"Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization link noise pollution to high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, anxiety, poorer work habits, and lover grades at school. Sleep is where the impact registers most. Research shows that while a degree of habituation occurs with low decibel interruptions at night - was that a possum? An earthquake? Whatever - we never get used to them completely. Our heart rate spikes and REM falters even if we believe we're out cold. The brain listens night and day. Researchers studied a New York City school located a couple of hundred feet from an elevated subway track. Every four and a half minutes a train passed by for 30 seconds at 89 dBs, roughly the level at which sustained exposure causes hearing loss. Student performance in classrooms facing the tracks was as much as 11 months behind that of students whose rooms faced away from the train. Now think of the many L.A. schools you see beside freeways, here decibel levels can easily reach 65 and beyond.
From Los Angeles Magazine, page 96, August 2014 edition. Article "Sound Check" in Well Being column by David Hochman
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