The Sunday Magazine·The Sunday Edition

Is cutting out noise the answer to a stress-free life?

Poppy Szkiler is the founder of "Quiet Mark", which awards a seal of approval to manufacturers that create less noisy products.
Poppy Szkiler, founder of "Quiet Mark".

The World Health Organization has called noise pollution the second biggest environmental issue after air pollution, and for good reason. Exposure to unwanted sound is detrimental to our learning, health recovery, and mental and physical wellbeing. None of this would come as a surprise to the late John Connell.

In 1959, John Connell became fed-up with being assaulted by "noise pollution" in London, England. He founded The Noise Abatement Society. By 1960, his group had succeeded in getting the Noise Abatement Act passed through the British Parliament. It was the first time in the United Kingdom that noise became a statutory nuisance. 

Connell died in 1998, but today, his granddaughter, Poppy Szkiler, carries on his crusade to bring some peace and quiet to England, and to the world at large. She fights noise pollution wherever she finds it - in the office, on the street and at home.

Szkiler is the founder of "Quiet Mark", a not-for-profit arm of the Noise Abatement Society. It awards the "Quiet Mark" seal of approval to companies and manufacturers that create less noisy products, whether they are airplanes, hair dryers, food mixers or even musical instruments

She spoke to Michael Enright in January, 2016.


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