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December 9, 1968

Noise Pollution

JAMA. 1968;206(11):2523. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150110071021

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To the Editor:—  I take exception to your editorial, "Noise Pollution" (205:928, 1968). Excessive noise is a very real social and medical problem. It interferes with our ability to carry on a conversation, it causes the ears and head to ache, and it causes mental and physical fatigue. Excess noise traumatizes the hearing apparatus causing variable degrees of deafness, frequently early in life. All too often the hearing loss occurs in the range of human conversation and thus does affect the ability to communicate. Deafness also may affect our ability to earn a living. I have been impressed by the psychological damage that occurs to a deaf person as a result of his inability to hear the accustomed noises of his environment. Further, the inability to communicate with his fellow men may cause emotional injury. Noise pollution is real and a damaging factor in our society.