The May 19 letter “Noise hurts more than your ears” focused on the impact of noise pollution, including cardiovascular effects of sound over 50 decibels, researched by the now-defunct Office of Noise Abatement, which was part of the Environmental Protection Agency. The letter also mentioned that the European Union sets standards of decibels of 40 at night and 50 during the day.

I saved the May 6 Washington Post Magazine, which included restaurant critic Tom Sietsema’s Spring Dining Guide. It was interesting to chart decibels measured in the restaurants Sietsema reviewed. Five measured 70 or under, which Sietsema listed as allowing patrons to converse with others at their table comfortably. Eighteen, measured at 71 to 80 decibels, were described as venues in which one must speak “with raised voices” in order to carry on a conversation. Seven measured above 80, which Sietsema listed as “extremely loud.” In these restaurants, it would perhaps be easier to just listen to those shouting at the next table.

Lots of good eating; quiet conversations, not so much.

Patricia Parker, Manassas