Noise Pollution

Noise pollution – Causes of Noise pollution , Effects of Noise pollution and prevention of noise pollution

what is noise ?

In simple terms, noise is unwanted sound. Noise is defined as, “the unwanted, unpleasant or disagreeable sound that causes discomfort to all living beings”.

Noise Units

The unit of sound level is decibel (dB). Noise level can range from 0 to more than 120 dB. The intensity of normal conversation sound ranges between 35 dB to 60 dB. Prolonged exposure to noise of 80 dB or more may lead to hearing impairment. A noise above 140 dB becomes painful.

The human ear can detect sounds in the frequency range of about 20 to 20,000 Hz, but for most people hearing is best in the range of 200 to 10,000 Hz. A sound of 50 Hz frequency, for example, is perceived to be very low-pitched, and a 15,000 – Hz sound is very high pitched. The World Health Organization recommends that the sound level indoors should be less than 30 db.

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What is noise pollution ?

Noise Pollution Definition : Noise pollution means an unwanted or undesirable sound that leads to physical and mental problems. Noise pollution is unpleasant noise created by people or machines that can be annoying, distracting, intrusive, and/or physically painful.

Noise pollution is dependent on the loudness and frequency of the sound. In fact, when the sound exceeds its limit, it becomes fatal for human and other organisms. The noise intensity is measured in decibels or db. A person can bear the noise up to 85 decibels, after which his hearing power can be damaged.

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Sources of noise pollution

Noise pollution can come from outdoor sources, such as various industries such as textile mills, heavy engineering establishments, printing presses, and vehicles (tanks, artillery, rocket launching, explosios), transport vehicles, domestic gadgets (mixers, exhaust, fans, desert coolers), entertaining equipments (radio, record players, television sets), public address system etc. The operations such as blasting, bulldozing, construction work, stone crushing etc. and use of crackers on festivals also contribute to noise pollution.

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list sources of noise pollution in your surrounding

  • Food Mixer 
  • Grinder 
  • Vacuum Cleaner 
  • Washing machine 
  • Air Conditioner 
  • Straighter and curlers 
  • Cooler 
  • TV 
  • iPods 
  • Loud speaker
  • Sounds from Motor Vehicles
  • Sounds from Musical Instruments
  • Car Alarms
  • Office Equipment
  • Factory Machinery
  • Construction Work
  • Appliances
  • Audio Instruments
  • Loud Speakers
  • Noise Created by People
  • Aircraft Noise
  • Noise from Rail Roads

Causes of noise pollution list

  • Industrialization
  • Poor Urban Planning
  • Social Events
  • Transportation
  • Construction Activities
  • Household Chores
  • Firework
  • Agricultural Machines
  • Defence Equipment and launching of satellites
  • Miscellaneous Sources

Causes of noise pollution in Detail

Industrialization : Most of the industries use big machines which are capable of producing noise. Apart from that, various equipment’s like compressors, generators, exhaust fans, grinding mills also participate in producing noise. 

Poor Urban Planning : : In most of the developing countries, poor urban planning also play a vital role. Congested houses, large families sharing small space, parking lots, street noise, honking, commercial zone leads to noise pollution which disrupts 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 nuisance in the area. People play songs on full volume and dance till midnight hich makes the condition of people living nearby pretty worse. In markets, you can see people selling clothes via making loud noise to attract the attention of people.

Transportation : Transport noise mainly consists of traffic noise from road, rail and aircraft. The number of automobiles on roads like motors, scooters, cars, motor cycles, buses, trucks and diesel engine vehicles have increased enormously in the recent past further aggravating the problem of transport noise.

Construction Activities : Under construction activities like mining, construction of bridges, dams, buildings, stations, roads, flyovers take place in almost every part of the world. These construction activities take place everyday as we need more buildings, bridges to accommodate more people and to reduce traffic congestion. The down point is that these construction equipments are too noisy.

Household Chores : The household is an industry in itself and is a source of many indoor noises such as the banging of doors, noise of playing children, crying of infants, moving of furniture, loud conversation of the inhabitants etc. Besides these are the entertainment equipment in the house, namely the radio, record-players and television sets. Domestic gadgets like the mixer-grinders, pressure cookers, desert coolers, air- conditioners, exhaust fans, vacuum cleaners, sewing and washing machines are all indoor sources of noise pollution. 

Firework : Firework is a common thing during various fairs, festivals and cultural ceremonies. Apart from air pollution, the intensity of their sound creates noise pollution. Even firework is used to in marriage, celebration, place of worship, people normally defy rules set by the local administration.

Agricultural Machines : Tractors, thrashers, harvesters, tube wells, powered tillers etc. have all made agriculture highly mechanical but at the same time highly noisy. Noise level 90 dB to 98 dB due to running of farm machines have been recorded in the state of Punjab.

Defence Equipment and launching of satellites: : A lot of noise pollution is added to the atmosphere by artillery, tanks, launching of rockets, explosions, exercising of military airplanes and shooting practices. Screams of jet engines and sonic booms have a deafening impact on the ears and in extreme cases have been known to shatter the window panes and old dilapidated buildings.

Miscellaneous Sources : The automobile repair shops, market places, schools, colleges, bus stands, and railway stations etc. are other sources of noise pollution.

Effect of noise pollution in short :

A noise is an undesirable sound. It has adverse effects on human beings, their environment, natural wild life and ecological system. The following are the ill-effects of noise pollution :

  • Repeated exposure to noise may cause hearing problem.
  • Noise causes irritation and effect sleep and work efficiency.
  • Noise causes headache, thus reducing concentration.
  • Sudden and high intensity sound level-affect the nervous system.
  • Noise pollution causes depression and fatigue which considerably reduce the efficiency of person.
  • Noise pollution disturbs sound and refreshing sleep.

