'Excessive' Noise (Aug. 27, 1999). The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a couple living in a high-rise condo in Chicago where units sell for $500,000 has sued their upstairs neighbor -- who is a judge -- for producing excessive noise. The building manager did a questionable "study" and determined that most noise comes through the walls, not the granite floor. The couple is demanding that the judge stop making certain noises, insulate his floor, and pay them $50,000 in damages and legal costs. The judge says he has had the floor for ten years without incident.

Jerusalem Experienced Increased Complaints About Loud Air Conditioners During This Hot Summer (Aug. 27, 1999). The Jerusalem Post prints several news items centering on the Jerusalem region, including one one noise. This summer there was a 100% increase in complaints over loud air conditioners in Ra'anana, Israel. Offenders can be charged NIS 100 for officials that measure the noise. They are usually cooperative in relocating or quieting their air-conditioners.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina Country Club Must Quiet Fans that Were Formerly Exempted by City's Noise Ordinance (Aug. 26, 1999). The Chapel Hill Herald prints an editorial that comes out strongly in favor of a new noise ordinance that removes exemptions for agricultural equipment. The revisions were made to force the Chapel Hill Country Club to quiet its green-aerating fans that cause 70 decibels of noise at neighbors property lines. Now that the fans will no longer be exempt, they must remain quieter than 60 decibels during the day and 50 decibels at night.

California Laws Allow Renter to Walk Away from Lease If Noise From Neighbors Can Be Proven 'Intolerable' (Aug. 15, 1999). The Los Angeles Times prints a question and answer column on real estate questions, and one question relates to noise. The question asks whether a tenant can break a lease and move out of a "really noisy" apartment without being liable for lost rent. Several experts agreed that while you may be able to move out safely if you can prove that the noise is "unbearable," it is best to consult with a lawyer first.

Readfield, Maine Planning Board Approves Wood Chipper for Transfer Station; Residents Say Noise and Dust -- Possibly Carcinogenic -- Will Affect Public Health and Wildlife (Aug. 5, 1999). The Kennebec Journal reports that Readfield, Maine residents are upset over the Planning Board's approval of a wood chipper at the local transfer station. Residents worry that the noise and dust from the chipper could cause health problems and general disruption of the community. Station officials say that noise will be reduced by infrequent operation times, and dust will be reduced by chipping wood into a closed truck.

Noise Action Day Prompts England's Environment Minister To Ask For Quieter, Gentler Neighbors (Jul. 8, 1999). An M2 Presswire article reports that England's Environment Minister, Michael Meacher, addressed an audience at a shopping center in Westminster on Noise Action Day, asking people to consider their neighbors and live quieter lives. Meacher told the audience that overexposure to noise has an adverse effect on our lives and our health.

Noise Activists in England Call For Stronger Ordinances (Jul. 8, 1999). The Birmingham Post reports that excessive noise ranging from quarreling neighbors and overly loud stereos to jet noises overhead have prompted an increase in noise activism in England.

Town Council In UK To Fine Noisy Neighbors (Jul. 8, 1999). According to the Bristol Evening Post, the town council has warned noisy neighbors to keep down the noise or go to court.

UK Groups Say Noise Is Hazardous to Your Health (Jul. 7, 1999). According to the Times Newspapers, you can get sick from an over exposure to noise. Loud music, neighbors that fight, barking dogs and the do-it-yourselfer who uses a hammer and drill too long are all among the most emphatic noise complaints.

Scotland City Gets a Noise Complaint a Day (Jul. 7, 1999). The Aberdeen Evening News reports that the Aberdeen City Council launched the third National Noise Action Awareness Day to educate residents about noise and its impact on others.

Increasing Noise Complaints in UK Prompts Activists to Call for Strategy (Jul. 7, 1999). The Press Association reports that noise is a health hazard as well as an irritant, but we're not doing enough to mitigate it.

Noise Action Day Reveals Noise Complaints On the Rise (Jul. 7, 1999). According to the Press Association, politicians are campaigning on Noise Action Day, asking people to be more thoughtful of their neighbors. The article revealed that noise complaints are increasing in number, especially noise from arguing neighbors, airplanes and loud music from nearby clubs. Local authorities, however, show no signs of enforcing a national noise policy.

Complaints of Air Conditioner Noise from Neighbor of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin Municipal Building Prompts City to Build Expensive Wall (Jun. 30, 1999). The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that after a noisy air conditioner at Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin's Municipal Building drew complaints from a neighbor, the village has decided to build a wall to cut the noise. The neighbor pointed out that while the unit is 2.5 feet from his property line, the city failed to secure a variance to the 10-foot requirement. The village will spend a partial $18,600 wall, and may spend an additional $5200 if the first section isn't sufficient.

Noise Greatest Cause of Hearing Loss in Aging Baby Boomers (Jun. 14, 1999). The Palm Beach Post reports President Clinton's noise-related hearing loss has prompted other baby boomers to seek treatment for their own noise-related hearing problems.

Menlo Park, California's City Council Sets Decibel Limit for Leaf Blowers and Restricts Hours, Rejecting Proposal to Only Allow Their Use Every Other Week (Jun. 3, 1999). The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Menlo Park's City Council restricted the noise-levels and hours of operation for leaf blowers, but did not limit their use to every other week as was proposed. More than 100 residents, including many local gardeners, attended a council meeting that dealt with the issue; many spoke against the proposed every-other-week ban, saying that it would "make outlaws out of honest, hard-working gardeners." The restrictions would limit legal leaf-blowers to those producing 65 decibels or less, and would require operators to wear ear protection. In addition, hours of operation were limited to 8-5 on weekdays, 11-3 on Saturdays (for residents, not paid gardeners), and banned from Sundays, holidays and "Spare the Air" days.

Los Angeles, California Leaf Blower Ban Would Be Lifted if Proposed Legislation Passes; Noise and Hours of Operation Would Be Limited Instead (Jun. 2, 1999). The Los Angeles Times reports that a bill that passed California's State Assembly would lift the current ban on leaf-blowers in many California cities and instead impose limits on noise intensity and hours of operation. Blowers would be legal between 9 and 5 during the week, and could only emit up to 65 decibels of sound; current gas-powered leaf blowers emit an average of 67-69 decibels. The Legislature called for an environmental impact study of leaf blowers earlier this year, and the sponsor of the bill in the Assembly may wait for the results of that study before submitting the bill to the State Senate.

Limited Regulation of Leaf Blowers Back in New Jersey State Legislature, Gardeners Happy (Jun. 1 1999). Bc Cycle reports that an impending bill in the California legislature, if passed, would limit cities and counties in their regulation of noisy leaf blowers. Gardeners are backing the legislation for the second time, claiming that bans and regulations on the noisy gardening tools threaten the use of the tool they say is essential in 19 New Jersey cities. (Jun. 1, 1999). SACRAMENTO - Bc Cycle reports that cities and counties would be limited in their regulation of noisy leaf blowers by an impending bill in the state Legislature.

Local Regulation of Leaf Blowers in New Jersey State Legislature Again (Jun. 1, 1999). The Associated Press reports that an impending bill in the California legislature, if passed, would limit cities and counties in their regulation of noisy leaf blowers. Gardeners are backing the legislation for the second time, claiming that bans and regulations on the noisy gardening tool will significantly curtail its use in 19 New Jersey cities.

Group Says Jet Skis Cause Great Harm to Air, Waterways (May 29, 1999). The Boston Globe reports that a Maryland conservation group and personal watercraft industry officials are clashing over pollution concerns caused by jet skis.

Department of Transportation To Measure for Noise Along I- (May 28, 1999). The Plain Dealer reports that an engineer for the Ohio Department of Transportation will measure the noise level of vehicles traveling on Interstate 480.

Vote On Noise Ordinance Delayed at Pennsylvania Township Meeting; More than 50 Protest Proposal (May 27, 1999). The Morning Call reports that over 50 residents attended an Upper Saucon Township Board of Supervisors meeting to stop a proposed noise ordinance that defines and enforces noise levels and restricts the location of shooting ranges.

