Noise Pollution Clearinghouse

NPC Online Library

The Noise Pollution Clearinghouse Online Library includes noise related articles from journals and books, and links to other noise resources. See Noise News for summaries of noise related articles appearing in major newspapers. Check out the Law Library, which includes proposed noise legislation and existing noise laws from federal, state, and municipal sources. You can Search the Library or use the list of titles and descriptions below to find the information you are seeking.

The Online Library is sponsored by Engineering Dynamics, Inc., Resolution Law Group, Illbruck, and Super Soundproofing Co.

Noise Forum-------Soundproofing Links

Alphabetical listing of titles with descriptions:

Assessment of Noise Annoyance, (2001). This paper provides an excellent critique of the FAA's reliance on 65 DNL. The author is the executive director of the Institute of Noise Control Engineers. If you don't already have it, you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file.

Aviation Noise Effects, (1985). This report, written by the FAA, summarizes the effects of aviation noise in many areas, ranging from human annoyance to impact on real estate values. It is a very informative document, with several graphs and explanatory figures. (This is a very long text, so wait for it load completely.)

Bibliography of Noise Publications 1972-1982. The EPA Noise Publications listed in this Bibliography are a composite of all materials developed and made available to the public from 1972 when EPA's Office of Noise Abatement and Control was established through 1982 when the Noise Program was phased out and the responsibility for Noise Abatement and Control was delegated back to State and local governments.

Classroom Acoustics. This booklet discusses in detail the features that make an acoustically sound classroom. It is a "resource for creating learning environments with desirable listening conditions."

Comments on Occupational Noise to the OSHA Standards Planning Committee (1994). This excellent paper is a previously unpublished document from a recognized expert which outlines specific recommendations to OSHA regarding reducing noise in the workplace. Several worthwhile books and articles are referenced.

Community Noise (1995). Published by the World Health Organization, this critical review studies the adverse effects of community noise, including interference with communication, noise-induced hearing loss, annoyance responses, and effects on sleep, the cardiovascular and psychophysiological systems, performance, productivity, and social behavior.
Dr. Louis Hagler's response to Community Noise.

Criteria for a Recommended Standard Occupational Noise Exposure - Revised Criteria (1996). The original NIOSH publication (1972) provided the basis for a recommended standard to reduce the risk of developing permanent hearing loss as a result of occupational noise exposure [NIOSH 1972]. NIOSH has now evaluated the latest scientific information and has revised some of its previous recommendations.

Denver Noise Survey, 1995, and Analysis of The Denver Noise Control Ordinance (1997). The Environmental Protection Division of Denver Department of Environmental Health conducted a community noise survey in the late Spring through the Fall of 1995. The objectives of the survey were to: 1) determine typical noise levels that exist in the types of premises for which Denver's Noise Control Ordinance sets maximum noise limits; 2) use the survey data to evaluate the adequacy of the noise ordinance to abate complaints and prevent further deterioration of the noise environment; 3) establish baseline noise levels at selected locations that could be resurveyed at regular intervals to monitor changes, and 4) develop a Denver noise map.

Dictionary of Noise Terms. This dictionary of terms related to noise and noise control is a useful tool for those who are investigating how to reduce the amount of noise pollution in their environment.

Drowning in Noise: Noise Costs of Jet Skis in America, (Komanoff and Shaw, 2000). Only bans on usage will curb jet ski noise, concludes Drowning in Noise: Noise Costs of Jet Skis in America, a 76-page report that is the product of two years of research and analysis by economist Charles Komanoff and mathematician Dr. Howard Shaw. Click here for a summary of Drowning in Noise.

The Dormant Noise Control Act And Options To Abate Noise Pollution (Shapiro, 1991). This report considers the future of noise abatement in the United States and what role EPA should play in that function.

Effects of Aircraft Noise and Sonic Booms on Domestic Animals and Wildlife: Bibliographic Abstracts. This report is a compilation of current knowledge of the impacts aircraft noise and sonic booms have on animals. Abstracts of over 150 studies are given.

Effects of Aircraft Noise and Sonic Booms on Domestic Animals and Wildlife: A Literature Synthesis (1988). This is a report compiling results of many studies researching noise and its effects on wildlife. The studies focused primarily on mammals and birds, but also includes fish, amphibians reptiles and invertebrates. A brief description of aircraft noise and sonic boom characteristics is also included.

Effects of Aircraft Noise and Sonic Booms on Fish and Wildlife: Results of a Survey of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species and Ecological Services Field Offices, Refuges, Hatcheries, and Research Centers (1988). This document presents the information provided by biologists and field managers at field installations of National Wildlife Refuges and other similar environments. It documents the effects overflights have on wildlife at the sites and gives recommendations to educate about the problems of overflights and how to deal with them.