Effect of noise pollution in Detail

Hearing Problems : Our ears can take in a certain range of sounds without getting damaged. Man made noises such as jackhammers, horns, machinery, airplanes and even vehicles can be too loud for our hearing range. Constant exposure to loud levels of noise can easily result in the damage of our ear drums and loss of hearing.

Health Issues : Excessive noise pollution in working areas such as offices, construction sites, bars and even in our homes can influence psychological health. Studies show that the occurrence of aggressive behavior, disturbance of sleep, constant stress, fatigue and hypertension can be linked to excessive noise levels. These in can cause more severe and chronic health issues later in life.

Sleeping Disorders : Loud noise can certainly hamper your sleeping pattern. Without a good night sleep, it may lead to problems related to fatigue and your performance may go down in office as well as at home. It is therefore recommended to take a sound sleep to give your body proper rest

Cardiovascular problems : Blood pressure levels, heart disease and stress-related heart problems are on the rise. Studies show that high-intensity noise causes high blood pressure and increases heart rate because it disrupts normal blood flow. Due to which we have to face heart related problem.

Trouble Communicating : High decibel noise can put trouble and may not allow two people to communicate freely. This may lead to misunderstanding and you may get difficult understanding the other person. Constant sharp noise can give you severe headache and disturb your emotional balance.

Effect on Wildlife : Wildlife faces far more problems than humans because noise pollution since they are more dependent on sound. Animals develop a better sense of hearing than us since their survival depends on it. The ill effects of excessive noise begin at home. Pets react more aggressively in households where there is constant noise. They become disoriented more easily and face many problems.

Noise Pollution Level and its Harmful Effects

Level (in db)Effects
up to 30No disturbance
30-60Stress, tension, psychological (illness, heart attack) effects especially at upper range.
60-90Damage to health, psychological and vegetative (disturbance in stomach-gall function, pains in muscles, high blood pressure, disturbance in sleeping)
90-120Damages to health and ontological (ear diseases) effects
Above 120Painful effects in long run

Control of noise pollution 

Following measures can be adopted to control noise pollution :

  • Noise producing industries, railway stations, aerodromes etc. should be located away from human settlements.
  • Proper lubrication and maintenance of machines can reduce noise pollution.
  • Noisy machines should be installed in sound-proof chambers.
  • Quieter machines should be fabricated to replace the noisy ones.
  • Noise by motor vehicles on roads can be reduced by planting several rows of coniferous trees.
  • There should be silence zones around residential areas, educational institutions and hospitals.
  • Use of loud-speakers and amplifiers should be restricted to a fixed intensity and fixed hours of the day.
  • Occupational exposure to noise can be reduced by using protective devices such as ear muffs or cotton plugs.
  • Personal protection against noise can be done by stuffing a bit of cotton in the ears or holding hands over ears under noisy conditions.
  • Legislation can ensure that sound production is minimized at various social functions. Unnecessary horn blowing should be restricted especially in the vehicle congested areas.

Control of noise pollution in detail :

a. Reducing the Noise Levels from Domestic Sectors : The domestic noise coming from radio, tape recorders, television sets, mixers, washing machines, cooking operations can be minimized by their selective and judicious operation. By usage of carpets or any absorbing material, the noise generated from felling of items in house can be minimized.

b. Maintenance of Automobiles : Regular servicing and tuning of vehicles will reduce the noise levels. Fixing of silencers to automobiles, two wheelers etc., will reduce the noise levels. 

c. Control over Vibrations : The vibrations of materials may be controlled using proper foundations, rubber padding etc. to reduce the noise levels caused by vibrations.

d. Low Voice Speaking : Speaking at low voices enough for communication reduces the excess noise levels. 

e. Maintenance of machines : Proper lubrication and maintenance of machines, vehicles etc. will reduce noise levels. For example, it is a common experience that, many parts of a vehicle will become loose while on a rugged path of journey. If these loose parts are not properly fitted, they will generate noise and cause annoyance to the driver/passenger. Similarly is the case of machines. Proper handling and regular maintenance is essential not only for noise control but also to improve the life of machine.

FAQ related to noise pollution

what is noise pollution ?

Noise pollution means an unwanted or undesirable sound that leads to physical and mental problems. Noise pollution is unpleasant noise created by people or machines that can be annoying, distracting, intrusive, and/or physically painful.

what is noise ?

In simple terms, noise is unwanted sound. Noise is defined as, “the unwanted, unpleasant or disagreeable sound that causes discomfort to all living beings”.

what are the effects of noise pollution ?

Repeated exposure to noise may cause hearing problem.
Noise causes irritation and effect sleep and work efficiency.
Noise causes headache, thus reducing concentration.
Sudden and high intensity sound level-affect the nervous system.
Noise pollution causes depression and fatigue which considerably reduce the efficiency of person.
Noise pollution disturbs sound and refreshing sleep.

how to reduce noise pollution ?

Noise producing industries, railway stations, aerodromes etc. should be located away from human settlements.
Proper lubrication and maintenance of machines can reduce noise pollution.
Noisy machines should be installed in sound-proof chambers.
Quieter machines should be fabricated to replace the noisy ones.
Noise by motor vehicles on roads can be reduced by planting several rows of coniferous trees.
There should be silence zones around residential areas, educational institutions and hospitals.
Use of loud-speakers and amplifiers should be restricted to a fixed intensity and fixed hours of the day.

what are the causes of noise pollution ?

Industrialization
Poor Urban Planning
Social Events
Transportation
Construction Activities
Household Chores
Firework
Miscellaneous Sources

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