Acoustiblok Soundproofing Blog Articles

WARNING: Secondhand Noise In the Area

Posted by Thomas Wiseman on Nov 7, 2013 6:05:00 PM

 noise, secondhand noise, Acoustiblok

It creates stress and stimulates aggression and other social behaviors. It causes headaches, makes you irritable, and can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. It can raise your blood pressure and cause heart disease and hearing loss over time.  Surely, this sounds like something that has to be dealt with. What is it? Noise. 

Where are the ad campaigns informing people of the dangers of excessive noise? Where are the public service announcements aimed at educating youth and adults about the health effects of constant loud noise? They are rarely seen. The closest thing we see or hear are warnings and announcements aimed at youths who listen to loud music in headphones. It's time to start spreading the word.  

Noise and Secondhand noise, AcoustiblokNoise that is experienced by people who did not produce it is called second hand-noise. Like secondhand smoke, secondhand noise can have negative impacts on people without their consent. Exposure to secondhand noise occurs in many places such as homes, the workplace, restaurants and bars, on a city street, at a park, and many other places we frequent. 

Some examples of secondhand noise include:

   -  An airplane flying over your house or place of residence

   -  Trains traveling near your home or workplace all day long   

-  Cars, trucks, tractor trailers, buses and motorcycles driving up and down the roads

   -  Construction workers using jack hammers or operating heavy equipment like bulldozers

   -  A constant humming noise of a neighbor’s loud HVAC unit running constantly

   -  A neighbor with a dog that barks constantly 

   -  Noise coming from excessively loud car stereos

   -  Loud noise from small engine powered landscaping machines.

We experience noise in a number of ways. On some occasions, we can be both the cause and the victim of noise, such as when we are operating noisy appliances or equipment. There are also instances when we experience noise generated by others just as people experience second-hand smoke. While in both instances, noises are equally damaging, second-hand noise is more troubling because it has negative impacts on us but is put into the environment by others, without our consent. And it’s nearly impossible to avoid these days. While noise regulations worldwide have helped regulate the amount of noise that a person or machine can create at a given time of the day, most police departments seem to be unwilling or unable to respond to noise-related problems in a way that provides any measure of genuine or timely control. The amount of man-made noise in the environment is still a serious problem. 

Let’s face it, eliminating secondhand noise is virtually impossible in the 21st century as things stand today. Even staying in your house or place of residence can’t keep secondhand noise out. It’s getting harder and harder to find quiet environments. While separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, opening windows, and ventilating buildings can eliminate secondhand smoke exposure, it’s much more difficult with sound and noise.  Unlike light waves, sound waves travel through walls of the places we live, work, and frequent. While it’s impossible to eliminate all noise in an environment, there are ways that you can mitigate the amount of entering walls of buildings.

More widespread use of sound mitigating materials in the structure of buildings at the construction phase would help give people a quieter place to escape too void of outside noises. Modern soundproofing materials such as Acoustiblok and Quietfiber for example, can reduce noise inside to a more comfortable level. 

Tags: soundproofing materials, secondhand noise, Effects of noise, health effects of noise, soundproofing, Noise pollution, noise

Silence the Ultimate Frontier. Or is it? - Part 1

Posted by Thomas Wiseman on Nov 1, 2013 4:39:00 PM

Acoustiblok blog

Outer Space the Ultimate Quiet

In the motion picture Gravity (2013), NASA astronaut Matt Kowalski and Dr. Ryan Stone are performing an outer space walk while performing repairs on the Hubble Telescope. Kowalski asks Dr. Stone, “What do you like best about this place?” Dr. Stone responds, “Silence.”

Outer space is the ultimate silent place. If you shouted in outer space, even the person right next to you would not be able to hear what you said. Why is this? Sound propagates (spreads) as pressure waves through a medium, such as air (gas), water (liquid) or solids such as metals, wood or glass. What we call "sound" is actually vibrations in the air. 

Acoustiblok BlogBecause space is almost vacuum (space that is empty of matter), there is no air and thus there is also no sound. So don’t bother trying to tell your astro-buddy that his space fly is down unless you’re communicating through a space suite communication device: He isn’t going to hear you. In the movie, Dr. Stone talks about how peaceful it is in space and she feels at peace with herself when she realizes that she might die in space after a debris field rendered their space shuttle useless for flight. 

Why does Dr. Ryan feel so peaceful in space by the lack of noise? It seems obvious to us, but I’m not sure most of us can truly appreciate what going from a world full of noise from cars, trucks, airplanes trains, construction equipment, generators, chillers constant human talking to a place void of sound.  

The decibel (abbreviated dB) is the unit used to measure the intensity of a sound. There is no such thing as zero when it comes to sound.  While zero decibels is technically demarcated as the threshold for the human ability to hear sound, some people can decipher sounds in the negative decibel range. Normal speaking voices are around 65 dB. A rock concert can be about 120 dB.

Owoman sleeping in bedn earth, there are few places where you can achieve a truly sound and noise-free environment. The typical quiet room — such as your bedroom late at night — has an ambient noise level of about 30 decibels, caused by the rustling of sheets, the hum of the air conditioner or heater, and similar sources of white noise. Imagine being in an environment where you can hear the fluids moving in your own body. 

describe the imageWhat if you want to measure how loud a consumer product is, for example a cell phone’s ring or the hum of an Xbox game system or computer, or a dishwasher. You are better off doing so in an environment with little to no ambient noise. Much of this type of testing is done in rooms called an anechoic chambers(left). 

Read more about anechoic chambers in Part 2 of this blog post coming very soon. 



Tags: noise-free environments, anechoic chambers, soundproofing materials, quiet, sound, Acoustiblok