The Alarming Effects of Noise Pollution

Updated on January 31, 2018
eirofficial3112 profile image

Zett is a high school student who loves reading light novels, web novels, and manga. He also loves watching various movies and series.

As the human population constantly grows and technology gradually develops, environmental damage to the planet is expected as an unfortunate side-effect of human activity. Currently, the magnitude of the damage has been truly alarming.Tons of different types of waste are being accumulated and improperly discarded every day. Pollution has deeply affected numerous parts of the world. Some of the most common types of pollution include oil spills, smog, and deforestation. These are only a few examples of how the environment is being destroyed around the globe. Many forms of water, air, and land pollution have been negatively impacting the planet for years. However, in addition to the aforementioned forms of pollution, the lesser-known auditory threat of noise pollution has manifested and increased throughout the years.

A child covering her ears due to noisy surroundings.
A child covering her ears due to noisy surroundings. | Source

What Is Noise?

Noise comes from many sources. It can come from your neighbor's baby crying loudly in the middle of the night, your cellphone ringing during a class discussion, or a person shouting. The sounds that are produced by these sources are considered to be noises. But what exactly is noise?

Per definition, noise is simply an unwanted sound that is irritating and has a high volume that interferes with relaxation and communication. The definition is not limited to people and also includes sounds produced by animals and machines. Obviously, noises can be heard in crowded areas such as offices and busy streets. They can also occur as a result of loud activities.

Noise Levels
Noise Levels | Source

How Does Noise Impact Human Health and How Are Noise Levels Regulated?

Surprisingly, noise levels have been regulated. Noise is considered to be tolerable in less than 65 decibels (dB). On the other hand, 75 dB has been strictly implemented to be the official limit for sound industries and any sounds that surpass that level require protective measures to avoid potential health risks. Moreover, continuous exposure to a 95 dB sound, which is the sound produced by a moving train, could lead to several harmful effects on the human body.

The long and short term effects of exposure to noise have been subject to different studies globally. Naturally, urban dwellers are more affected by noise than rural dwellers because they are more prone to exposure. However, people living in rural areas are still prone to exposure to noise under different circumstances, such as living close to factories or working at jobs that expose them to noise. Though the levels of exposure to sound may vary, the impact on a person's health is usually the same. Exposure to sound pollution typically results in the following:

  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Stress
  • Permanent Hearing Loss
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Hypertension and Heart Failure
  • Stroke
  • Aggravated Depression
  • Irritation and Annoyance
  • Behavioral Changes
  • Muscular Tension
  • Concentration Loss
  • Low Performance Levels

In rare cases, long exposure to higher decibels of noise will cause death.

Based on a published report for the World Health Organization (WHO) by Stockholm University in 1995, noise levels near dwellings should not exceed 55 dB in order to protect the majority of people from experiencing both mentally and physically negative side effects. Therefore, 50 dB should be the maximum sound level. Though the aforementioned limit represents the ideal level of noise, unavoidable exposure to higher levels of noise will remain commonplace in the developed world in the years to come. Naturally, noise-exposure standards may be set at progressively higher levels, but efforts will continue to be made to reduce them.

Noise Level Regulation Procedures

Noise
Regulation
Road Traffic
Noise emission limits have been set for all new vehicles in order to reduce noise exposure. These limits have progressively lowered much of the car-produced noise pollution. Furthermore, most noise reduction efforts have improved car engines and new tire designs have also been implemented to reduce road noise.
Construction
Due to technological advancement, almost all of the machines used in construction produce less noise compared to the machines from previous years. Careful construction-planning, which includes a prior notice of the construction and environmental noise assessments that take the sort-term nature of most construction activities into account, has also taken effect.
Social Noise
Local authorities and activity planners cooperatively practice planning events in order to minimize the disturbance to residents and other non-participating individuals within the affected areas.
Railways
Due to the latest design innovations, modern high-speed trains create less noise than conventional trains. In addition to better train designs, it has also been recommended that railways should be placed underground to reduce the impact of noise exposure. Still, cautious planning of new routes and noise reduction procedures are needed to meet current environmental standards.
Aircraft
Normally, computer-generated noise exposure contours help indicate noise levels at any specific location within the vicinity of an airport. Computer modeling can also be used to evaluate the impact of changing noise levels.
Military Causes
Noises produced by guns and weaponry are unavoidable aspects of military activity. The use of weaponry and the accompanying noise levels can have a severe impact on the comfort and well-being of a community, therefore good public relations must be applied to minimize the adverse impact of military activity and presence in a community.

Sounds and noise are a natural part of life. Even though some of us might not notice it much, without it, we'd probably look like fools while trying our best to understand each other. Still, too much noise in our lives can have many negative consequences on our well-being. Let's appreciate sound and the role it plays in our lives while simultaneously acknowledging that noise pollution is a serious issue.

Sources

Your Sound Matters

Do you find this article helpful?

See results

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, soapboxie.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://soapboxie.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)