Proposed Directive in Brussels, Belgium to Set Maximum Noise Levels for Lawn and Garden Appliances; Manufacturer Compliance May be Difficult (May 23, 1999). Times Newspapers Limited reports that a proposed directive in Brussels, Belgium will set limits on how much noise outdoor appliances can make. Manufacturers claim that a reduction of even two decibels could be disastrous for some products. A researcher at Southampton University's Institute of Sound and Vibration Studies said "To remove two decibels you have to remove half the sound energy. That would be quite an engineering achievement."

Neighbors of New Hospital in Austin, Texas Bothered By Moderate-Decibel but High-Pitched Air Conditioners (May 7, 1999). The Austin American-Statesman reports that air conditioners at Austin, Texas' new Heart Hospital emit a high-pitched noise that is annoying neighbors. The city's noise ordinance was designed to deal with late-night amplified noise of an excessive volume, and doesn't apply to the unamplified air conditioners of moderate volume. Residents of historical neighborhoods like Hyde Park think the traditionally placid feel is destroyed by the air-conditioners.

Residents in California's Peninsula Communities Support Limits on Noise Levels and Operation Times for Leaf Blowers After One Peninsula Community Rejected an Outright Ban Last Year (May 4, 1999). The San Francisco Chronicle reports that residents in Palo Alto, California and other Peninsula communities support limiting noise levels from leaf blowers as well as hours of operation. A demonstration of four leaf blowers for the city council showed that noise from all of them exceeded the limits that the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) claimed they met. Currently, if police identify a blower emitting over 70 decibels -- the present noise limit -- they can fine the violator $104. The Palo Alto city council wants a public hearing to determine if there is support for an outright ban

Compromise Proposed over Noisy Fans at Wisconsin School (Apr. 16, 1999). The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports a plan that should reduce the noise from rooftop ventilating units at the high school was endorsed Thursday by the West Bend, Wisconsin, school board.

Letter: Singapore Citizens Urged to Reduce Noise Pollution (Apr. 16, 1999). The Straits Times (Singapore) published a letter from Ralph A. Lewin of California, USA, urging the citizens of Singapore to reduce noise pollution. Lewin writes:

Calif. Writer Says Noise Violates Even Sacred Places in Our Modern World (Apr. 4, 1999). The Ventura County Star published a column in which the author tells of a recent vacation across Coconino National Forest of northern Arizona, where she rediscovered the sounds of silence. But in her attempt to embrace it, she notes the pervasive lack of silence in our modern world.

Florida Town Restricts Lawn-Mowing Hours after Residents Complain of Noise (Apr. 2, 1999). The Sun-Sentinel reports the town of Margate, Florida, has crafted a new ordinance to specifically target lawn-mowing noise.

Acoustic Ecology: Hearing Care and Preserving the Rare Sounds of Silence (Apr.1 1999). Cooking Light Magazine reports natural quiet in the United States is difficult to find in these modern times of more cars, more planes, more appliances, and more people. What we hear and how well we hear it is a major concern of both audiologists and a movement called acoustic ecology.

Highland Park, Texas, Works to Educate Public and Enforce New Leafblower Noise Ordinance (Mar. 31, 1999). The Dallas Morning News reports officials are working to make sure residents of Texas town follow a new leafblower noise ordinance.

Noise Levels Rise in Europe to Unhealthy Levels (Mar. 27, 1999). The Los Angeles Times reports noise is a problem in all major cities in Europe, and environmentalists and social scientists believe the shrieks and roars of urban life may cause serious long-term health effects.

RI Town Designates "Noise-Sensitive Areas;" Amends Noise Ordinance (Mar. 18, 1999). The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports the town of Richmond, Rhode Island, voted to approve amendments to its noise ordinance, creating a "noise-sensitive area" around certain public buildings.

Noise Levels for Martin County, Florida, Ordinance May Be Too Low (Mar. 14, 1999). The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News reports the Martin County, Florida, noise ordinance is the most restrictive of its kind in the area and could make enforcement difficult.

NJ Town Votes on Noise Ordinance; Residents Want Law to Cover More Noise Sources (Mar. 3, 1999). The Morning Call reports the Bethlehem, New Jersey, City Council Tuesday rejected suggestions to create a broad noise ordinance in favor of passing an uncomplicated noise law that targets the most frequent offenders.

Noise from Stereos and Car Alarms Spur Penn. Town to Adopt New Noise Ordinance (Feb. 26, 1999). The Morning Call reports the City Council of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is set to approve a new noise ordinance after residents complained of loud music and the noise from car alarms.

Illinois Town Fears Politics will Result in Loss of Soundproofing Money to Mitigate Noise from O'Hare (Feb. 25, 1999). The Chicago Tribune reports the town Bensenville, Illinois, believes it will lose soundproofing funds to mitigate noise from O'Hare International Airport due to political maneuvering.

Durhan, NC, City Council Measures City Noise in Decision to Grant Permit to Recycling Business (Feb. 19, 1999). The News and Observer reports before deciding to issue a special use permit to a recyclables collector, Durham, North Carolina's, Town Council took some measurements of current noise levels in the city.

Barberton, Ohio, Passes Noise Law Targeting Boomcars; Equipment and Vehicles May be Confiscated (Nov. 23, 1998). The Plain Dealer published an editorial urging readers to move to Barberton, Ohio, to get some peace and quiet now that the town has passed a law authorizing the confiscation of car stereo equipment and vehicles from repeated noise offenders.

Noisy Leaf Blowers Replace Quiet Rakes in Suburban United States (Nov. 14, 1998). The Boston Globe reports the noisy leaf blower has taken its place alongside the snow blower and ride-on lawn mover as tools of modern suburban living outside Boston, Massachusetts, and throughout the United States.

Leafblowers May Cause Hearing Damage (Oct. 20, 1998). The Washington Post reports in the United States, pleasant strolls in the autumn are often marred these days by the roaring noise from leaf blowers.

Texas Town to Meet about Leaf-Blower Noise and Pollution (Oct. 14, 1998). The Dallas Morning News reports Highland Park, Texas, will address leaf-blower noise and pollution at a public meeting.

Making Noise Laws Clear in Moorpark, California (Oct. 12, 1998). The Ventura County Star published an article about noise written by the Senior Deputy of the Moorpark, California. The law enforcement officer, Kory Martinelli, seeks to clear up some misconceptions about noise nuisances and the law.

Noise Sources and Solutions in Washington, DC, Area Neighborhoods (Oct. 10, 1998). The Washington Post reports that while noise may be an unavoidable part of apartment life in the Washington, DC, area, as it is elsewhere, developers, property managers, and tenants themselves can take steps to muffle their problems.

European Study Shows City Noise Leads to Serious Ill Health Effects (Oct. 9, 1998). The Evening Standard reports Londoners were warned today that big city noise may be responsible for heart disease.

Residents Fear Expansion at Detroit Metropolitan Airport will Increase Noise; They Insist on Noise Study (Oct. 6, 1998). The Associated Press reports that residents fear the expansion of Detroit Metropolitan Airport will increase airport noise, despite county efforts to implement a noise abatement program.

City Council in Sunnyvale, CA, Discusses Leaf Blower Noise (Sep. 29, 1998). The San Francisco Chronicle reports the city council in Sunnyvale, California, will meet to discuss the effect of noise on the community, including noise created by leaf blowers.

Long Beach, NY, Gives First Ticket for Violating Leafblower Ban Four Years After Law Enacted (Sep. 17, 1998). Newsday reports the City of Long Beach, New York, issued the first citation for violation of its leafblower ban, a law enacted in 1994.

Illinois Residents Object to Regulation of Law Mower and Snow Blower Noise (Sep. 14, 1998). The Chicago Daily Herald published the following letters it received from Arlington Heights, Illinois, citizens in response to a report that the Arlington Heights Environmental Control Commission said it was looking at limiting the hours when people can operate lawn mowers. The first letter is from Jan Berkley:

Most Residents in Chicago Suburb Object to Proposed Regulation of Lawn Mower Noise (Sep. 14, 1998). The Chicago Daily Herald published a second set of letters from Arlington Heights, Illinois, residents responding to an article that reported the Arlington Heights Environmental Control Commission was considering imposing restrictions on homeowners' use of lawn mowers and snow blowers to regulate noise. Included as well are two letters from residents addressing other noise issues in Arlington Heights. The first letter about lawn mower noise is from resident Cathy Robertson:

Political and Social Issues Accompany Leaf Blower Controversies in U.S. (Sep. 14, 1998). The Dallas Morning News reports with autumn comes falling the leaves, and for some residents and workers in states including Texas, Illinois and California, the re-emergence of the heated leaf-blower controversy is likely.

