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What A Racket!

What you really need to know.

This story appears in the June 1998 issue of

Barking dogs. Screaming kids. Those now-infamous leaf blowers. Your neighbor's blaring radio.

What do the above have in common? That's right--noise. And unfortunately, noise seems to be an inescapable part of our daily lives. Hearing loss is on the rise, and according to Newsweek, more than 20 million Americans are regularly exposed to dangerous noise levels. From street traffic to airplanes to lawn mowers, noise surrounds us day in and day out. And urban areas--home to countless homebased businesses--are most at risk. Consider this: The ambient noise level in our big cities increases one decibel every decade, says acoustical scientist David Lubman.

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