Environmental Noise: The Invisible Pollutant, an article written by William Cavanaugh and Gregory Tocci of Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Inc. It reviews environmental noise descriptors and policy guidelines for abating environmental noise on which the scientific-technical community, governmental agencies, industry and consumer-public interest groups generally agree.

Environmental Noise booklet, put out by Bruer and Kjaer, is a great primer for those who want to learn about environmental noise, how it's measured, and what you can do about it. Please note, this page takes a VERY long time to load, so please be patient.

Flight Tracks. Flight Tracks is an excellent source for information on airport noise and environmental impacts. It is the newsletter of the Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare (AReCO), a grass roots organization made up of residents that are affected by noise, pollution and safety concerns caused by O'Hare International Airport located in Chicago, Illinois.

Future Noise Policy (European Commission, 1996). This paper discusses the noise situation, analyzes existing noise abatement actions, and provides a framework for noise policy in the European Union. You may also view the executive summary of this document.

Highway Traffic Noise (FHWA, 1980). This document provides an simple introduction to highway traffic noise. For a more detailed analysis, read Highway Traffic Noise in the United States: Problem and Response.

Highway Traffic Noise Analysis and Abatement: Policy and Guidance (FHWA, 1995). This document provides Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) policies and guidance for the analysis and abatement of highway traffic noise.

Highway Traffic Noise in the United States: Problem and Response (FHWA, 1997). This document provides a summary of the highway traffic noise problem in the United States and Federal Highway Administration's response to this problem.

Humane Society Suggestions for Dog Training. This article offers training techniques to quiet barking dogs.

Improving General Aviation Security. This is a report to Congress from the FAA after the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Information on Levels of Environmental Noise Requisite to Protect Public Health and Welfare with an Adequate Margin of Safety (EPA, 1974). This document is probably the most comprehensive study of noise in America. This document is very large. A shorter form of this document can be found below in "Protective Noise Levels."

An Introduction to Sound Basics. The subtitle for this 1987 document (revised 1999) reads "Acoustical Properties, Measurement, Analysis, Regulation". The document is useful to persons interested in finding out more about what Noise Pollution is and what its effects are, as well as how they may accurately measure the amount of noise in their environment. Laws and regulations particular to Minnesota are included. Very useful and informative.

Keep It Down (And Rediscover Silence). Most of us would agree that thoughtful behavior and common decency are in short supply, or simply forgotten in hurried lives of e-mails, cellphones, and multitasking. In Choosing Civility -- from which this excerpt is taken -- P.M. Forni identifies the twenty-five rules that are most essential in connecting effectively and happily with others, and provides examples of how to put each rule into practice.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Impulse Noise Study (1991). This document is a review of state efforts to control noise pollution and a review of literature regarding impulse noise.

Model Community Noise Ordinance from the Environmental Protection Agency.

MUZAK: Music to Whose Ears?:A brief overview of research commissioned by The Royal National Institute for Deaf People from December of 1998.

National Parks Overflights Act of 1997 (S268). This bill was introduced to the Senate by McCain of Arizona to regulate flights over national parks.

Noise: A Health Problem (1978). This document is a somewhat dated but still very helpful EPA document about noise and health.

Noise and Its Effects (1991). This report, written by a leading noise expert, provides the most comprehensive and up to date overview of the noise problem. It clearly illustrates the numerous reasons for concern about noise problems and provides an excellent noise bibliography.

Noise and Silence: The Soundscape and Spirituality (1995). This interesting paper discusses some early history of noise reduction in the urban environment, including limiting even the playing of church bells. It discusses how public perception of noise has changed, even though the environment may be no noisier today than two centuries ago.

Noise Busters. This is an article from the March 2001 issue of Smithsonian magazine on the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse by Richard & Joyce Wilkomir.

Noise Effects Handbook: A Desk Reference to Health and Welfare Effects of Noise (1981). This handbook, from the EPA's Office of Noise Abatement and Control, details the effects noise has on health in areas of communication, sleep, psychologically, physiologically and community among other things.

Noise Pollution: A Modern Plague (2007). This summary of the issue of noise pollution writen by Lisa Goines, RN and Louis Hagler, MD includes an excelent summary of the health effects of noise, and first appeared in the Southern Medical Journal in March, 2007.

Noise Pollution Clearinghouse Wildlife Fact Sheet. A brief fact sheet on the effects of noise on wildlife.

Noise, Sovereignty, and Civility (1999). Noise is an environmental health issue. Its causes are tied to the issues of sovereignty (who owns the air?) and civility (how should we treat our neighbors?). This article includes NPC's "Good Neighbor Policy."