Pilots' Strike Brings Some Quiet to Noisy World of Minneapolis, Minnesota (Sep. 8, 1998). The Star Tribune reports an unintended consequence of the pilots' strike against Northwest Airlines: natural quiet beneath the airport flight paths in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Noise Can Permanently Damage Hearing; Protection Devices Recommended (Sep. 6, 1998). The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, published a column that advocates for the use of protection devices to prevent noise-induced hearing damage.

Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power Develop a Electric-Powered Leaf Blower that's Quiet (Aug. 18, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have developed a new electric-powered leaf blower. The new machine is hoped to resolve problems related to the disputed ban on leaf blowers and earn the city money.

Californian Columnist Writes about the "Wacky World of Leaf Blowers" (Aug. 15, 1998). The other cities with leaf-blower bans tend to be environmentally cool places like Carmel and Santa Barbara, cities that have little else in common with L.A. With bans in Santa Barbara and L.A., Ventura County is sort of surrounded by the crusade -- without being part of it.

Human Powered Gardening Replaces Noisy Power Tools in British Columbia (Aug. 13, 1998). The Vancouver Sun reports about the peaceful home gardening business of Shaughnessy's Graham Clark, whose human powered gardening replaces noisy power mowers and leaf blowers.

Group in Dallas Suburb Unites to Quiet Leafblower Noise (Aug. 6, 1998). The Dallas Morning News reports some residents of Highland Park, Texas, have formed a group to muster support and convince officials to ban leafblowers in their Dallas suburb.

Florida County Drops Grandfathering Clause in Proposed Noise Ordinance (Aug. 5, 1998). The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News reports Martin County, Florida's, proposed noise rules could cost some businesses thousands of dollars to be in compliance.

No Peace and Quiet? In Maryland, Call Noise Cop (Aug. 2, 1998). The Sun reports in an effort to respond to a new focus on noise, Maryland's Department of the Environment now employs a state noise cop.

Judge Finds Methanol-Powered Leaf Blowers Permissible under Los Angelesí Ordinance, Which Was Intended to Ban Use of the Machines near Residences (Aug. 2, 1998). Los Angeles Times reports that gardeners in Los Angeles, led by a Latino gardeners union, are considering conversion of their gasoline-fueled leafblowers to methanol. Such a conversion would exploit a loophole in the recent ban on gas-powered leafblowers and allow their continued use. A city judge recently dismissed a case against a gardener because he was using methanol-fueled blowers. The decision agreed with a June ruling in a similar case.

The Devastating Effects of Noise Pollution and Some Ways to Ease its Impact (Jul. 27, 1998). Time Magazine reports noise pollution is increasing across Europe. While noise can damage health and destroy peace of mind, there are ways to lessen its impact.

California State Legislator Revives Bill to Prohibit Local Leaf-Blower Bans; Bill Headed for Assembly Floor Vote (Jul. 25, 1998). The Los Angeles Times reports that a state law -- that prohibits local bans on leaf-blowers -- which was originally proposed to counter Los Angeles' gas-fueled leaf-blower ban passed last January seems likely to pass. The bill failed last year, but now even those who oppose the bill say that it may pass due to Republican support. The Local Government Committee just passed it by 7-3, and the Assembly will vote soon.

New York Town Tables Proposal to Rescind Leaf-Blower Ban (Jul. 23, 1998). Newsday reports that the City Council in Long Beach, New York tabled a proposal to rescind the ban on gas-powered leaf-blowers Tuesday, after an outpouring of opposition to the idea. Residents called for the ban to be enforced, while gardeners complained that they need leaf-blowers.

Virginia Residents Consider Suing Retirement Home Over Noise From Cooling Tower (Jul. 22, 1998). The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that residents near Richmond, Virginia, in western Henrico County, are considering suing an upscale retirement community behind their homes over noise from the retirement home's cooling tower. The article says the homeowners' association recently hired a lawyer, and is considering asking officials to cite the retirement home under the county's noise ordinance.

Calfornia State Assembly Member (Jul. 17, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles printed an editorial by George Runner, a California Assembly member (R-Lancaster, Palmdale, Santa Clarita), arguing that the Los Angeles City Council passed an arbitrary and unfair ordinance when it banned gas-powered leaf-blowers. The writer notes that the Assembly's Local Government Committee narrowly approved a bill that would overturn that ban. The editorial says that Republicans in the Assembly advocate an approach that allows local governments to establish noise standards as technologies develop without seriously damaging the gardening industry.

Town's on New York's Long Island Struggle With How and Whether to Ban Leaf-Blowers (Jul. 12, 1998). The New York Times reports that towns and villages across Long Island in New York are struggling with how and whether to ban gas-powered leaf-blowers. The article says that some municipalities have passed an outright ban on the blowers during the summer, while others recently have passed rules that define acceptable decibel levels for the blowers. Still others are considering bans, and one city which banned blowers four years ago is considering rescinding the ordinance.

Long Beach, NY, Bucks Trend and Considers Lifting Leafblower Ban (Jul. 8, 1998). Newsday reports the city council of Long Beach, New York, is considering rescinding its ban on leafblowers within the city. Critics say the ban was never enforced in the first place, charging even city workers violated the ban.

Weston, Florida, Gets Serious About Enforcing Quiet (Jul. 7, 1998). The Sun-Sentinel reports several residents of Weston, Florida, urged the City Commission to approve a code limiting "loud and raucous noise." The noise code was unanimously approved.

Leaf Blower Bill to Overturn Local Controls Gets Approval in California Assembly (Jul. 1, 1998). The United Press International reports legislation to overturn local controls on leaf blowers has been narrowly approved by the California Assembly's Local Government Committee.

Florida's Martin County Strives to Write Enforceable Noise Ordinance (Jun. 24, 1998). The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News reports commissioners in Martin County, Florida, are working to develop a constitutionally sound ordinance to control noise nuisances.

New Jersey Town Debates Ordinance in Effort to Preserve Quiet Time (Jun. 23, 1998). The Asbury Park Press reports a proposed ordinance in Spring Lake, New Jersey, to limit noise pollution produced lively discussion at last night's Borough Council meeting.

New Jersey Town Considers Noise Ordinance to Restrict Gardening and Construction Hours (Jun. 9, 1998). The Asbury Park Press reports that the Borough Council in Spring Lake, New Jersey introduced a noise ordinance last night that would restrict lawn mowing, leaf blowing, construction, and other activities to certain hours. The article notes that a public hearing is scheduled on the proposed ordinance for June 22.

Recently Installed Air Conditioners Exceed District's Own Noise Levels in Some Los Angeles Classrooms (Jun. 8, 1998). The Orange County Roster reports that air conditioners installed in classrooms are operating above maximum noise levels set by the school district. The noise problem was caused in part by improper installation by city school officials and may take decades to correct. In the meantime, audiologists say noise levels such as those found recently in LAUSD classrooms may make learning difficult.

Macho Men Buy Increasingly Larger Power Lawn Tools, Causing Noise and Air Pollution (Jun. 7, 1998). The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that this year, Americans will purchase more than 22 million gas-powered lawn and garden tools -- a record number, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The article says large lawn tools, purchased and used by men, has become a social phenomenon of the 1990s suburbs. But, the article says, the large lawn tools produce excessive noise and air pollution.

Los Angeles School District Installs Air Conditioners in Schools That Exceed District's Own Noise Limits (Jun. 7, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that the Los Angeles (California) Unified School District is using funds from Proposition BB to install air conditioners in schools that exceed the maximum noise levels set by the district. According to the article, the school district resisted efforts to allow experienced companies do the work, approved purchasing air conditioning units that exceed noise limits, and insisted that units be mounted rigidly against walls, which increases noise. Officials from the school district acknowledge the problem, but said they overlooked the noise issues in order to get air conditioning in the schools as soon as possible. So far, about 3,300 air conditioning units have been installed, most of them in San Fernando Valley schools. The district is not yet taking steps to remediate the situation, and installation of the noisy units continues.

