What Is Noise Pollution?
When we hear the word “noise pollution,” the question arises, what is Noise Pollution? Noise Pollution occurs when an unpleasant sound to the human ears causes strain and pain, which can be unbearable.
Industrial factories and garages are an example of Noise Pollution where heavy sounds can be painful to the human ear. According to WHO (World Health Organization), the decibel level of over 80 decibels can be quite an unbearable discomfort to the human body.
Noise Pollution can adversely affect human health, in the form of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, hearing impairments, and partial deafness. Noise is everywhere. One of its most common sources is the roads and streets where public transport such as cars, buses, trains honk, leading to loud noise. Another major source, as mentioned before is the heavy machines in industrial factories and mills.
It can also affect the environment and marine life. When it comes to wildlife and the ecosystem, loud noise can trigger animals in jungles to behave more aggressively, leading them to think that their prey is around. Due to noise pollution, the invertebrates beneficial to the environment, and specific environmental processes are also negatively affected. In terms of marine life, noise pollution can also lead to a disease in marine animals called “the bends.”
Sources of Noise Pollution
Several factors can cause noise pollution. Therefore, the sources of noise pollution can be divided into three main sects.
- Industrial Causes – By industrial causes, we look at the heavy machinery that industrial factories, garages, and mills use. These can be extremely loud during operations, something which cannot be avoided even though they are unsafe for the workers in the industrial plants.
- Transport Sources – The streets of cities are where one can see a huge number of vehicles. Often when there’s massive traffic, one can hear cars, bikes, trams, and other vehicles honking all at the same time. Even at train stations or airports, the arrival and departure of trains and airplanes create a huge noise level, which can be pretty deafening to one’s ear.
- Neighborhood – Often, in noisy neighborhoods, people use loudspeakers or transistors that are loud and cause noise pollution.
Effects of Noise Pollution
Here we take a look at several effects of noise pollution on the environment that are seen worldwide.
- Audiological Effects – Noise Pollution can often affect the hearing mechanism. Due to excess noise, people can also become deaf and lose their sense of hearing.
- Biological Effects – It can affect the biological functioning of the body in various ways. Excess Noise Pollution can affect the human body in cardiovascular problems and myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, short-term memory loss, and nervous system disorder. Besides physical symptoms, psychological issues such as an erratic sleep schedule, depression, and mental stress are common.
- Behavioral Effects – Noise Pollution can affect the social interaction between individuals. This can lead to interfering with communication, causing irritation and other social problems.
- Affecting Biological Diversity – Due to heavy noises, pets and animals are often affected. Loud noise can lead to them behaving more aggressively.
- Affecting Marine Life – Human-made noise pollution can affect marine life with a disease called the bends, which can affect their lives.
Remedies to solve Noise Pollution
Several ways can help eliminate the various effects of noise pollution, and here are some of the easiest methods.
- Upgrading your house’s acoustic properties – When you want to remove unwanted noise from your house or room, a simple method is to increase the acoustic properties of your room and make it soundproof. This way, the noise that reaches you is much lesser. During professional music recordings, you will notice that all the live recordings take place in a completely soundproof room to prevent external noise from outside.
- Upgrading your home insulation – Through sound insulation testing that includes airborne tests and impact tests, you can understand how much sound enters your home.
- Using mats and carpets – To prevent external noise, you can also place carpets and rugs in your rooms since carpets can reduce the sound decibel level to close to 32 decibels.
- If excess noise affects your health, it is advised you get windows with thick glasses that can block the external noise from entering your house.
Effects of Noise Pollution on Human Health
Unwanted noise that is unpleasant to the ears can cause certain damage to the ears and its entirety to the human body. Here are some of the effects of noise pollution on human health.
- Dementia, a disease that shows a cognitive decline and leads to people forgetting things daily, is found in older adults. In some cases, noise pollution has brought about the onset of dementia in people.
- Excessive and loud noise can lead to psychological, physical, and mental illnesses in children from an early age. If a child uses headphones and listens to music at a very high volume, there is a high chance of getting a hearing impairment in one or both ears.
- Often when people stay near the main roads or streets, their sleep is never complete because of the honking on the streets by cars, trucks, and buses. Insufficient sleep can often lead to mental stress and being tired in general, which adversely affects health.
- Hearing loss is a common problem that is widespread and affects human health. Even musicians practice in a small room with their instruments at high levels; their ears can be damaged if they do not wear earplugs. This could lead to 40-60% deafness in both ears.
- Another issue caused due to noise pollution is cardiovascular dysfunctions such as high blood pressure and hypertension. This could also lead to heart attacks.
- Mental stress is often caused by continuous noise. It can often affect human beings in negative ways, which can lead to severe isolation and depression. This is one of the silent killers and the deadliest of effects of noise pollution on human health.
Here is a quick recap to summarise all the matters that have discussed Noise Pollution. Take a look below.
- When an unpleasant and disturbing sound hurts the human ears and is very loud, it is considered to be noise pollution.
- It can be found in industrial factories, garages, mills, and road traffic.
- It can cause audiological, biological, mental, and physical problems to the human being.
- Noise Pollution also affects wildlife by making animals aggressive when they hear a loud noise.
- It is one of the main reasons marine mammals develop a sickness called “the bends.”
- It can cause problems in terms of human health, such as hypertension, cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure, heart attacks, mental stress, hearing impairment, and partial deafness.
- Some of the remedies to Noise Pollution are to increase the acoustic properties of your home and make it soundproof. Insulation testing, which includes impact and airborne tests, is also essential. The use of rags and carpets on home floors can prevent the entry of external noise.
As seen above, noise pollution is caused by all types of activities that happen daily and also affects people in some way or another. However, the negative effects of noise pollution can be controlled to a large extent by resorting to proper methods, thus saving many lives.