Katie Couric's Notebook: Noise

Take a walk outside and listen. 

Even if you're not in a big city between cars, trucks, abd your neighbor's leaf blower - it's noisy.

Well, now the National Academy of Engineering is making some noise of its own about turning down the volume.

The Academy, an independent organization that advises the government, is out with a series of recommendations that includes labeling products for noise levels. It wants communities to consider sound barriers and quieter road surfaces. It also wants lower limits on noise in the workplace.

These changes would come at a cost, of course, at a time when businesses and governments have little to spare. But the issue is important.

A louder soundtrack to life is a problem across the country. Many everyday sounds ... anything noisier than a vacuum cleaner ... can cause hearing loss over time ... and that's a message that needs to come across ... loud and clear.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.