New York Town Passes Ordinance to Control Noise from Leaf Blowers into the Future (Jun. 3, 1998). Newsday reports that the town board in Huntington, New York unanimously passed an ordinance yesterday that bans leaf blowers that generate noise levels higher than 70 decibels by the year 2000. By 2003, leaf blowers are required not to be louder than 65 decibels, under the ordinance. The new ordinance is intended to work in conjunction with the current bylaw that bans leaf blowers during certain hours.

Tennessee Town Passes New Noise Ordinance, After Making Changes (May 24, 1998). The Tennessean reports that the City Commission in Mount Juliet, Tennessee passed a new noise ordinance Monday at the first of two readings. The new ordinance was proposed after City Judge John Gwin said that the old ordinance was difficult to enforce. Several changes were made to the proposed ordinance before it passed last week, the article says.

Leaf Blower Ban in Calif. City May Go to Public Vote in November (May 14, 1998). The San Francisco Chronicle reports opponents of Menlo Park, California's, leaf blower ban said they will turn in a petition to City Hall today to force a public referendum on the issue in November.

Florida Pig Farmer Says Noise Laws will Harm Business (May 12, 1998). The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News reports Martin County officials will hold a public hearing on a noise ordinance for the county. A Stuart pig farmer says the proposed noise law is aimed specifically at him and will alter his agricultural business.

Residents in Annapolis Area Concerned about Increasing Noise Sources (May 11, 1998). The Capital of Annapolis, Maryland, reports Anne Arundel County residents are exposed to ever increasing sources of noise. While many believe their world is too noisy, experts say it's all in how people perceive noise. The article provides an overview of noise standards, methods by which noise is measured, and some methods of noise mitigation.

Toronto Columnist Relates Fight Against Leaf-Blowers (May 9, 1998). The Toronto Sun printed an editorial by Robin Ward, a resident of the Rosedale neighborhood in Toronto, Ontario, describing a personal fight against leaf blowers. The editorial details how the writer moved into the neighborhood and fixed up a deteriorating house, only to find that the area is assaulted by leaf blowers in the summer.

Parkland, Florida, Drafts Noise Ordinance (Apr. 26, 1998). The Sun-Sentinel reports Parkland, Florida, city administrators are drafting a law aimed at reducing "loud and raucous" noise.

Florida Columnist Gets Many Reader Complaints About Disrespectful, Noisy Neighbors (Apr. 25, 1998). The Tampa Tribune printed a column in which the columnist says one of her previous pieces on neighborhood disruptions hit a sore spot with many readers. The column says that many people agreed their lives have been worsened by disrespectful and noisy neighbors. The column goes on to discuss two popular complaints in more detail: barking dogs and early morning and late evening lawn mowing and leaf blowing.

California City Council Bans Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers (Apr. 16, 1998). The San Francisco Chronicle printed an editorial in which the columnist humorously discusses the decision Tuesday by the Menlo Park (California) City Council to ban gas-powered leaf blowers. The editorial writer pokes fun at the City Councilors for not listening to hundreds of people who said a ban was overkill.

Gardeners in California City Launch Drive for Referendum on Overturning Gas-Powered Leaf-Blower Ban (Apr. 15, 1998). The San Francisco Examiner reports that a gardeners group in Menlo Park, California has launched a drive to hold a referendum on overturning a ban on gas-powered leaf-blowers approved by the City Council in a 3-2 vote Tuesday. The article notes that the City Councilors made their decision after four earlier contentious public hearings.

Repeal of LA Leaf-Blower Ban Defeated in Senate (Apr. 14, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports legislation that would repeal Los Angeles' ban on gasoline-powered leaf blowers did not get the majority of votes Monday in a state Senate committee.

Tips to Reduce the Amount of Outside Noise that Filters Inside Your Home (Apr. 13, 1998). The Copley News Service reports on ways to prevent the sounds of a noisy neighborhood-steady traffic, dogs barking, children at play, and late-night parties-from filling your home..

Burbank Fights Airport Expansion; Country Watches Outcome (Apr. 12, 1998). Copley News Service reports plans to expand the Burbank Airport are vehemently opposed by the city of Burbank. The rest of the country is closely watching this debate and how if will affect the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court landmark decision that limited local control of airports.

New Orleans Residents Welcome Noise Barrier Walls along I-10 (Apr. 12, 1998). The Times-Picayune reports many residents who live along the Interstate 10 Service Road are supportive of building sound barriers along the highway.

Britain Fights EU's Tough Anti-Noise Proposals (Apr. 11, 1998). The Independent reports that Britain is preparing to fight new anti- noise laws proposed by the European Commission.

Study to Assess Impact of Sea-Tac Noise on Washington Schools (Apr. 10, 1998). The News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington, reports that the Highline School District has hired sound experts to measure acoustic conditions in classrooms affected by the noise from nearby Sea-Tac Airport.

Menlo Park Gardeners Try to Avoid Ban with Quieter Leaf Blowers (Apr. 9, 1998). The San Francisco Chronicle reports local gardeners yesterday at Menlo Park City Hall traded in their leaf blowers for new, quieter models, hoping to prevent a ban on the machines.

California Senator Attempts to Blow Away Los Angeles' Ban on Noisy Leaf Blowers with State Legislation (Apr. 8, 1998). Los Angeles Times ran the following letter to the editor concerning state regulation of noisy leaf blowers in California.

Community Development Committee in Overland Park, Kansas Approves Ordinance That Would Limit Hours for Home-based Auto Repairs (Apr. 8, 1998). The Kansas City Star reports that Overland Park's Community Development Committee has approved an ordinance to restrict outdoor auto work from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in an effort to curb neighborhood noise and frustrations.

California State Legislature to Consider Bill Preventing Cities in California from Banning or Regulating Leaf Blowers (Apr. 5, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports the long-running controversy over the noise-versus-utility of leaf blowers is now sweeping into California's state legislature, where a bill before the state Senate would prevent cities from banning or independently regulating the machines.

Bill Before California State Senate Would Prevent Cities From Banning or Regulating Leaf-Blowers (Apr. 4, 1998). The Sacramento Bee reports that a bill is before the California state Senate to prevent cities from banning or independently regulating leaf-blowers. The bill was introduced in an attempt to overturn Los Angeles' ban on gasoline-powered leaf-blowers, the article notes. If it passes, the measure would weaken Sacramento's restrictions on leaf-blowers, according to opponents.

Los Angeles City Council Considers Giving Tax Break to Gardeners Who Say They're Strapped by Leaf-Blower Ban (Apr. 1, 1998). The Copley News Service reports that the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday took the first step toward giving a tax break to gardeners who say they're financially strapped by a ban on gas-powered leaf-blowers. The Council is looking at a plan that would reduce gardeners' business tax from about $106 a year to $23 a year, and would give gardeners who turn in their outlawed leaf blowers to the city a $100 rebate. The Council asked the tax equity committee, which is studying ways to better assess business fees, to review the plan. It is expected that the plan will return to the Council for consideration in September.

LA Residents Write in About Leaf Blowers and Enforcing the Law (Mar. 16, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles published the following letters from residents in the Los Angeles area who cited their views on leaf blowers, the leaf blower ban and its enforcement:

Noise Pollution is Many Americans' Biggest Pollution Problem (Mar. 13, 1998). E Magazine reports that our world is becoming dangerously noisy, with noise pollution and health problems from noise on the rise. The two largest sources of noise pollution, airport and vehicle traffic, are growing at a rate of three to five percent annually, and the most frequent complaint Americans make about their neighborhoods is noise. The article says activists working on noise pollution issues compare the movement today to the campaign against secondhand smoke a decade ago. Like secondhand smoke, they say, noise is both an annoying nuisance and the cause of serious health problems. The article goes on to give an overview of health problems related to noise and to interview several activists involved in the fight against noise.

Loud Machinery Regulated by N. Charleston's Noise Ordinance (Mar. 13, 1998). The Post and Courier reports a new North Charleston, South Carolina, noise ordinance passed without comment from the public Thursday night.

New Jersey Town Enacts Stronger Noise Ordinance (Mar. 11, 1998). The Record reports that Teaneck, New Jersey is strengthening its noise ordinance.

Citizens Work to Enforce Los Angeles Leaf Blower Ban (Mar. 11, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports ...

