Blocking Noise, Blocking Mold, Protecting Health: An Interview with Natalia Chudy

by | Nov 28, 2022 | Issue 160, Issues | 0 comments

You're sitting in a quiet room enjoying a good book, when suddenly … RRRROOOOOAAAAARRRR!! The guy next door decides to let the neighborhood know he has a motorcycle! Unwanted...

You’re sitting in a quiet room enjoying a good book, when suddenly … RRRROOOOOAAAAARRRR!! The guy next door decides to let the neighborhood know he has a motorcycle!

Unwanted noise can be a nuisance; it can disrupt your plans for sleep or relaxation. Some noise is loud, grating and lasts long enough to affect your physical and mental health. Loud noise is especially a problem in workplaces such as manufacturing plants and machine shops with loud equipment constantly running, buildings near an airport or busy highways.

Natalia Chudy is an Acoustical Consultant at Florida-based Acoustiblok®, Inc., which sells noise-abatement materials for businesses, schools and other organizations with loud, disruptive noises generated from the inside or the outside. 

“I deal with many different types of clients and educate them on how noise affects your mental health and damages your hearing,” Chudy said. “Insomnia, depression, stress, anxiety, cognitive impairment, memory loss and more.”

A significant benefit of Acoustiblok products is that they do not develop mold, as other construction products can. Mold can severely affect some people with allergies and other health conditions. 

“We have mold-free, sound-blocking material to reduce room-to-room noise, as well as patented mold-free ceiling tiles,” she explained. 


About Natalia Chudy

Chudy has an MS (Summa Cum Laude) in Mental Health Counseling, certifications in medical sales and OSHA, and training in acoustics.

“Before this industry, I was in the medical field, working with surgeons in the ER. We were inventing new products that could be incorporated into minimally invasive surgery so patients could recover much quicker,” she shared.

She learned about mold the hard way.

“Mold was something that I stumbled upon accidentally by living in hot, humid Florida in two moldy houses. I always knew that mold was a problem, but I never understood the complexity of it and how much it really affects people until then,” Chudy explained.

It turned out that the products her employer, Acoustiblok, sells are mold-free, with a rating of 10, 10 being the highest achievable.

“I always explain that to customers. You get a lot of hurricane seasons, so there’s a lot of rain and water damage, and basically, mold is a huge problem here in Florida,” she shared.


The Noise Problem

“I’m passionate about acoustics because I know how much noise affects people. I have a sensitivity to noises disrupting sleep, for example. Loud noises wake me up, and I can’t go back to sleep,” Chudy explained.

Certain noises can affect us either physically, mentally or both. Just imagine a mosquito buzzing around your ear while trying to fall asleep. It won’t damage your hearing, but if you can’t find it, you might lose a night of sleep and end up grumpy the next day. 

Constant high-decibel noise in the workplace can damage your hearing and affect your health in other ways. Research shows that noise pollution can be linked to cardiovascular disease, sleep problems, stress levels, diabetes and memory problems. 


Helping Multiple Industries

“We work with a lot of companies that have to meet OSHA regulations,” Chudy said. “We work with industrial facilities, SCIF rooms, education centers, medical facilities that need to adhere to HIPPA compliance standards, emergency rooms,  ICU units, labor rooms, and more.”

Acoustiblok sells to customers in commercial, industrial, residential, marine and transportation settings, each with its unique noise issues.

“We even do veterinary offices, dog hotels and dog boarding places,” Chudy shared. “Dogs are very sensitive to noise. Loud noise can stress dogs out, cause anxiety, aggression, make them lose weight and shed fur. Soundproofing these places creates a safer and more peaceful environment for them.”


A Welcome Solution for Children with Autism

Acoustiblok recently offered its sound-abatement abilities to help a family whose children have autism by creating a ‘sensory room.’ Their contribution provided the child with a room designed for significant noise reduction. As a result, the family reported fewer and less severe meltdowns. The room clearly provided relief for the child. 

“We have created sensory rooms for children with autism who are very sensitive to noise and have a lot of side effects from loud spaces,” Chudy explained. “Some of these sensory rooms can also be a safe timeout area in places such as airports, busy parks or schools, where the children may become overwhelmed.”


The Mold Problem

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of experiencing a flood or roof leak in your home, you probably know how quickly mold can grow and spread if you don’t take care of the affected parts of the house right away. And if mold does set in, you or someone in your home may be subjected to an array of health issues. 

Many building materials are conducive to mold growth when wet —drywall, ceiling tiles, paper and wood products, insulation, carpet fabrics and even paint. Acoustiblok’s products; however, will not grow mold. 

“I realized how important it is, especially in hospitals, education centers, children’s homes and nursing homes, to have mold-free products in the building materials because they can cause so many health problems,” Chudy explained.


What Health Problems Can Mold Cause?

“Almost 25% of the worldwide population has a predisposed gene that makes them susceptible to mold toxicity,” Chudy shared. “Meaning, if they’re in contact with mold for a prolonged period of time, they will become sick with symptoms similar to COVID-19.”

People with a sensitivity to mold typically exhibit symptoms such as congestion, itchy eyes, skin rashes and breathing issues. Studies suggest that it may even lead to asthma in children. For people with conditions such as immunosuppression or respiratory disease, more severe reactions, like fungal infection, breathing problems, rashes, hives and even vision problems, are possible.

“Mold is even more detrimental to developing children. It can cause permanent asthma and learning disabilities,” Chudy explained.


Acoustiblok Provides Health Solutions

“Our products don’t just block sound like other sound-blocking products. Instead, they transform low-frequency sound waves into mechanical movement and internal friction energy. As a result, we reduce noise from construction, roads, machinery, the room next door and more,” Chudy shared.

Acoustiblok products help protect from noise pollution’s harmful physical and psychological effects.

“Our mold-free, sound-blocking products help protect from health problems linked to exposure to mold,” she concluded.

Acoustiblok products can be incorporated into almost any industry. Chudy hopes that its sound-blocking and mold-free properties will be mandatory in all building materials in the future. Our health will undoubtedly benefit from them.

Gaye Newton

Gaye Newton