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Noise Expert Says Government and Citizens Must Insist on Anti-Noise Methods


Though New York City is among only a few metropolitan areas to have noise codes, it has not kept up with the growth of noise problems, an expert said March 6 at Fordham University.

“Resident complaints about noisy aircraft have increased tremendously in the past 10 years, but neither federal nor local governments have responded,” said Arline Bronzaft, Ph.D., an environmental psychologist who’s a member of the Council on the Environment of New York City. “We simply don’t fund noise research in this country.”

Bronzaft, a professor emerita at Lehman College, City University of New York, discussed how noise can impede the ability of children to learn, cause stress and set off other physiological responses, such as increased blood pressure, changes in heart rhythms or an excessive secretion of hormones.

Often referred to as the “the noise lady” because her research was instrumental in creating New York City’s noise code in the 1970s, Bronzaft said citizens must urge lawmakers and police to enforce measures that are in place to keep tabs on noise.

“You see the signs banning car honking, but it happens anyway,” she said. “New York City is a city of vibrant sounds, and we don’t want it to be a quiet city, but we must do something to lessen the din.”

Bronzaft was a guest at an urban psychology class taught by Harold Takooshian, Ph.D., professor of psychology. Her talk was a part of the Fordham Urban Studies Lecture Series on New York City, which is supported partially by the FCLC Dean’s Challenge Grant.


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