What Is Noise Pollution?
Noise pollution is unpleasant and undesirable noise, leading to adverse effects in humans or other living organisms. Sound is measured in logarithmic units called decibels (dB). Any noise above 65 decibels is defined as noise pollution.
There are two primary types of noise pollution:
- Man-made noise pollution includes construction noise, vehicular traffic, household noise, etc
- Environmental noise pollution includes thunderstorms, mating calls from animals, etc.
What are the Causes of Noise Pollution?
Various causes contribute to noise pollution. Following are some of the most popular causes:
- Industrialization: Most industries use heavy machines such as generators, mills, huge exhaust fans, which results in the production of unwanted noise. The industrialization has a major influence on noise pollution.
- Social Events: During social events, music is played at high volume which causes noise pollution in the vicinity.
- Vehicles: Increased number of vehicles on the road and traffic congestion contribute to noise pollution in urban areas.
- Construction activities: In the construction of bridges, dams, buildings, stations, roads, flyovers there is being used heavy machinery which leads to noise pollution.
- Air traffic noise: Flying aircraft can produce sounds of up to 130dB contributing to significant levels of noise pollution.
- Wildlife: Animals also contribute to sound pollution; for example, a barking dog can produce sound up to 60-80dB.
What are the Effects of Noise Pollution?
Noise pollution can be hazardous to human health when exposed for a longer period. Following are some of the effects of noise pollution:
- Constant exposure to loud sounds can easily damage eardrums and result in loss of hearing or deafness.
- Noise pollution disrupts the sleeping cycle leading to irritation and an uncomfortable state of mind.
- Noise pollution damages mental health leading to aggressive behavior, constant stress, fatigue, depression, anxiety, hysteria, and hypertension in humans and animals.
- Headaches, high blood pressure, respiratory agitation, racing pulse, and even heart attacks may occur due to noise pollution.
- Noise pollution affects communication between people.
- Animals face far more problems than humans. Animals become more aggressive and may experience behavioral change problems.
How to Prevent Noise Pollution?
Following are some of the preventive measures which can help in reducing noise pollution:
- Honking in public places should be banned.
- Fines for exceeding noise limits.
- Proper urban planning to separate residential areas from industrial areas.
- Governments should take measures to control sound levels in clubs, bars, parties, etc.
- Noise pollution can be prevented by planting more and more trees that absorb the noise.