Another California Community Faces Leaf Blower Debate (Mar. 11, 1998). The San Francisco Examiner reports that the Menlo Park City Council in California has put off a vote on a controversial ordinance that would ban gas-powered leaf blowers.

California Gardeners Protest Proposed Leaf Blower Ban (Mar. 10, 1998). The San Francisco Examiner reports that gardeners in Menlo Park, California are preparing to protest the proposed ban on gas powered leaf blowers.

Latino Gardeners in California Demand Compromise on Leaf Blower Ban (Mar. 9, 1998). The San Francisco Chronicle reports about the largest rally yet by opponents of Menlo Park, California's proposed leaf blower ban.

Los Angeles Resident Speaks Out About Noise Pollution (Mar. 8, 1998). The Los Angeles Times reports published the following letter to the editor:

Gardeners in California City to Protest Leaf Blower Ban, Claiming Ban is Racist (Mar. 3, 1998). The San Francisco Chronicle reports that gardeners in the San Francisco area will stage three demonstrations this week and one next week to protest a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers by the city of Menlo Park. The gardeners claim the ban is racially biased.

Menlo Park Ban on Leaf Blowers to be Contested by Gardeners (Mar. 3, 1998). The San Francisco Chronicle Tuesday reports gardeners in the Menlo Park area are planning a series of protests against the proposed ban on leaf blowers, alleging the ban is racially and economically motivated.

European Commission Adopts New Measures To Reduce Noise (Feb. 25, 1998). The Herald reports that the European Commission is currently creating new noise limits for outdoor equipment and other incentives for noise reduction in the European Union

European Union Cracks Down On Noisy Garden Machinery (Feb. 25, 1998). The Daily Mail reports that noisy lawnmowers could soon be outlawed under a crackdown being considered by the EU. Garden machinery would have to be sold with a label showing how loud it is under plans being considered by the European Commission.

European Commission Issues Noise Pollution Control Measures (Feb. 24, 1998). The 1998 Rapid issued the following press release concerning regulation of noise pollution in the European Community:

California Legislature Threatens Local Leaf Blower Bans (Feb. 21, 1998). The Los Angeles Times reports that a state law is poised to overrule city-based laws on leaf blowers in the state of California. Los Angeles plans to rally other cities, and the state League of Cities, to maintain their gas-fueled leafblower bans and restrictions.

Los Angeles Leaf Blower Ban Supporters Prepare to Fight State Bill to Lift the City Ban (Feb. 21, 1998). The Los Angeles Times reports that a state law is poised to overrule city-based laws on leaf blowers in the state of California. Los Angeles plans to rally other cities, and the state League of Cities, to maintain their gas-fueled leafblower bans and restrictions.

Another California Community Restricts Leaf Blowers (Feb. 20, 1998). The Ventura County Star reports that Calabasas California has joined hosts of other California communities in restricting the use of gas powered leaf blowers.

Los Angeles Councilwoman Attack State Leafblower Bill (Feb. 20, 1998). The City News Service reports that Los Angeles City Officials are fighting a state bill that would override local leaf blowere bans.

New York City Works To Decrease Noise Pollution (Feb. 19, 1998). The Boston Globe reports that noise pollution continues to grow in New York City. The City is trying stronger measures to lower noise levels.

Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Ban Takes Effect in Los Angeles (Feb. 13, 1998). The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles' ban on gas-fueled leafblowers finally went into effect today after nearly a year of debate.

European Union to Label Noise Levels on Outdoor Machinery (Jan. 26, 1998). The Financial Times Limited of London, England, reports that the European Commission, meeting in Brussels, Belgium, is expected to recommend noise levels be labeled on various outdoor machinery in an effort to limit noise that's dangerous to citizens of the European Union.

Boston's Big Dig Attempts to Keep Noise Down (Jan. 25, 1998). The Chicago Tribune reports that in Boston the biggest public works project since the building the Great Pyramids continues while officials attempt to maintain a quality of life for residents. Known as the Big Dig, the project will ultimately create a complex of highways that will run through and under Boston, hopefully eliminating the city's infamous traffic congestion.

To Keep Noise Out, Walls to be Built in Annapolis Open Schools (Jan. 22, 1998). The Capital of Annapolis, Maryland, reports that the city's proposal to construct walls in 25 "open space" schools would cost $17 million and still may not eliminate noise.

NJ Township Debates Noise from Ice Cream Vendors (Jan. 21, 1998). The Asbury Park Press reports that the Stafford Township Council in New Jersey last night delayed a vote on whether to limit ice cream vendors' noise. Members want time to consider the hotly argued viewpoints expressed during last night's public session.

Los Angeles Area Residents Speak About Leaf Blowers (Jan. 17, 1998). Los Angeles Times published the following letters to the editor concerning leaf blowers:

Leaf Blower Ban in Los Angeles, California Pits City's Homeowners Against Workers (Jan. 12, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that from the moment the City Council voted last week to ban leaf blowers from Los Angeles, California, the city's class and ethnic divisions split open like an earthquake fault. Before the vote Tuesday, actors Julie Newmar, Peter Graves and others from posh Westside neighborhoods sat on one side of the City Council chamber demanding a ban on leaf blowers that cause air and noise pollution. On the other side sat members of the Association of Latin American Gardeners, clad in green caps and jackets, who pleaded with council members to spare them the basic tool of their trade.

An Editorial in Favor of the Rake Over the Leaf Blower (Jan. 11, 1998). An editorial in the Chicago Tribune argues against leaf blowers and for the old fashioned, quiet rake. The editorial claims that gas powered leaf blowers make bad neighbors. And while, the editorial admits, the sickening, high-pitched leaf-blower whine is only a memory in January, it is not too early to begin efforts in your city, town, village, suburb or exurb to get the damned things outlawed by the fall.

Noise Matters: Ban Leaf Blowers, Buy Rakes (Jan. 10, 1998). The Atlanta Journal reports that noise matters. It points to the clash over leaf blowers in Los Angeles ---a battle that has drawn national attention and counts among its supporters actress Julie Newmar, a leaf-blower hater.

An Editorial Advocates Cleaning Up Air Pollution in Roanoke, Virginia (Jan. 9, 1998). An editorial printed by the Roanoke Times & World News advocates cleaning up noise pollution in Roanoke, Virginia. Kelly Polykov, a student at Hollins College, says in the editorial that like air and water pollution, noise pollution is a very real problem for millions of Americans across the country. It comes from cars, trucks, airplanes, leaf blowers, air conditioners, construction, the booming bass of car stereos and a plethora of other sources. Noise has been getting louder and the problem more widespread every year.

Los Angeles Mayor Approves Leaf Blower Ban (Jan. 9, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that despite threats by Los Angeles, California gardeners to continue a hunger strike, Mayor Richard Riordan signed an ordinance Thursday that calls for fines of $270 against anyone using a gas-powered leaf blower in a residential area. However, the article reports that before he signed the law, Riordan met for nearly an hour with hunger-striking gardeners in wheelchairs to resolve the dispute, saying his hands are tied. The mayor said that this is because if he had not signed the ordinance setting the $270 fine, a previously approved measure allowing up to six months of jail time for violators would have taken effect.

Man's Quiet Leaf Blower Impresses Gardeners Striking Over Ban in Los Angeles, California (Jan. 8, 1998). The Los Angeles Times reports that an auto mechanic who lives in Van Nuys, California put together a leaf blower that is ultra-quiet and easily built with standard auto parts. The blower may have an influence on the controversial ban on gas-fueled leaf blowers that is proposed.

Los Angeles, California Gardeners Continue Hunger Strike Over Leaf Blower Ban (Jan. 8, 1998). An article in the Los Angeles Times reports that the steps of Los Angeles' city hall have been home to eight men from the Association of Latin American Gardeners for five days. The men are on a hunger strike which protests a proposed ban on gas-fueled leaf blowers. Their organization was formed last year to fight the ban, and has since produced a union of nearly 1,000 gardeners.

Los Angeles, California Leaf Blower Ban OK'd by City Council (Jan. 7, 1998). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that the Los Angeles, California City Council voted to begin enforcement of a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers, despite intense opposition from gardeners, including 200 who packed the chambers and 10 who vowed to continue a hunger strike to seek a veto by Mayor Richard Riordan. The council's 9-6 vote created the enforcement rules, setting a maximum $270 fine for people who operate leaf blowers within 500 feet of residences and for the homeowners who hire them.

