• Written By Sagarika Swamy
  • Last Modified 27-10-2022

Noise Pollution: Concept, Causes, Effects & Prevention

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Noise Pollution: What do you understand by the word “Noise”? Noise means unwanted sound. It is also known as environmental noise or sound pollution. What kind of sound can cause noise pollution? How will you feel if you have to be amidst loud noise created by crackers for more than 8−10 hours? For some people, this sound of crackers may not be accepted as sound but what do think about others? Noise pollution is a big environmental hazard and it is very prevalent nowadays.

To understand noise pollution, people should realise the danger of noise pollution. So, let’s go through this article to understand more about noise pollution, its causes, effects, and prevention methods.

What is Noise Pollution?

Noise pollution refers to an unwanted or excessive sound that affects human health, wildlife and the environment. It is also known as sound pollution.

The intensity of noise is measured in decimals or \(\rm{dB}\). Humans can hear a conversation up to \(60\,\rm{dB}.\) According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) sound levels, less than \(70\,\rm{dB}\) are not damaging to living organisms regardless of how consistent the exposure is.

Does Noise Pollution Harm Only Human Ear?

The most acceptable sound a human ear can hear is \(1\,\rm{dB}.\) Exposure to sound more than \(8\) hours in the constant level beyond \(85\,\rm{dB}\) may be hazardous. Sound intensity of \(130\,\rm{dB}\) is the upper limit of the hearing threshold, and beyond this, it may damage the ear. Noise Pollution harms the human ear and brings blood pressure high, heart disorders, stress, etc. These health problems can affect all age groups, especially children.

Noise Pollution

Types of Noise Pollution

Noise Pollution occurs when the level of noise increases above the average level of noise in the environment. Excessive noise in the background is unsafe for living. A few types of noise pollution based on the source is listed below:

  1. Traffic Noise
  2. Air traffic Noise
  3. Noise from Construction sites
  4. Animals Noise
  5. Transport Noise
  6. Neighbourhood Noise
  7. Industrial Noise

Sources and Causes of Noise Pollution

The sources of noise pollution can be broadly classified into:

  1. Natural sources
  2. Human-made sources

Natural Sources: The natural sources of noise pollution are volcanic eruptions, the wild sea waves, a rush of rivers, thunder, roaring of animals, etc., They occur occasionally, but sometimes they are very damaging.

Sources of Noise Pollution
Sources of Noise Pollution

Man-made Sources: Man invented many machines for his convenience, which is now the primary cause of noise pollution. 

Man Made source of Noise Pollution
  1. The industrialisation has led to an increase in noise pollution. The use of heavy machinery such as generators, mills, exhaust fans, etc., produces unwanted noise.
  2. The increased number of automobiles on the roads are the second reason for noise pollution.
  3. Weddings and public gatherings involve loudspeakers which results in the production of unwanted noise.
  4. Mining, construction of buildings and roads, etc., cause noise pollution in the environment. 
  5. The use of firecrackers during festivals is also a source of noise pollution.
Man-made source of Noise Pollution
Man made source of Noise Pollution

Effects of Noise Pollution

1. Variation in Health: Noise pollution can cause respiratory problems, high blood pressure, and headaches. Extreme loudness can also lead to a heart attack in some cases.
2. Hearing Loss: If the sound level is above \(80\,\rm{dB}\), It can cause temporary or permanent deafness in people.

Effects of Noise Pollution

3. Sleep Disturbance: One cannot have proper sleep during the occasions such as Diwali etc., and if the regular noise is higher than \(45\,\rm{dB}\), the children, older adults, get disturbed with their sleep.

Effects of  Noise Pollution

4. Lack of Concentration: Noise may affect people’s ability to focus, leading to low performance over time. Increasing noise pollution day by day reduces the ability and quality of work.
5. Risk to Pregnant Women: If pregnant women are regularly subjected to noise pollution, they can have a risk of miscarriage.
6. Loud noise can have hidden effects on humans and animals, causing aggressive behaviour and irritability.

Effects of  Noise Pollution
Effects of Noise Pollution

Noise Pollution Solutions: How to Stop Noise Pollution?

  1. Honking in public places like teaching institutes, hospitals, etc., should be banned.
  2. The use of firecrackers during festivals, weddings, and parties should be reduced.
  3. Adequate soundproof systems should be installed in hospitals and industrial buildings.
  4. Dense trees and increased plantations can be useful in noise pollution prevention.
  5. Explosives should not be misused in forests, mountainous, and mining areas.
  6. There should be a separation between residential zones and sources of noise like airports, factories, and industries.
  7. One of the simplest ways you can protect yourself from unnecessary noise pollution is by wearing earplugs. 

Noise Pollution Facts

  1. About \(30\) million people in the United States are exposed to hazardous sound levels at their workplace every day, according to a study from 2005.
  2. In \(2015\), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that mining was the industry with the loudest work environment, followed by manufacturing and construction. About \(1\) in \(8\) of the workers in these and similar industries had hearing loss caused by their work environment.
  3. The American Journal of Preventive Medicine discovered just how much noisy traffic damages your hearing health. They conducted a study on the effect of noise pollution in College Park, Georgia. They found that this noise pollution disturbed \(11\% \) of the population during the day and \(4\% \) at night.
  4. Noise pollution has a huge negative effect on children. According to a New Scientist report, a \(24\)-month study of children living near an airport in Germany, they found that the children had long term memory loss and reading impairment. 
Noise Pollution Facts

Summary

Noise pollution is a serious threat to humans and wildlife. We must make people aware of the impacts of noise pollution and encourage them to adopt ways that do not contribute to noise pollution. If regular and drastic steps are not taken to prevent this, then it will become a very serious problem for future generations as well. Therefore, awareness of people about noise pollution is essential to beat this invisible energy.

FAQs on Noise Pollution

Following are some of the commonly asked questions on Noise Pollution which students may have in their mind

Q.1. What are the 3 main causes of noise pollution?
Ans: 1. Industrialisation has led to an increase in noise pollution. The use of heavy machinery such as generators, mills, exhaust fans, etc., produces unwanted noise.
2. The increased number of automobiles on the roads is the second reason for noise pollution.
3. Weddings and public gatherings involve loudspeakers which results in the production of unwanted noise. 

Q.2. What are noise pollution and its effects?
Ans: The unwanted or unpleasant sound that affects human health, wildlife, and the environment is called noise pollution. Variations in health, hearing loss, heart diseases, etc., are a few effects of noise pollution.

Q.3. How to control noise pollution?
Ans: 1. Honking in public places like teaching institutes, hospitals, etc., should be banned.
2. The use of firecrackers during festivals, weddings, and parties should be reduced.
3. Adequate soundproof systems should be installed in hospitals and industrial buildings.  

Q.4. How is noise pollution harmful to humans?
Ans: High blood pressure, loss of hearing, hypertension, etc., are a few of the diseases that are caused by the harmful effects of noise pollution.

Q.5. What are the sources of noise pollution?
Ans: There are two major sources of Noise Pollution: Natural sources and Man-made sources.

Now that you are provided with all the necessary information on Noise Pollution and we hope this detailed article is helpful to you. If you have any queries on Noise Pollution or in general about this article, ping us through the comment box below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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