Causes and Effects of Noise Pollution
Environmental pollution is one of the most dangerous threats to human health. Whether it’s about the traffic, people talking on phones for 1-2 hours, loud music, driving horns, and many more have become a part of the urban culture. The extensive sounds in the environment lead to noise pollution that can cause hypertension, sleeping disorders, and even health-related issues. In this handout, you will find out the major causes and effects of noise pollution on human health.
What is Noise Pollution?
Noise is an unwanted or unpleasant sound that disrupts human beings. The presence of extensive unwanted sounds creates an imbalance in the environment that leads to noise pollution. Though advanced technology has made people’s life easier, it’s difficult to deny the fact that with the increasing development, noise pollution is also increasing at a rapid rate. The normal sound that the human ear can hear is 1 dB. From 30 dB to a massive 140 dB range is enormously dangerous to humans.
There are generally two types of noise pollution, namely; environmental noise pollution and man-made noise.
Environmental Noise: The kind of noise produced from the wide-range of environmental happenings refers to environmental noise. It can include thunderstorms, the mating calls of animals, and many more.
Man-made Noise: The sound created due to man-made activities refers to man-made noise and serve as the major reasons of noise pollution. It can include noise from vehicular traffic, construction work, household noise, and many more.
What are the Causes of Noise Pollution?
Industrialization: Most of the manufacturing companies and worldwide industries use big machines that can produce a large amount of noise. Apart from that, different equipment such as exhaust fans, compressors, grinding mills, and many more participates in producing big sound. The wide-ranging exposure to high levels of sound can damage the hearing abilities of the workers.
Transportation: Traffic serves as one of the major causes of sound pollution as numerous vehicles at the same time on the roads produce heavy noise. Apart from it, underground trains, aeroplanes flying over houses, and other transportation modes make it difficult for people to get adapted to high sound.
Construction Activities: The construction of buildings, stations, roads, dams, flyovers, and mining produces high noise. The sound produced can even hinder the hearing capacities of an individual exposed to the sound.
Social Events: Whether it’s a club, worship place, marriage, or any other social place, people usually create a nuisance that becomes the major cause of noise pollution. Playing songs on full volume can affect the hearing abilities of an individual who is frequently exposed to such sounds.
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The picture shows how a man working at the construction site is irritated with excessive sound.
What are the Effects of Noise Pollution?
Hearing Difficulties: Any unwanted sound that human ears have not been assembled to filter can cause hearing problems. For the normal hearing range, man-made noises such as traffic horns, aeroplanes, jackhammers, and many more can be too loud. Continuous exposure to loud levels of noise can straightforwardly result in the damage of eardrums and hence loss of hearing. Additionally, it can decrease the sensitivity of human ears to sound.
Sleeping Disorders: The high levels of sound can disturb the sleeping pattern of an individual and thus can lead to uncomfortable and irritation situations. The late-night parties, loud music in marriages, or other events can affect neighbour’s night sleep. They can experience fatigue over the next entire day. It becomes necessary to take actionable measures and adopting a healthy lifestyle to reduce the effect of sound pollution.
Health-related Issues: Undoubtedly, too much sound in the working areas like construction sites, offices, and even in the homes can affect psychological health. Disturbance of sleep, hypertension, aggressive behaviour, or stress can be associated with excessive sound levels. As a result, noise pollution can cause chronic health issues.
Cardiovascular Problems: The high-intensity sound can cause an increase in heartbeat rate and blood pressure as well. It is because extensive sound interrupts the normal blood flow and result in the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
How to Prevent Noise Pollution?
Sound pollution is dangerous to human health as it can result in loss of hearing, health issues, and many more. It has become a need of an hour to control the different causes of noise pollution. Some of the preventive measures to be taken to control noise pollution:
Large sounds like driving sirens in public places, including hospitals, teaching institutes must get banned.
It is essential to control the sound of music systems and should be limited to a desire.
The use of explosives in the forest, mining areas, and mountains should get banned.
1. For How Long can you Get Exposed to Loud Noise?
For humans, if they hear the sound of 85 dBA and more, then it causes hearing issues for our ear. It can entirely damage hearing. However, you can listen to a sound at 85 dBA for eight hours. However, if the limit goes beyond this, then you may listen up to 4 hours maximum. And if the sound wave is more than 90 dBA, then you can hear that sound maximum up to 2 hours. If you keep listening for a long time, then it damages your ear.
2. How can you Measure Noise Pollution?
The loudness of the sound is defined as a sound pressure level. You can measure the loudness of a sound in decibels. For a normal human year, he can hear a sound up to 140 dBA. However, sound in the range of 120 to 140 dBA may harm your ears with severe pain.