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Fri, Jan 26



Noise: A Public Health Problem

This informational session provides an overview of noise as a public health problem.

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Noise: A Public Health Problem
Noise: A Public Health Problem

Time & Location

Jan 26, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM


About the event

In 2006, the US Surgeon General declared the "debate is over" – any form of secondhand smoke is harmful to health. Scientific evidence on harm from environmental noise has reached a similar tipping point. In the fifty plus years since environmental noise was first announced as a public health problem, little if any progress has been made in protecting the American public from its harmful effects largely due to the defunding of the federal Office of Noise Abatement and Control in 1982. Today, noise, labeled “the new secondhand smoke,” is threatening the health of one-third of all Americans. This informational session provides an overview of noise as a public health problem. It will discuss the state of the science on noise and its adverse health effects – auditory and non-auditory; Its nexus with climate and environmental impacts; worker and environmental justice issues; and the state of public policy.

Jamie Banks 

Jamie Banks, PhD, MSc is Founder and President of Quiet Communities. She is a health care and environmental scientist with an extensive background in health outcomes and economics, environmental behavior, and policy who brings a multi-faceted perspective to her work. During her career, she held senior consulting positions at Abt Associates, CRA International, and ML Strategies, the consulting arm of Mintz Levin working with the health care industry. In 2007, she turned her attention to environmental health and climate change, first founding Planet Rewards, a company pioneering a corporate platform to promote eco-friendly behaviors and then founding Quiet Communities in 2013, to help find solutions to problems of harmful noise and pollution affecting communities. In addition to her role at Quiet Communities, she chairs the Noise & Health Committee at the American Health Association (APHA) and is leading efforts to develop policy statements around noise and related pollution. The first APHA policy statement, Noise as a Public Health Hazard, was published in 2021. Jamie holds a PhD in Social Policy/Health Economics (University of Kent, UK), and earned Masters’ degrees from Dartmouth Medical School and MIT.

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