Tolerance of Dallas Residents Vary with Noise Sources (Jan. 6, 1998). The Dallas Morning News reports that today it is highly unlikely you live without being exposed to somebody else's noise. It may just be the muffled roar of traffic or music from the house next door. Or it may be wailing sirens, the thunder of a passing plane, the muffled roar of traffic.

Los Angeles Gardeners Begin Hunger Strike To Protest Ban On Leaf Blowers (Jan. 4, 1998). Los Angeles Times reports that protesters who oppose a pending ban in Los Angeles, California on gas-fueled leaf blowers have started a hunger strike. The protesters are gardeners.

How To Fix A Noisy Garbage Disposal (Jan. 4, 1998). The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News describes how to quiet a noisy garbage disposal.

Resident Take City To Task On Noise Violations (Dec. 31, 1997). The Daily News reports that New York residents of Queens Blvd. are suing the city for violations of local noise pollution control laws.

Penalties Reduced On Los Angeles Leaf Blower Ban (Dec. 18, 1997). The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles' leaf blower ban lost its teeth when the City Council decided to reduce violations to an infraction from a misdemeanor. Consequently, the fine goes down. Enforcement will begin January 6.

Florida City Permits Early Mowing (Dec. 14, 1997). The Orlando Sentinel Tribune reports that residents of golf course communities may start their days a little earlier, thanks to a recent decision by the Orange City Council. Last week, the Tribune reports, council members agreed to allow golf courses to apply for an annual waiver of the city's noise ordinance, permitting early morning mowing of course greens.

California Company Develops Quieter Leaf Blower (Dec. 13, 1997). The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Metallic Power Inc. is developing technology for quieter leaf blowers.

Los Angeles Considers Two Proposals to Ban Leaf Blowers (Dec. 11, 1997). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that more than a year after first moving to ban gasoline-powered leaf blowers, a city panel came up Wednesday with dueling proposals: outlaw the noisy devices next month or phase them out over five years. In both proposals, the severity of the penalty would be reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction and the fine for any one violation would be $ 270.

Los Angeles Leaf Blower Ban Goes Into Effect (Dec. 10, 1997). The Copley News Service reports that a Los Angeles City Council committee Wednesday made a series of 11th-hour changes to a gas-powered leaf blower ban that goes into effect next month, but rejected a proposal to further delay its enforcement.

Sacramento Residents Rally To Ban Leaf Blowers (Dec. 5, 1997). The Sacremento Bee printed the following letters to the editor concerning banning leaf blowers in Sacramento, California:

New Jersey Columnist Advises Us to Abandon Leaf Blowers and Go Back to Rakes (Nov. 20, 1997). The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey printed an editorial in which the columnist argues that the leaf blower should be banned. The writer says that the noise pollution caused by leaf blowers cannot be justified, and rakes are pleasant alternatives.

Residents Continue to Debate Los Angeles Leaf-Blower Ban (Nov. 11, 1997). The Los Angeles Times printed the following letters-to-the-editor regarding the leaf-blower ban in Los Angeles:

New Jersey Readers Respond to Leaf Blower Use (Nov. 2, 1997). In the Chatter section of The New York Times, New Jersey residents responded to the following questions: "Are leaf blowers a welcome labor-saving convenience or a noisy nuisance? Should their use be limited?"

Gardener Associations and Leaf Blower Manufacturer Sue Los Angeles Over Leaf Blower Ban (Oct. 4, 1997). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that several local gardener associations and one of the nation's largest makers of leaf blowers, Echo Inc., are suing the city of Los Angeles over its ban on gas-powered blowers. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, and argues that if a ban is set on leaf blowers because of their noise, the ban also should apply to lawn mowers and weed trimmers.

New England Patriots' Coach Uses Leaf Blower to Prepare Team for Game in Noisy Stadium (Sep. 27, 1997). The Boston Herald reports that the New England Patriots' coach, Pete Carroll, began training the team for an October 6 game against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium by turning on an industrial strength leaf blower during practices. The Mile High Stadium is known for its loud crowd noise, which is a significant disadvantage for any visiting team, the article says. Coach Carroll wanted the team to practice running plays in an atmosphere where hearing signals is virtually impossible.

Maine City Councillors Reject Residents' Bid to Restrict Leaf Blowers (Sep. 17, 1997). The Bangor Daily News reports that City Councillors on Bangor, Maine's municipal operations committee heard complaints from three residents Tuesday about leaf blower noise in their neighborhood, and decided to contact the noise offender rather than re-write the noise ordinance at this point.

Columnist Recommends Quiet Dishwashers (Sep. 13, 1997). The Tampa Tribune printed a question-and-answer column in which the writer answers a question about what noise-reduction features are available on new dishwashers. The columnist says the noise levels have been reduced to a whisper in the best models. He also tells readers how to get a buyer's guide of the quietest dishwashers.

Georgia County Commission Considers Broad Noise Ordinance (Sep. 11, 1997). The Atlanta Journal reports that County Commissioners in Newton County, Georgia are considering adopting a noise ordinance that would limit a wide range of noises, including excessive noise from car horns, loud music, noisy animals, and ice cream truck music.

Cities Nationwide Enact Noise Control Ordinances (Sep. 7, 1997). The Telegraph Herald reports that cities across the country have recently passed noise ordinances targeting everything from car stereos, motorcycles, noisy night clubs, outdoor concerts, leafblowers, and ice cream trucks. The article goes on to provide a list of cities that recently have passed ordinances.

Iowa Town Ordinance Prohibits Excessive Noise (Sep. 7, 1997). The Telegraph Herald reports that the noise ordinance in Dubuque, Iowa prohibits many excessive noises. The article goes on to describe the specifics of the city ordinance.

Florida City Sends Noise Ordinance Back to the Drawing Board (Aug. 29, 1997). The Tampa Tribune reports that the Tampa (Florida) City Council decided Thursday to ask city attorneys to rewrite the proposed noise ordinance after hearing protests from both residents and business owners. The ordinance is not scheduled for review again until December 4.

New York Town Disregards its Own Leaf Blower Ban (Aug. 26, 1997). Newsday reports that the City of Long Beach, New York considers itself exempt from its own leaf blower ban passed in 1994. The city's position came to light after a resident complained about city employees using leaf blowers near her home, only to be told the city considers itself exempt from the law.

Hearing Problems Are Increasing From Noise Pollution (Aug. 25, 1997). Newsweek reports that research has shown that excessive exposure to noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss and ear damage, contrary to the popular belief that hearing loss is a natural process of aging. The article goes on to discuss the risks to hearing of noise pollution, the ways in which noise damages the ear, the levels at which noise is dangerous, and practical steps people can take to protect their ears.

Cordless Lawn Mowers Cut the Noise and Offer Other Benefits (Aug. 16, 1997). The Sacramento Bee printed a question-and-answer column regarding cordless lawn mowers. In response to a reader's question about the feasibility of buying and using a cordless mower, the columnist writes that for anyone with up to a half-acre lot, a cordless rechargeable lawn mower is the best option available for many reasons.

More Local Laws on Long Island and Around the Country Ban or Limit Leaf Blower Use (Aug. 11, 1997). Newsday reports that residents and officials on New York's Long Island and in other communties around the country are increasingly complaining about and seeking to pass laws restricting the use of leaf blowers. The article goes on to explore restrictions in Long Island communities, including a ban enacted by the Village of Great Neck Estates in June on the summertime use of gasoline-powered blowers. In addition, the article explores the history of leaf blowers, the health effects of leaf blowers, and attempts by leaf blower manufacturers to make the machines quieter and more palatable to residents.

Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers Illegal in LA, But Debate Over Their Use Continues (Aug. 10, 1997). Newsday reports that an ordinance that went into effect on July 1 in Los Angeles, California bans the use of leaf blowers within 500 feet of homes. One week after the ordinance took effect, however, enforcement was postponed for six months at the urging of the Los Angeles Police Department. Meanwhile, the article reports, the debate over the use of leaf blowers continues, garnering both strong support and strong opposition.

