Students from the tiny wood high school setting up air and sound pollution monitors in Jackson, Mississippi. Credit: Photo by Professor Erica Walker.

This post was originally published on Atlanta Voice

By Clayton Gutzmore

Hearing is one of the five senses we all possess but may take for granted. According to the American Academy of Audiology, the average person doesn’t start to lose their hearing until 65. That may vary based on how much sound we expose our ears to daily. Erica Walker and her team at the Community Noise Lab are bringing awareness to matters related to sound overexposure, called Noise Pollution. Walker is an RGSS assistant professor of epidemiology at the Brown University School of Public Health. Her research reveals how this affects your overall health and why we must take this subject seriously.

“Noise pollution isn’t just a first-world problem. It is a significant environmental stressor that’s negatively impacting the health and well-being of all of us,” said Walker.

Noise pollution is any unwanted sound that persists in our environment. Items under this umbrella are the sounds that come from major highways, construction sites, travel hubs or any sound that is deemed unwanted. This becomes a concern when too much noise pollution affects sleep quality, mood disruption, and hearing loss. Walker explains that noise is unwanted sound. When we are exposed to unwanted sound, it activates the body’s stress response. Overstimulation of the stress response causes cardiovascular and mental health issues to arise.

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