Sound Pollution is an unwanted or excessive sound that can have deleterious effects on human health and environmental quality. Noise pollution is commonly generated inside many industrial facilities and some other workplaces, but it also comes from the highway, railway, and airplane traffic and from outdoor construction activities. Noise pollution is an invisible danger. It cannot be seen, but it is present nonetheless, both on land and under the sea. Noise pollution is considered to be any unwanted or disturbing sound that affects the health and well-being of humans and other organisms.
Noise pollution impacts millions of people on a daily basis. The most common health problem it causes is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. Exposure to loud noise can also cause high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disturbances, and stress. These health problems can affect all age groups, especially children. Many children who live near noisy airports or streets have been found to suffer from stress and other problems, such as impairments in memory, attention level, and reading skills.
Sound is typically described in terms of the loudness and the pitch of the wave. Loudness is measured in logarithmic units called decibels (dB). The normal human ear can detect sounds that range between 0 dB–140 dB, with sounds between 120dB and 140 dB causing pain.
Sources of Sound Pollution
- Industrialization: Industrialisation has led to an increase in noise pollution as the use of heavy machinery such as generators, mills, huge exhaust fans are used, resulting in the production of unwanted noise.
- Vehicles: Increased number of vehicles on the roads is the second reason for noise pollution.
- Events: Weddings, public gatherings involve loudspeakers to play music resulting in the production of unwanted noise in the neighborhood.
- Construction sites: Mining, construction of buildings, etc add to noise pollution.
Effects of Noise Pollution
- Hypertension: It is a direct result of noise pollution which is caused due to elevated blood levels for a longer duration.
- Hearing loss: Constant exposure of human ears to loud noise that is beyond the range of sound that human ears can withstand damages the eardrums resulting in loss of hearing.
- Sleeping disorders: Lack of sleep might result in fatigue and low energy level throughout the day affecting everyday activities. Noise pollution hampers the sleep cycles leading to irritation and an uncomfortable state of mind.
- Cardiovascular issues: Heart-related problems such as blood pressure level, stress, and cardiovascular diseases might come up in a normal person, and a person suffering from any of these diseases might feel the sudden shoot up in the level.