Noise Pollution: Definition, Sources, And Effect

What Is Noise Pollution?

Noise pollution is generally defined as regular exposure to elevated sound levels that can cause adverse effects on humans or other living organisms. According to the World Health Organization, sound levels below 70 dB will not harm living organisms, regardless of how long or constant the exposure is.

Exposure to constant noise above 85 dB for more than 8 hours can be dangerous. If you work 8 hours a day in the immediate vicinity of a busy road or highway, you are very likely exposed to traffic noise levels of around 85 dB.

Causes Of Noise Pollution

There are many sources of noise pollution, but here are some of the main ones:

  • Traffic noise. Traffic noise accounts for most polluting noise in cities. For example, a car horn produces 90 dB and a bus produces 100 dB.
  • Air traffic noise. There are fewer aircraft flying over cities than there are cars on the roads, but the impact is greater: a single aircraft produces 130 dB.
  • Industrialization. Most of the industries use big machines which are capable of producing a large amount of noise.
  • Poor Urban Planning. Congested houses, large families sharing small space, fight over parking, frequent fights over basic amenities lead to noise pollution, which may disrupt the environment of society.
  • Social Events. Noise is at its peak in most of the social events. Whether it is marriage, parties, pub, disc or place of worship, people normally flout rules set by the local administration and create a nuisance in the area.
  • Construction sites. Building and car park construction and road and pavement resurfacing works are very noisy. For example, a pneumatic drill produces 110 dB.
  • Catering and night life. Bars, restaurants and terraces that spill outside when the weather is good can produce more than 100 dB. This includes noise from pubs and clubs.
  • Animals. Noise made by animals can go unnoticed, but a howling or barking dog, for example, can produce around 60-80 dB.
Noise Pollution

Effects Of Noise Pollution

As well as damaging our hearing by causing  tinnitus or deafness, constant loud noise can damage human health in many ways, particularly in the very young and the very old. Here are some of the main ones:

  • Hearing Problems. Constant exposure to loud levels of noise can easily result in the damage of our eardrums and loss of hearing, causing tinnitus or deafness. It also reduces our sensitivity to sounds that our ears pick up unconsciously to regulate our body’s rhythm.
  • Physical. Respiratory agitation, racing pulse, high blood pressure, headaches and, in case of extremely loud, constant noise, gastritis, colitis and even heart attacks.
  • Psychological. Noise can cause attacks of stress, fatigue, depression, anxiety and hysteria in both humans and animals.
  • Sleep and behavioural disorders. Noise above 45 dB stops you from falling asleep or sleeping properly. Remember that according to the World Health Organization it should be no more than 30 dB. Loud noise can have latent effects on our behaviour, causing aggressive behaviour and irritability.
  • Memory and concentration. Noise may affect people’s ability to focus, which can lead to low performance over time. It is also bad for the memory, making it hard to study.
  • Cardiovascular Issues. Blood pressure levels, cardiovascular disease, and stress-related heart problems are on the rise. Studies suggest that high-intensity noise causes high blood pressure and increases heartbeat rate as it disrupts the normal blood flow.
  • Effect on Wildlife. Wildlife faces far more problems than humans because of noise pollution since they are more dependent on sound. Animals develop a better sense of hearing than us since their survival depends on it.

Interestingly, our ears need more than 16 hours’ rest to make up for two hours of exposure to 100 dB.

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Solutions of the Noise Pollution

  • Reduce noise in your space: To avoid the ill effects of noise pollution, it is important that we reduce noise in our living and working places. This means reducing noise on your phone or other devices. If you are working, make sure that you can reduce the noise around you.
  • Turn off the electronics: Another way to reduce the problem of noise pollution is to turn off the electronics. This may include your smartphone or your computer or other electronic devices such as your TV. Turning off your smartphone periodically can provide great comfort.
  • Mask Noise: Another way to fight noise pollution is to mask the noise. This may mean that wind chimes or running water features are installed to create a peaceful sound environment. It is well known that our mind is very sensitive to such measures, which means that we can manipulate it so that we can better deal with the noise happening to us.
  • Close the Window: Another obvious measure against noise pollution is to close the windows only if the noise source is located outside. This is particularly relevant for people living on large roads or highways. The issue of noise pollution can be reduced to some extent by closing the windows.
  • Build a Fence: If you own a house and live in a noisy area, it may benefit you if you build a fence to reduce noise pollution. Since fences are noise barriers, installing them may be an appropriate measure to complete a quiet living space.
  • Plant trees: The same is true for trees. Trees are natural sound inhibitors that can cancel out noise and thus help you to calm your home.
  • Set up a quiet place: To fight the issue of noise pollution, setting up a quiet place is also a reasonable solution. Since we are exposed to noise almost every minute of our day, it would be beneficial to have some quiet place to relax. These quiet places can be set up at work or even at home.
  • Electric cars: Since cars that use fossil fuels run much higher than electric cars, switching to electric cars will reduce noise levels significantly.
  • Earplugs: Another common way to fight noise pollution is to wear earplugs. This may be an appropriate measure against noise, especially if you live in noisy areas or near highways. By using earplugs, the quality of your sleep can be greatly increased.
  • Headphones: Another measure of noise pollution is the use of headphones. This can be a fairly effective solution that is easy enough to integrate into your daily behavior. Especially at work, headphones have the advantage that they kill noise and also make phone calls easier. Thus, headphones can increase your productivity and reduce noise levels at the same time.
  • Government regulations: Another way to reduce the issue of noise pollution is to set government regulations. This may mean that the maximum level of noise is allowed for different tasks. It may also mean protecting some areas from noise.
  • Be Social: Each of us can reduce our noise levels and thus our noise pollution which we impose on others. If everyone does this kind of work, we can collectively reduce noise pollution in public places.
  • Education: Education is always the main source of fighting issues. This is also true for the problem of noise pollution. We must ensure that people understand that noise pollution can have dramatic adverse consequences for their health and the health of others. If people know this, they are more likely to adjust their behavior.
  • Explaining to others: We also have the responsibility to spread knowledge and convince others. So, that we can effectively fight the problem of noise pollution.

FAQs.

What is Noise Pollution?

Noise pollution is generally defined as regular exposure to elevated sound levels that may lead to adverse effects in humans or other living organisms. According to the World Health Organization, sound levels less than 70 dB are not damaging to living organisms, regardless of how long or consistent the exposure is.

What are the causes of Noise Pollution?

Causes Of Noise Pollution
1. Traffic noise.
2. Air traffic noise.
3. Industrialization.
4. Poor Urban Planning.
5. Social Events.
6. Construction sites.
7. Catering and nightlife.
8. Animals.

What are the Effect of Noise pollution?

Exposure to prolonged or excessive noise has been shown to cause a range of health problems ranging from stress, poor concentration, productivity losses in the workplace, and communication difficulties and fatigue from lack of sleep, to more serious issues such as cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, tinnitus.

How to Reduce Noise Pollution?

1. Turn off Appliances at Home and offices
2. Shut the Door when using noisy Machines
3. Use Earplugs
4. Lower the volume.
5. Stay away from the Noisy area.
6. Follow the Limits of the Noise level.
7. Control Noise level near sensitive areas
8. Go Green by planning trees.