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Noise Pollution

Noise is a sound which is unwanted and has disagreeable musical quality, which is unwanted sound at the wrong place and at the wrong time. It is the sound which is undesirable and interferes with speech and hearing. It might be intense enough to damage hearing and may be annoying.

Noise is becoming a increasingly widespread and serious source of discomfort and danger. Prolonged exposure to high levels of noise proves harmful and may cause hearing loss and other effects like interfernce with speech, communication and sleep. It may also cause fatigue and reduction in work efficiency. The effects of noise depends on the intensity of sound waves, frequnecy of sound, age and health characteristics of an individual. 

Noise Pollution

The unit of measurement of intensity of sound is in decibel (dB). Human is very sensitive to a wide range of intensity from 0 to 180dB. 0dB is said to be the threshold of hearing while 140dB marks the threhold of pain. 

Related Calculators
calculate signal to noise ratio
 

Definition

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Noise pollution is defined as the disturbing or excessive noise that may cause harm to the activities and balance to human or animal life. It is considered as unwanted sounds which increase fatigue and some conditions can cause deafness. It has a damaging effect on human being and their environment and also causes disturbance to natural wildlife and ecological systems. 

Causes

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Road and rail traffic is the major cause of noise pollution. It also caused from industrial installation, construction sites and fixed recreation facilities. It is also caused by outdoor equipment which are used on constructional sites. Noise is also produced by household gadgets, vehicular traffic, jet planes, loud speakers, etc. 

Causes of Noise Pollution

Few major sources of noise pollution are : 

Household sources: 

Gadgets like food grinder, mixer, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, dryer, cooler, and air conditioners produce more noise and can prove injurious to health. Other domestic sources that cause noise pollution can be speakers of sound systems, televisions, iPods and earphones. Continuous barking of dogs can be disturbing. 

Loud Noise

Social events: 

Places of worship and social events like discos, gigs, parties create a lot of noise. In Market areas, people sell with loud shouting voices and speakers to lure customers causing noise. 

Commercial and industrial activities:

Industries like printing press, manufacturing industries, construction sites contribute a lot to noise pollution. It is necessary for workers to reduce exposure to heavy noise. Equipments like lawn mowers, tractors, and use of other noisy equipments cause noise. 

Transportation:

Flight of planes, jets, vehicles on road, trains constantly creates noise pollution. 

Effects

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Hearing Impairment: The immediate and a major effect of noise pollution is impairment of hearing. Noises above threshold levels cause damage to the eardrum. Long exposure to loud noise may result in hearing impairment which may become permanent. 

Apart from hearing impairment there are other effects caused by noise pollution as follows:
  • It causes anxiety and stress reaction and in extreme cases fright. 
  • There is increase in heart rate.
  • Increase in cholesterol and blood pressure. 
  • Constriction of blood vessels. 
  • Stomach disorders and digestive spasm. 
  • Dilation of pupil of the eye. 
  • It also interferes with peace of mind, behavior and proper communication. 
  • Nervousness, headache, irritability, fatigue and decrease in work efficiency can be caused due to noise pollution. 
  • It also affects the development of embryo in mother's womb. 
Effects on Wildlife: 
  • Noise pollution can have detrimental effects on wildlife. 
  • It can lead to changes in the delicate balance in predator and prey detection. 
  • It also interferes with the sounds of communication and in the relations to reproduction and navigation. 
  • Overexposure to noise can lead to temporary or permanent loss of hearing. 

Solutions

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Some of the effective solutions to control noise pollution are as follows:
  • Plantation of plant bushes and trees around the sound generating sources. Trees and plants block sound passage. 
  • Soundproof doors and windows can be installed. 
  • For the welfare of the community loudspeakers have to be banned to any cost. Strict laws should be imposed against people who install loudspeakers in public areas. 
  • Factories and residential areas should be located in far off places. 
  • Using technology like white noise which converts unbearable noise into pleasant sound. 
  • The machine quality can be optimized to reduce production of sound. 
  • Machinery has to be lubricated in order to minimize noise generation. 
  • Noise from music systems and television sets can be kept at moderate level. 
  • Ear protection devices are to be worn while working in high noise levels. 
  • Vehicles and machinery has to be maintained properly and checked from time to time. 
  • Sound insulation can be installed at the roof top, in order to reduce the aircraft noise. 
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