What's the Quietest Lawn Mower? (Jul. 26, 1997). The Times printed an editorial that outlines which lawn mowers that can be purchased in Britain are the noisiest and the quietest. It also discusses the noise restrictions on lawn mower use in Germany, and talks about the fact that the European Community is considering new noise regulations for mowers. The writer concludes by giving a ranking of the types of mowers from noisiest to quietest.

California Town Drops the Idea of Regulating Leaf Blowers (Jul. 24, 1997). The Los Angeles Times reports that Oxnard, California City Council -- which was considering restrictions on leaf blowers because of noise and pollution issues raised by residents -- has decided instead to encourage a dialogue among landscapers and residents to develop a compromise solution.

U.S. Postal Service Launches Program to Test Cordless Electric Lawn Mowers (Jul. 24, 1997). Business Wire reports through a press release that the U.S. Postal Service is launching a pilot program in North and South Carolina to test the use of battery-operated lawn mowers. The press release goes on to outline the project and to give data on the environmental impacts of switching to electric lawn mowers.

Citizens Protest Noisy Outdoor Opera by Mowing their Lawns During Performance (Jul. 23, 1997). The Ottawa Citizen reports that citizens in London, Ontario protested outdoor performances of the Garsington Opera by synchronizing their lawnmoving, hedge trimming, and other yard work during the opening night of the opera festival, June 9. In response to the long feud between the villagers and opera officials, the South Oxfordshire District Council has decided to prosecute the opera company.

England Town Launches Noise Exposure Survey to Encourage Quiet Neighborhoods (Jul. 22, 1997). The Northern Echo of England escalating complaints of domestic noise from barking dogs, loud music and other sources have prompted the town of Sedgefield, England, to take action.

Columnist's Noise Test Finds that Leaf Blowers are as Loud as Dynamite (Jul. 20, 1997). The Chapel Hill Herald printed a humorous editorial in which the columnist laments the loss of silence in America and bemoans the constitutional right of people to use leaf blowers, which he finds are louder than dynamite.

Los Angeles Delays Gas-Powered Leaf Blower Ban Till January (Jul. 17, 1997). The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles' City Council is putting off enforcement on an ordinance that would ban gas-fueled leaf blowers. Police will attempt to decide how to enforce the ordinance during the six months, which will also help to make gardeners who oppose the ordinance adapt.

Residents Give Their Opinions on Los Angeles Leaf Blower Ban (Jul. 13, 1997). The Los Angeles Times printed the following letters-to-the-editor from Los Angeles area residents regarding the new ban on gasoline-powered leaf blowers:

Hard to Imagine Los Angeles Without Constant Whine of Leaf Blowers, Writer Believes (Jul. 5, 1997). The Vancouver Sun reports in an editorial that after months of intense political battle, the ban on gasoline-powered leaf blowers in Los Angeles, California finally took effect, and the city may never be the same. The editorial writer believes it is difficult to imagine the city without the constant noise of leaf blowers. He goes on to outline the ban and the controversy surrounding it.

Editorial Argues a Compromise on Los Angeles's Leaf Blower Ban is Needed (Jul. 3, 1997). The Los Angeles Times prints an editorial that finds fault in an approved ordinance that will fine gardeners gardeners up to $1,000 -- or give repeat offenders a six-month jail term -- for using leaf blowers within 500 feet of homes. The ordinance is scheduled to take effect on July 1st, but the paper says that police will be overburdened and will have difficulty enforcing the rule. Instead, the editorial suggests a modification to allow a gradual phase-out of leaf blowers or more lenient restrictions that simply govern their hours of use.

Long Island Village Bans Leaf Blowers for the Summer; Two Other Towns Limit Leaf Blower Hours (Jul. 2, 1997). Newsday reports that the village of Great Neck Estates, New York has banned the use of gasoline- or diesel-powered leaf blowers within 300 feet of residential property between June 15 and Sept. 15. After the ban expires in September, the village will decide whether to keep it, change it, or drop it. Meanwhile, two other Long Island towns, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay, have restricted the use of leaf blowers to certain hours.

Los Angeles Ban on Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers Begins, But Police Still Figuring Out How to Enforce It (Jul. 2, 1997). The Commercial Appeal reports that rakes and brooms showed up in lawns and gardens in Los Angeles yesterday as the city's ban on gas-powered leaf blowers took effect. Some gardeners continued to use leaf blowers in defiance of the law. Meanwhile, more than 500 gardeners staged a protest at City Hall, demanding a one-year moratorium on the new law so its impact can be studied further. As gardeners struggle with the new ordinance, police are still in the process of drawing up guidelines to enforce it.

Los Angeles Gardeners Protest City Ordinance Banning Leaf-Blowers (Jul. 2, 1997). The Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports that hundreds of gardeners staged a protest at Los Angeles' City Hall yesterday to oppose an ordinance that bans the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers within 500 feet of residences starting today.

Ban on Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers in Los Angeles Set to Start Despite Protests from Gardeners (Jun. 29, 1997). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that an ordinance banning gas-powered leaf blowers will take effect Tuesday in Los Angeles, despite increasing pressure from gardeners to call off the ban. A group of Latino gardeners plans to stage a nine-hour sit-in / protest in front of City Hall on the first day of the new ordinance. Meanwhile, the City Council is set to consider a proposal that would exempt gas-powered leaf vacuums from the ordinance, even though they produce the same noise levels.

California City to Consider Limits to Leaf-Blowers in Response to a Pastor's Campaign Against Them (Jun. 28, 1997). The Los Angeles Times reports that church pastor Jim Bain of Oxnard, California has launched a campaign against leaf-blowers, saying the machines plague asthmatics and emit ear-splitting noise. Bain has collected about 65 signatures on an anti-leaf-blower petition, and in response to the issue, the Oxnard City Council will discuss restricting leaf-blowers at a meeting Tuesday.

Noise Pollution Increasing as a Health Issue; Noise Problems Continue to Surface in California (Jun. 23, 1997). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that noise pollution is increasingly seen as a health issue by physicians and experts. The article also reports that around California's San Fernando Valley, noise issues continue to surface, and residents continue to complain about noise problems. Finally, the article presents a list of various decibel levels, and common noises associated with each level.

Noise Pollution is Everywhere (Jun. 20, 1997). The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports in an editorial that an average day is a day of "audio assault," whether you live in the city or the country. The editorial writer discusses some of the noises that constitute "outrageous invasions," and cause stress, fright, heart disease, and violence.

Wisconsin Town Board Tells Resident They Can't Regulate Lawn Mower Noise (Jun. 19, 1997). The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Village Board members in Brown Deer, Wisconsin told a resident Monday they don't believe they have the power to restrict lawn mower noise. The resident, Jerry Freidenfeld, had asked the board to help him turn down the noise on the volume of the lawn mowers used by some of his neighbors.

Los Angeles City Council Approves Use of Gas-Powered Leaf Vacuums After Prohibiting Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers (Jun. 11, 1997). The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that after passing an ordinance earlier this year outlawing noisy, gasoline-powered leaf blowers, the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday approved an exemption for gas-powered leaf vacuums, which have similar noise levels as leaf blowers.

Eleven Orange County, California Cities Regulate or Ban Leaf Blowers (Jun. 2, 1997). The Los Angeles Times reports that although the City of Laguna Niguel, California recently rejected a proposal to regulate leaf-blowers, ten other cities in Orange County have imposed regulations, and one city has banned leaf-blowers. The article outlines how the regulations have been passed or rejected in some of the cities, and provides a list of which cities have regulations currently.

Leaf Blower Manufacturer Attempts to Make Gas-Powered Model Quieter (Jun.1 1997). The publication Appliance Manufacturer reports that Echo, Inc., a leaf blower manufacturer, has produced a new gas-powered leaf blower designed to reduce noise. The article notes that noise from leaf blowers is under attack across the country, and that hundreds of municipalities have enacted bylaws restricting or banning the blowers. The article goes on to describe the technology used in the new Echo blower.

California City Rejects Proposed Leaf-Blower Ban Due to Low Turn-Out at Hearing (May 21, 1997). The Los Angeles Times reports that the Laguna Niguel (California) City Council had considered restricting or banning leaf blowers, but rejected the proposal Tuesday night after few residents came to support the proposal.

