Illinois Noise and Vibrations Abatement
Illinois Noise and Vibrations Abatement
Keep the volume down. Noise is slowly killing you.
Noise does not have to be loud to be harmful. Noise is any sound that bothers us. A hazard to our mental and physical well-being. Stress is the body's response to outside disturbances. A barking dog or a dripping faucet can trigger our body's responses: heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, the mouth dries, skin loses color, muscles contract, and blood cholesterol rises. Sustained stress reactions to noise can lead to hypertension and ischemic heart disease, sleep disruption, and diminished "quality of life." A constant gush of stress hormones actually restructures the brain, contributing to tumor development, heart disease, respiratory disorders, and more.
World Health Organization Ministerial Conference, declared noise pollution the number-two threat to public health, after air pollution. And the problem, directly related to anxiety.
Our current Illinois law, as follows, is not enforceable by the police department and needs to be addressed when called to assist on noise abatement:
(415 ILCS 5/23) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 1023) Sec. 23.
The General Assembly finds that excessive noise endangers physical and emotional health and well-being, interferes with legitimate business and recreational activities, increases construction costs, depresses property values, offends the senses, creates public nuisances, and in other respects reduces the quality of our environment. It is the purpose of this Title to prevent noise which creates a public nuisance. (Source: P.A. 76-2429.)
(415 ILCS 5/24) (from Ch. 111 1/2, par. 1024) Sec. 24. No person shall emit beyond the boundaries of his property any noise that unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of life or with any lawful business or activity, so as to violate any regulation or standard adopted by the Board under this Act. (Source: P.A. 76-2429.)
We need to do more. City of Chicago updated rules to include Noise and Vibration Control. This is the link to the kind of noise regulations we need throughout the state.
Where Chicago uses the “A-Weighting” scale, we need to be using the “C-Weighting” scale. Response of the human ear varies with the sound level. The A-Weighted response is used for most applications, C-Weighting is also available on many sound level meters. C-Weighting is usually used for Peak measurements and also in some entertainment noise measurement, where the transmission of bass noise can be a problem.
Include Measuring Time:
An extremely good rule referenced in the noise and vibrations control is: Standing at a distance measured for the property line of the property on which the source is located; and for a period not less than ten minutes in order to determine the average noise level over a ten-minute period.
Include Appropriate Decibel Levels:
According to the EPA, levels of 55 decibels identified for certain outdoor areas where human activity takes place and 45 decibels are associated with indoor residential areas are identified as preventing activity interference and annoyance.
Highlight Animal noise that is unreasonable and plainly audible from within nearby residential property may call for enforcement action if the noise occurs:
After 7:00 am and before 10:00 pm for a continuous period of 10 minutes or more.
After 10:00 pm and before 7:00 am for a continuous period of five minutes or more.
Motor Vehicles & Motorcycles:
The Noise Code prohibits excessive sound from the muffler or exhaust of motor vehicles operating on a public right-of-way where the speed limit is 35 mph or less.
Lawnmowers and Leaf Blowers:
Such machines must only be used between such hours:
Weekdays: 8:00 am and 7:00 pm (or until sunset, whichever occurs later).
Weekends and Holidays: 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.
Air Conditioners and Circulation Devices:
Poorly maintained air conditioners can generate unnecessary,
disruptive noise. Commercial and industrial air conditioners can be particularly noisy due to their size and location on rooftops near residential buildings. The Noise Code restricts the decibel levels created by air conditioners and other types of circulation devices.
A single circulating device may not produce noise levels in excess of 42 decibels, as measured three feet from the noise source at an open door or window of a nearby residence.
To account for the cooling needs of new construction or shifting building populations, the Noise Code limits buildings with multiple devices to a cumulative noise level of 45 decibels, as measured per the above standard.
Qualified inspectors may need to take several readings before
enforcement can be deemed necessary.
Boom Box/Stereo/Car Stereo:
Sometimes residents are disturbed by pervasive bass sounds that resonate and can be “felt physically” by a person.
• Bass sounds measurements are to be weighted in the “C” scale and may not exceed greater than 60 dB(C).
Parents are allowing large gatherings of children (we are not talking about young children that are not old enough to be on their own without supervision) to play sports in the neighborhoods and not setting rules “to keep the screaming down”. Frequent screaming by large groups of kids is very disruptive to the neighbors whether one is outside or inside resting, reading, or napping. You would think that the kids are being murdered or abducted, that then alerts a person to run to see what is happening. There are seniors and family members that are battling an illness and require reasonable sound tolerance.
These large children gathering are more advantageous to be taken to playgrounds. Community playgrounds, several available and accessible, are not being utilized these days. Children can work off energy and have fun without creating noise nuisance. The sound levels should be at the 55 decibels identified for outdoor areas where human activity takes place.
Purchase Adequate Meters:
We ask the villages to purchase several C-Weighting Meters and distribute so that it is readily available.
We ask the General Assembly, Illinois House Representative Kelly Burke and Illinois Senator Bill Cunningham to change/amend laws to include verbiage taken from the City of Chicago Rules, Noise and Vibrations Control and make it state wide.
New York has implemented noise abatement and includes enforceable laws for immediate action and resolution. We can use these laws to create the Illinois Noise Abatement and Control. Link is provided for reference: https://www.grownyc.org/noise/solving
What can governments do? Governments are encouraged to develop stricter laws and rigorously enforce already existing legislation regarding non-occupational noise. Governments can raise awareness about the issue through targeted public information campaigns highlighting the potential consequences of hearing loss.
Although governments do have an important role to play, it is true that at this stage while legislative measures related to environmental and occupational noise exposure are in place in many countries, relatively few countries have enacted specific legislation aimed at reducing recreational noise exposure. Then Ronald Reagan became President in 1981 and he essentially closed down the Office of Noise Abatement and Control in US EPA. He and his EPA administrator Anne Gorsuch declared that it was best to deal with noise issues at the state level, even though at that time many of the states depended on federal funding and direction for its anti-noise efforts.
The Industrial Revolution and urbanization in more recent times raised the decibel levels in our communities, especially with the growth in transportation on the roads, on the rails and in the air, as well as the growth of noise polluting products. The proliferation of boom cars, cell phones and wind turbines during the past twenty years has made our world even noisier. Studies have been carried out that have demonstrated the potential impact of these noises on our mental and physical health, and there have been some efforts to lessen some of the intrusive sounds, e.g., aircraft and road traffic noise, but there is still too little attention paid to the deleterious effects of noise.
CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: What Noises Cause Hearing Loss? | NCEH | CDC
Download Sound Level Meter App: New NIOSH Sound Level Meter App | | Blogs | CDC
City of Chicago Rules/ Noise and Vibrations Control: https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/depts/dol/rulesandregs/NoiseandVibrationControlFINAL.pdf
World Health Organization/ Make Listening Safe: https://www.who.int/pbd/deafness/activities/MLS/en/
EPA Identifies Noise Levels Affecting Health and Welfare/ https://archive.epa.gov/epa/aboutepa/epa-identifies-noise-levels-affecting-health-and-welfare.html
EPA/ Dealing with Barking Dogs: https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/noise/neighbourhood-noise/dealing-with-barking-dogs