In advance of July 1st and July 4th, I would like to reiterate a point I made last January: noise is a weapon, not a “freedumb”. Noise in general, and fireworks specifically during these holidays, should be restricted, controlled, and prevented when it causes harm to others. People with PTSD, SPD, autism, misophonia, migraines, hearing loss and other conditions are strongly affected by excessive and unpredictable noise. Animals are also easily terrified, putting them and people around them at risk. I would also suggest reading the late Niki Massey’s take on fireworks, from July 2016.
From the Center for Hearing and Communication, emphasis mine:
“Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience. Noise must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere.”
– William H. Stewart, former U.S. Surgeon General
Studies correlate noise with physiological changes in sleep, blood pressure, and digestion, and have linked noise with a negative impact on the developing fetus.
Noise and mental health
We all know the stress created by unwanted sound. Even noise that may not be at hazardous levels to our hearing can make us tense and angry. Consider how irritating the simple dripping of a faucet can be in the middle of the night, let alone more intrusive noises. Studies have found noise to be associated with increased aggression (Donnerstein and Wilson, 1976) and less helpful behavior (Mathews and Cannon, 1975). Numerous articles in major newspapers have reported noise disputes leading to violence and in England, (August, 1995) the Daily Mirror reported that in the previous six years, 16 people or more were murdered or committed suicide due to chronic noise.