California City Considers Banning Leaf Blowers (May 20, 1997). The Los Angeles Times reports that a Laguna Niguel (California) City Council meeting tonight will address a proposal to ban leaf blowers. Nearby Laguna Beach has already banned the blowers, and is the only community in the county so far to do so. Gardeners and residents who oppose the ordinance promise to attend the meeting in droves.

Noise Pollution Can Permanently Damage Hearing (May 20, 1997). CNBC News Transcripts reports that springtime brings fresh air, but also the sounds of leaf blowers, mowers, boom boxes, and loud mufflers. The report says noise has become a byproduct of living in our crowded, mechanized world, and can make you not only irritable and stressed out, but can cause serious harm to your hearing.

Illinois Town Considers Expanding Noise Restrictions (May 15, 1997). The Chicago Tribune reports that the Downers Grove, Illinois Village Council is considering expanding its noise regulations to restrict the use of outdoor home tools and loud stereos from vehicles. In addition, the council is considering giving police more power in handling noise complaints.

Residents and Task Force in Vancouver Make Recommendations About Noise Regulations (May 15, 1997). The Vancouver (British Columbia) Sun reports that Vancouver's Urban Noise Task Force, a 10-member committee formed by the city council in March 1996 to recommend solutions to urban noise problems, has come up with a report of 165 recommendations to reduce noise. In addition, Tuesday night members of the public were invited to comment on the city's noise problems. Citizens spoke out about problems ranging from motorcycles to street buskers, ambulance sirens to leaf blowers.

Leaf-Blowers on Long Island Should be Restricted (May 11, 1997). The New York Times printed an editorial in which the writer describes the noise problems with the use of leaf-blowers and advocates restrictions on them, giving examples of other municipalities that have banned or restricted them.

Massachusetts Living Facility Air Conditioning System Creating Noise Pollution Lawsuit (Apr. 30, 1997). Gazette reports that the air conditioning system of Cortland House, a 60-unit living facility, has been exceeding city noise limits since it was built last May. The neighbors that immediately complained had Health Director Robert P. Carlson order the facility's owner, Max E. Jordan, to fix the problem. Cortland House Officials claim the noise problem has since been fixed, but city officials disagree and are considering taking legal action.

Teen Says Boise's New Noise Ordinance Is Unfair (Apr. 28, 1997). The Idaho Statesman printed the following editorial from Janelle Wilson, a teenager in Boise, Idaho, regarding the city's new noise ordinance:

Life Is Getting Noisier, As Measured By The Houston Chronicle (Apr. 27, 1997). The Houston Chronicle reports that it conducted its own noise level study around Houston, finding many places noisier than 85 decibels. A decibel reading higher than 85 decibels can cause hearing damage to the human ear, depending upon the length of exposure time. The Noise Center, a national organization that promotes noise awareness and hearing conservation, is sponsoring the second annual International Noise Awareness Day The day aims to get the world to observe a minute of silence at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday.

International Noise Awareness Day in Toronto (Apr. 24, 1997). Annette Feige and Eric Greenspoon, members of the Citizens Coalition Against Noise, said that daily life is getting noisier, the Toronto Star reports. They are trying to bring national attention to the noise issue.

California Town Considers Leaf Blower Ordinance (Apr. 3, 1997). The Los Angeles Times reports that La Palma, California's City Council has tentatively approved a noise ordinance to restrict operating noise and time for leaf blowers. Full approval would come with another positive vote on April 15, and enforcement would begin a month later.

Leaf-Blower Noise on Los Angeles City Council's List (Jan. 24, 1997). The Los Angeles City Council is considering restrictions for leaf-blowers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Los Angeles Leaf Blower Ban (Dec. 4, 1996). The Los Angeles Times reports that using a gas-fueled leafblower within 500 feet of someone's residence will now draw a $1,000 fine in Los Angeles. A rule passed July 1997 says that the penalty will apply both to users of the blowers and the person they are performing the work for. Electric blowers, and gas blowers that are quieter than 45 decibels will be allowed, although the quietest blower around still makes 65 decibels of noise.

Los Angeles Council Postpones Vote to Ban Gas Leaf Blowers (Nov. 27, 1996). The Los Angeles City Council was supposed to vote on a proposal to prohibit the use of leaf blowers, but decided to postpone its decision. Residents were upset at continued delays, and said that "If we have to take it to a ballot, we will, and we'll win it on a ballot." Despite the lack of a vote, an amendment was added to the proposal to allow equipment that acted as a vacuum for leaves.

Gas Leafblowers Banned in Los Angeles Residential Neighborhoods (Nov. 13, 1996). The article notes that using gas-fueled leafblowers in Los Angeles will now cost gardeners a $1,000 fine, if the use occurs within 500 feet of a residence. The fine is levied under a new law passed by the city council.

American Entertainment Introduces Young Audiences To Hearing Damage (Sep. 25, 1996). The Pacific Sun reports that digital technology has enabled movie producers and rock bands alike to increase the quality of sound their entertainment provides, but it has also inspired them to increase the volume as well. The government has no regulation regarding the sound level of movie or musical entertainment, and the affect of excessive noise on the human ear is usually not the priority of movie producers, movie-goers, rock bands, or rock fans. According to the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association, 10 million Americans suffer from noise-induced hearing loss and 20 million are exposed to potentially damaging noise levels. Hearing loss has increased by 14% since 1971. Preventative and protective measures are just starting to be taken.

Enforceable Noise Ordinance Makes for Quieter Neighborhoods in Vermont College Town (Sep. 22, 1996). The Burlington Free Press reports that police are enforcing Burlington, Vermont's updated noise ordinance by patrolling neighborhoods and issuing fines for violations. According to this article, violators of the noise ordinance are mostly college-age people involved in off-campus parties. Burlington's noise ordinance prohibits noise from any party or social event that "interferes with the peace or health of members of the public or is audible through walls between units within the same building, from another property or from the street." The ordinance discourages Burlington police officers from simply giving a warning if they determine a noise violation has occurred. Penalties for a first offense range from $100 to $500.

Chicago Suburb Bans Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers (Sep.1 1996). Conscious Choice reports that the Chicago suburb of Evanston has recently passed strict regulations against gas-powered leaf blowers. As of August 1, 1996, use of gas-powered leaf blowers is banned between May 15 and September 30. The blowers may be used only between April 1 and May 14 and between October 1 and December 15. Furthermore, the city council prohibits the blowers be used before 7 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends. The blowers can reach a decibel reading as high as 90 or 100.

Los Angeles County Board Studying Leafblower and Lawnmower Noise Reduction (Jul. 10, 1996). The Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors committed to studying different ways to reduce noise from gas-powered leafblowers and other motorized lawn equipment.

Preventative and Protective Measures Needed Against Hearing Damage and Loss (Jun.1 1996). Electronic Musician reports that hearing damage and hearing loss can happen to young and elderly people alike. Hearing damage is permanent, yet usually preventable, provided that you are aware of how to protect your ears. Visiting a trained audiologist and using the proper ear protection can help prevent hearing damage, or help prevent further damage if some has already occurred. Musicians, their assistants, and anyone else exposed to repetitively loud noises need to take special precaution.

Leaf Blowers Anger Californian Communities (Sep.1 1994). The Christian Science Monitor reports that communities across the country are fighting the noise pollution caused by leaf blowers. Most blowers emit around 75 decibels but can reach as high as 100 decibels. According to Robin Pendergrast, a spokesman for Echo (the largest manufacturer of leaf blowers), more than 220 cities and towns across the country have discussed restricting the use of leafblowers. Seven cities, two of them Californian, have already banned them completely.

Other Indexes

Aircraft Noise
Amplified Noise
Effects on Wildlife/Animals
Construction Noise
Firing Ranges
Health Effects
International News
Environmental Justice
Land Use and Noise
Civil Liberty Issues
Miscellaneous Noise Stories
Noise Ordinances
Noise Organizations Mentioned
Outdoor Events
Noise in Our National Parks/Natural Areas
Residential and Community Noise
Snowmobile and ATV Noise
Research and Studies
Technological Solutions to Noise
Transportation Related Noise
Violence and Noise
Watercraft Noise
Workplace Noise

Chronological Index
Geographical Index

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