Local news and opinion reaching the communities of nosara, samarA and Nicoya
Log in |
Return to homepage
home regional community sports entertainment surf nature health en Espaņol English
     
Archives
December 09
January 2010
February 2010
Water Edition
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 10
October 10
November 10
December 10
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 11
October 11
November 11
December 11
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 12
October 12
November 12
December 12
January 13
February 13
March 13
April 13
May 13
 
Media
Partners
  El Pais
  Inside Costa Rica
  Costa Spirit
  Q Costa Rica
  Today Costa Rica
  El Sabanero
connect
FaceBook
Twitter
 
CLASSIFIEDS
 
community
  Nosara Animal Care
   
  Nosara Info
   
Esquelita de Nosara
  Friends of Nosara
   
  Nosara Civic Association
  Nosara
Wildlife

The Unseen Pollution

By Francisco Renick, M.D.

Music at intolerable levels, the neighbors screaming, a dog that just won't stop barking, the loud noise caused by a motorcycle's muffler...these sounds are all part of our daily lives, bringing us at times to the brink of despair, and causing a negative impact on our physical and emotional well-being.

Some time ago I heard a story that may sound familiar to some of you. A friend decided to attend a party at one of the big clubs (the so-called "mega bars") at the Fiestas de Palmares. As she got closer, she could hear the music growing louder, feeling how it made everything in its path vibrate. Once inside, the music was so loud that holding a conversation was nearly impossible (by the way, did you know that this is a commonly used marketing strategy designed so that customers will be unable to engage in a conversation and therefore will eat and drink more?). Finally, after several hours of being exposed to such high levels of noise she went home, taking along an unrelenting "buzz" or ringing in her ears and an intense pain. The next day she decided to visit the emergency room, her diagnosis: "acute acoustic trauma" or temporary, unilateral hearing loss.

While the above example occurred as a result of being exposed to extremely high levels of noise for an extended period of time, every day we are surrounded by all types of noises at different levels, many of which go almost unnoticed in our lives. However, all of them make up what is known as noise or sound pollution, which is excessive noise or sounds that disrupt normal environmental conditions.

Noise pollution is neither a new or local issue, it is, however, a problem that is not given the necessary attention. And just how serious is it? Very serious.

Constant exposure to noises and sounds that surround us causes a gradual and progressive hearing loss that is strongly linked to the frequency and volume of such noises. In addition to causing hearing loss, strong noises may lead to other health disorders, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, increased stress levels, hormonal imbalance and sleep disturbances. In addition, the constant presence of noise may interfere with a person's ability to concentrate, also causing learning disabilities, mood swings and a rise in aggressive behaviors.

For example, a 200 cubic centimeters motorcycle is capable of producing a noise between 90 and 95 decibels. According to regulations established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to noise levels over 75 to 85 decibels is considered severe, this being the case for a motorcycle, and may lead to sudden hearing impairment not only in its driver but also in people who are constantly exposed to this type of noise. In addition, exposure is considered significant when noise levels range between 65 and 75 dB, moderate when they go from 55 to 65 dB and mild when the noise emitted is below 55 dB.

In Costa Rica, the country's legislation in regards to this matter is unclear and permissive and most people's response to the problem is, "too bad if it bothers you; put up with it or leave". In the face of this reality, and especially during these festive days, where parties, music, firecrackers, concerts and other forms of celebration abound, we must all be aware of the health risks that constant, high-level noises pose to our health and quality of life, as well as to that of those around us. And consider this: perhaps a little peace and quiet will make the best gift for some during this holiday season.

 

 

More Health News

Hundreds benefited from Health Fair in Samara

About 400 people from Samara and surrounding communities turned out for the first health fair sponsored by the Blue Zone Community Foundation (FCZA) on Saturday, December 10th in the Natural Center Gym & Spa in Samara, taking advantage of free health services and informational discussions.

Tis' The Season To Forgive

The holidays are meant to symbolize a time of peace and joy, yet it it often stressful time fraught with conflict and pressure to give even when times are tough. One of the best (and free!) gifts to give both loved ones and yourself, is the gift of forgiveness.

Don't Miss the Health Fair and the Art Fair in Samara Dec.10th

Can you put a price on your health? How about free! That's right, on Saturday, December 10th the Blue Zone Community Foundation (FCZA) will host a health fair to celebrate community health in the Natural Center Gym & Spa next to the school in Samara. The fair will start at 7 AM until 4 PM.

 

 

Contact us: NOSARA [email protected] / PUBLICITY and ADVERTISING [email protected]
Copyright 2012© The Voice of Nosara