Photo credit: Lisa Fotios
by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies
The number of studies that link noise to adverse health effects have been increasing the past few years. Concurrently, cities and towns around the world have recognized the link between noise and these adverse health effects and responded by passing bylaws and regulations to curb noise pollution. Now, we can add Wales to that list. A new bill passed recently by the Welsh government gives legislators greater power to reduce noise pollution and improve air quality.
This article notes how important it is for the Welsh government to have passed this bill in order to enhance the quality of our shared environment. These new policies will also protect the natural environment so that people can enjoy the sounds of nature. The legislation also includes information to promote greater awareness of the environment and the importance of healthy soundscapes.
Climate Change Minister Julie James said that preventative action is critical if we are to limit noise pollution and improve air quality. James stressed that it is necessary to educate future generations on how we can protect the environment. The Chief Medical Officer of Wales, Sir Frank Atherton, stressed the importance of the legislation in limiting the adverse health effects of poor air quality and noise.
I applaud the Wales government for supporting a cleaner and quieter environment. However, Americans are still waiting on legislation that will refund the Office of Noise Abatement and Control so that meaningful action can be taken in the United States to lessen noise pollution.