Presidential Executive Order 12898--Environmental Justice. This Executive Order is useful for people who suspect that a community is being unfairly impacted by noise or other types of pollution.

Protective Noise Levels (1979). This document is the condensed version of the EPA's Levels Document. It is the basis of many current and existing noise regulations.

Quiet Communities Act of 1997 (H.R. 536). This document is the proposed bill, by House Rep Nita M. Lowey and co-sponsors, to reauthorize the EPA's Office of Noise Abatement and Control. Here are two letters supporting this bill, one from Rep. Nita Lowey, and the other from the National Resources Defense Council.

NPC's "Quiet Zone" newsletters.

  1. Summer 2001: This issue focuses on the problems associated with noise pollution, some of the worst examples, and ways to fight it.Adobe Acrobat PDF version
  2. Spring 2002: This issue focuses on boom cars, and the connection between aviation noise and safety.Adobe Acrobat PDF version
  3. Fall 2002: This issue focuses on building quiet classrooms for our youth.Adobe Acrobat PDF version
  4. Spring 2003: This issue focuses on the future of peace and quiet.Adobe Acrobat PDF version
  5. Fall 2003: This issue focuses on the "alarmingly useless" need for car alarms.Adobe Acrobat PDF version

Report to Congress: Report on Effects of Aircraft Overflights on the National Park System (1994). This report details a wide range of costs and benefits of overflights. Included in the report are effects overflights have on natural quiet as a natural resource, cultural and historic resources, wildlife, visitor enjoyment and safety. Values associated with tourist overflights are also taken into account. The report used information from surveys given to park manangers and visitors to the park on the ground and in the air. The report gives recommendations to reduce the impact of overflights on National Parks.

RCAA maintains an interesting and informative library on airport noise.

Sound Bites From The Past. This page is dedicated to articles and other material from the past that have significance related to noise.

Testimony of Grand Canyon Trust regarding National Parks Overflights and S. 268 (1997). This testimony given by Tom Robinson to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the United States Senate. He outlines the importance of the act and gives recommendations to improve upon the act even further.

Typical Noise Levels: Take a look at the noise levels of many common appliances and events around the house.

Urban Noise Survey (1977), an EPA national survey of public reaction to noise exposure in 24 urban settings (settings with unusually loud highway or airport noise were excluded).

 Other Interesting Reading On Our Site

Newletters From Noise Groups links to newsletters from grassroots groups around the country, providing insight into local and regional noise issues.

Noise Forum, contains essays from citizens and noise activists around the world.

Noise News, a feature for summaries of noise related articles appearing in major newspapers.

Law Library, library for federal noise legislation.

EPA Online Library, a resource for documents recovered from the EPA's Office of Noise Abatement and Control which Ronald Reagan shut down in the early 1980's .

Upcoming Conferences About Noise Issues

Interesting Reading on Other Sites

Airport Noise Report
The Airport Noise Report is a biweekly newsletter on litigation, regulations, and technological developments. It is written for airport or aviation industry professionals, elected officials, aviation consultants, and lawyers specializing in airport noise cases. It strives to provide insight into noise problems at airports throughout the country and help find effective ways to deal with noise problems.

American Academy of Otolaryngology: The Environment Our Mutual Concern

American Academy of Otolaryngology: Noise, Ears and Hearing Protection - The most comprehensive source on earth for information about chronic barking.

"Sound Transmission Through Windows", from the Canadian Building Digest, this gives a thorough treatment of typical window characteristics and their influence on sound transmission.

New England Journal of Medicine, a recent issue highlighted the effect of sleep loss on traffic accidents. This article has significant implications for noise in induced sleep loss.

Echoes is the quarterly newsletter of the Acoustical Society of America which covers current and topical happenings of general interest and features articles about current research and personalities in the acoustical field.

Frequently Asked Questions: Active Noise Control 

Noise Bibliography

Noise: A Hazard for the Fetus and Newborn.
This study provides information on the potential health effects of noise on the fetus and newborn, offering recommendations for government policy. Evidence collected since 1974 suggests that fetuses and newborns exposed to excessive noise may suffer noise-induced hearing loss and other health effects. This is an external link to a Policy Statement contained within the American Academy of Pediatrics website.

Noise Abatement in European Towns and Cities: Strategies, Concepts and Approaches for Local Noise Policy
The European Academy for the Urban Environment published this paper to help form and develop instruments in urban and traffic planning. They wish to establish integrated noise abatement measures as well as finance strategies to implement these measures at a local level. (Berlin, 1999).

Sierra Club Noise Policy

Sierra Club: Helicopter Tourism Over Hawaii