the toxic sound of silence
——高中进阶 (2018-2019学年第29期) 1版
the rubbish in cans, the ash dust floating in the air, and the clouds of exhaust from cars are all typical examples of the pollution we are forced to deal with in our everyday life. the effects and causes of such toxicity are clear and straightforward. however, there's a type of pollution that has only recently been addressed: noise pollution.
china, like many other countries, is taking action to solve this problem. the chinese environmental authorities recently released a report to raise people's awareness of noise pollution. according to the report, over a quarter of the cities in china suffer from excessive levels of noise at night, which means people in these areas are exposed to danger they are most likely unaware of.
for a sound to be considered toxic, it has to be at least 85 decibels (分贝). construction sites, planes and ambulance sirens (警报器) are just some of the everyday toxic sounds. such sounds affect people's health—even if the victims aren't aware of them. being exposed to long periods of loud noise can lead to multiple problems, affecting people both physically and mentally. some of the most evident issues include sleep deprivation, heart problems and hearing loss. tolerance of such pollution differs from person to person and finding the source isn't always easy, which makes fixing the problem even more difficult than finding out the symptoms.
i have had a few run-ins (争吵) with construction workers who decided that pounding (敲击) and drilling into my wall at 8 o'clock on a saturday morning was acceptable. this was a situation in which i woke up immediately and was aware i must deal with the terrible noises. a few phone calls and threats later, the workers were happy to wait a few hours before resuming their noise making. this is a common way of dealing with unpleasant noises in the united states.
however, while loud noises next door can be addressed on an individual basis, the ones we aren't aware of but cause health problems can't. this is why governments need to not only continue to warn their communities of the serious harm of noise pollution, but also take practical steps to control toxic sounds.
1. how much do you know about noise pollution? what sounds would you consider "toxic"?
2. do you think you are a victim of noise pollution? why or why not?
form groups and discuss how loud the following sounds are.
a pin dropping shower alarm clock
inside a subway car emergency vehicle siren firecracker
a pin dropping 10db shower 70db alarm clock 80db
inside a subway car 95db emergency vehicle siren 115 db firecracker 145db
1. the rubbish in cans, ..., and the clouds of exhaust from cars are all typical examples of the pollution we are forced to deal with in our everyday life. the effects and causes of such toxicity are clear and straightforward.
exhaust n. 废气
typical adj. 典型的，有代表性的
everyday adj. 日常的
effect n. 影响，作用
toxicity n. 毒性
straightforward adj. 简单的，易懂的
2. being exposed to long periods of loud noise can lead to multiple problems, ... some of the most evident issues include sleep deprivation, heart problems and hearing loss. tolerance of such pollution differs from person to person ...
expose v. 使暴露，使面临
multiple adj. 多种多样的
evident adj. 显而易见的
deprivation n. 丧失，剥夺
loss n. 丧失
tolerance n. 忍耐力，忍受程度
i. fill in the blanks with the proper forms of the given words.
1. are you suffering from a(n) ________ of stress in your life? (excessive)
2. there are plans to _____________ a new road bridge across the river. (construction)
3. the chinese say it's better to be ____________ of food for three days than tea for one. (deprivation)
4. "responsible leaders have a duty to calm tempers, heal division and work together to keep britain open, ____________ and united," said the u.k. liberal democrat leader tim farron. (tolerance)
5. in recent years, public ________ regarding the dangers of sugar is increasing daily. (aware)
key: 1. excess 2. construct 3. deprived
4. tolerant 5. awareness
ii. translate the following sentences into english.
1. we must take action to deal with the problem before it spreads to other areas.
2. i was not aware of her presence till she spoke to me.
3. animals that live near nuclear plants are being exposed to radiation we don’t know about.
i. choose the best answer.
1. what is probably the author's purpose in writing this article?
a. to explain to us what is noise pollution.
b. to complain about his noise-making neighbor.
c. to list the serious harm of noise pollution.
d. to call on governments to further control toxic noises.
2. according to the author, why are we sometimes unaware of noise pollution?
a. because the effects and causes of noise pollution are not very clear.
b. because governments have done little to address noise pollution.
c. because most of us are not able to tell if a sound is over 85 decibels.
d. because noise pollution is usually the most serious when we are asleep.
3. according to the article, noise pollution can ____.
① make us have a hard time falling asleep
② take away our good appetite for dinner
③ make it more likely for us to suffer from heart disease
④ deprive our ability to hear clearly
a. ①②③ b. ①②④ c. ①③④ d. ②③④
key: 1. d 2. a 3. c
ii. answer the following questions.
1. according to the article, how do people in the united states deal with loud noises next door?
a possible answer: they make a few phone calls (probably to the police) and threaten the noise-makers by themselves.
2. how does the author think we can address harmful noises that we are not aware of?
a possible answer: to urge governments to continue to raise people's awareness of noise pollution and take practical steps to control toxic noises.
according to the report, over a quarter of the cities in china suffer from excessive levels of noise at night, which ...
translate the following sentences into english.
1. three-quarters of the building was destroyed.
2. half of the wine comes from france.
3. ten percent of the population of egypt leads/lead a wealthy life.
4. one in 10 students are french language learners.
question for further discussion:
form groups and discuss how we can protect ourselves from noise pollution.
some of us think individuals can hardly do anything to prevent noise pollution, but louis and alice presented three very practical steps to shield ourselves from noise pollution. the first one is to keep our music at a moderate level, especially when we use headphones. the second step is to wear earplugs when we are involved in a loud activity. the last one is to tell our parents to minimize their use of motorized vehicles or appliances that contribute to noise pollution. if they drive to work, tell them to honk their horns less. our group is confident that by raising people's awareness of noise pollution, we will be able to have a quieter and more pleasant city.
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