Yes, it’s me – The Noise Doctor. I’m back with another NoiseNews Round-Up. I’ll be bringing you some of the latest and quirkiest noise-related news stories from around the world. In this edition, I’m looking at measures by the Brussels government to tackle noise nuisance from airlines, how underwater noise affects our fish, a R&B fan who damaged his own hearing and much more. Let’s get started.
Brussels Sprouts Noise Complaints
The Brussels government is being accused of imposing fines on airline companies for noise nuisance but failing to collect them.
Campaigners say that the Brussels government has not complied with the conflict of interests lodged over noise nuisance standards for planes flying over the capital and so airlines could now appeal the fines.
The spokesman from Brussels Airlines said: “It is right that we continue to receive fines but we are not paying them as the Brussels government is not collecting the sums demanded at the present time.”
Something Fishy Going On?
If you think noise pollution only stresses people – think again.
European fish are experiencing higher stress levels when exposed to noise from piling – a mechanical device used to drive poles into the ground – as well drilling sounds made on offshore structures, researchers have found.
Sea Bass are also showing signs of being confused when they encountered a potential predators while exposed to these underwater noises.
To conduct the study, the researchers played recordings of drilling from the English Channel, made during the installation of a new tidal barrage. Researchers played back these noises on 54 sea bass sources from a commercial hatchery in France, and housed in a fibreglass holding tank.
Researchers simulated a predator next to the glass, but without contacting the tank. They found that fish under drilling and piling sound conditions showed reduced predator inspection behaviour, and the noises also induced stress as measure by the fish’s ventilation rate.
When researchers played recordings of piling sounds and mimicked an approaching predator, the sea bass made more turns and weren’t able to move away from the predator.
Rhythm but More Blues for Neighbours
A 66 year old R&B fan, who played music so loudly he damaged his own hearing, has been fined hundreds of pounds after keeping his neighbours awake for over a year.
Michael McCatty from Harrow Weald didn’t let complaints from neighbours spoil his listening pleasure and continued to indulge his musical tastes for over a year.
Environmental Health Officers were inundated with dozens of complaints over the 16-month period and issued a noise abatement notice and repeated warnings. On one occasion when environmental health officers visited his home to warn him, but McCatty couldn’t hear them shouting through the letterbox or banging on windows over the music.
Schools Out! – and In and Out Again
A Cambridge woman claims she may need to move house due to the “unbearable” noise from a nearby nursery school.
Mrs Ella Taylor, 77, claims the noise from Cambridge Nursery is so “enormous” she can hear it through her double glazed closed windows.
Part of the issue, she says, is that the nursery has no set timetable, with kids having free access to outdoors areas at all times. Mrs Taylor has been visited by Cambridgeshire City Council’s environmental health officers four times in the past year.
The Taylors moved into their address in 1976 and the nursery opened two years later. The nursery says officers have measured the noise and says it is within permitted limits and no other neighbours have complained.
Not Feeling the Love
Noise complaints about a venue in Tunbridge Wells are threatening to silence the UK’s biggest reggae and ska festival.
The One Love Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary and for the first time is booked for Colebrook Lakes this September.
But the owner of the licence for the land now fear the event is “under threat” because a licence review had been called by environmental health officers following a barrage of complaints from residents about noise at previous local festivals.
Noise and duration levels are already in place and have never been breached before say the Festival organisers.
Towns and cities could become much quieter now after a team of scientists have come up with a more calming alternative to the traditional horn.
A team from South Korea, suggest that a horn resembling the sound of a duck quacking is a far more ‘pedestrian-friendly’ alternative to the typical angry-sounding horn most of us are used to.
Based on a remodelled classic klaxon horn making the ‘ah-oo-gah’ sound, first introduced in 1908, the sound was altered to resemble a duck quacking, supposedly attracting people’s attention in a far less stressful way.
A group of 100 volunteers had to listen to a range of sounds and evaluate them for different qualities, such as stress reduction and loudness. Oddly, the noise of a duck quacking came out best from the experiment.
Do You Have Some NoiseNews?
Previous NoiseNews Round-Ups
- NoiseNews Round-Up: Inconceivable! – Noise Dampens Chances of Getting Pregnant?
- NoiseNews Round-Up: Noisiest Dogs, Pokémon Go, Cinema Snacks & Opera
- NoiseNews: Something Fishy Going on in British Waters?
- NoiseNews Round-Up: Legoland, Silent Discos, Warring Councils & Dementia