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Medical News
January 25, 1964

Is Noise The Bane Of Life?

JAMA. 1964;187(4):36. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060170084040

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" Not ot bacteria, not viruses—but control of personal physical environment is the medical frontier of today," Lee E. Farr, MD of Houston, Texas, told physicians attending the AMA Clinical Meeting in Portland, Oregon last December.

He specifically cited "everyday noise" (ie, noise encountered in the home and in ordinary transit) as "among the unadvertised contributors to the detriment of man's environment."

Farr suggested that a new type of medical specialist—the personal environment physician—might be needed. "Individual control of a person's immediate environment to promote health and well-being or to avoid or mitigate illness, must be recognized as the physician's responsibility and prerogative and not an area of specific exercise of community police powers or extension of community health services."

As early as 1938, investigators had expressed the opinion that "noise deafness constitutes the most serious and tangible of the ill noise effects ( echeoses), but there is in addition a host