The contemporary society pays considerable attention to development of safe and favorable environment for people. The Noise Control Act is one of many regulatory documents aimed at controlling environmental hazards. The act reveals standards of noise emissions in workplace, commercial production, residential noise, etc. (Noise Control Act, 1996). According to the Act, EPA was responsible for development of research on the harm of noise.
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This research has played a significant role in development of numerous regulations. Thus, it has been found that noise tends to lead to hearing impairment, sleep disturbance, annoyance, cardiovascular disorders (Johnson, 2006).
Raichel (2006) also stresses that the Act has affected development of other regulatory acts aimed at diminishing noise pollution. It is also noteworthy that the Act includes detailed regulations applicable in a variety of settings. For instance, the Act regulates noise emissions of manufacturers as well as their products (Noise Control Act, 1996). Admittedly, these regulations have positively affected employees’ and consumers’ wellbeing.
The existence of the Act means that the government has acknowledged the hazards of noise pollution and tries to secure Americans’ rights. It is also important to add that manufacturers comply with the regulations provided in the Act and work on diminishing noise pollution.
Technological advances lead to creation of quieter machinery as well as commercial products. More so, people have acknowledged their right to have healthy and safe environment and often refer to the Act to improve the situation in their neighborhoods. A number of legal cases suggest that the Act works and helps people acquire safer environment (Harris et al., 2003). Hence, the Act has had a positive impact on the development of safer environment.
Nonetheless, it is also necessary to note that the Act has failed to live up to its major aims. Harris et al. (2003) emphasize that the act has become outdated. The US population is steadily increases. Therefore, noise pollution has also increased considerably. For instance, Harris et al. (2003) note that annual highway traffic growth is 3-4%. Increase in population also leads to growth of transportation noise emissions (aircraft, rail transport, etc.).
Admittedly, technology has changed significantly throughout decades and vehicles (aircraft, machinery, etc.) have become quitter. Nevertheless, the act issued in the 1970s can hardly address numerous novelties. At present, people have to move to suburban areas to escape from noise. Though, this measure is rather ineffective as even those areas are far from being noise-free.
Therefore, it is essential to reconsider the Act and start a new comprehensive research. The Act should also address major issues associated with noise emissions. It should include stricter regulations. More importantly, it is crucial to create an agency (or assign an existing agency, e.g. EPA) which will check whether regulations are met. The agency will also assist individuals who will try to diminish noise pollution in their neighborhoods or workplaces.
To sum up, it is possible to note that the Noise Control Act has contributed greatly to the development of research and regulations aimed at diminishing noise pollution. The Act ensures rights of people to have safe environment. Nonetheless, the Act has become outdated. The life is changing rapidly due to population growth and development of technology. There are numerous noise emissions sources which cause numerous noise-associated disorders. Hence, it is crucial to introduce certain changes and improve the Act.
Harris, A.S., Fleming, G.G., Lang, W.W., Schomer, P.D., & Wood, E.W. (2003). Reducing the impact of environmental noise on quality of life requires an effective national noise policy. Noise Control Engineering Journal, 51(3), 1-8.
Johnson, B.L. (2006). Environmental policy and public health. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Noise Control Act of 1972. (1996). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-noise-control-act
Raichel, D.R. (2006). The science and applications of acoustic. Fort Collins, CO: Springer.