Essay on Noise Pollution: Sources, Effects and Control!
Noise may not seem as harmful as the contamination of air or water, but it IS a pollution problem that affects human health and can contribute to a general deterioration of environmental quality. Noise is undesirable and unwanted sound. All sound is not noise. It may be considered as music to one person and may be noise to another.
Noise is defined as ‘unwanted or offensive sound that unreasonably intrudes into our daily activities’. Sound is measured in a unit called the decibel (dB). The permitted noise level is 125 decibels as per the Environment Protection Rules 1999.
Sources of Noise Pollution:
There are numerous sources but may be broadly classified into two classes such as indoor and outdoor:
Industries/factories, vehicular movements such as car, motor, truck, train, tempo, motor cycle, aircrafts, trains. Construction work defence equipment’s, explosions, playing of loudspeakers during various festivals etc. The higher the speed of an air craft’s the greater the noise pollution.
The invention of supersonic air craft’s has added more noise for the persons who live near aerodromes. Another source of noise pollution connected with aero planes has been scaring away of birds. Satellites are projected into space with the help of high explosive rockets also contributes to noise pollution.
Loudly played radio or music systems, and other electronic gadgets etc.
Effects of Noise Pollution:
a. Emotional or psychological effects — irritability, anxiety and stress. Lack of concentration and mental fatigue are significant health effects of noise.
b. It has been observed that the performance of school children is poor in comprehension tasks when schools are situated in busy areas of a city and suffer from noise pollution disturbance.
c. Interferes with normal auditory communication, it may mask auditory warning signals and hence increases the rate of accidents especially in industries.
d. The effects can range in severity from being extremely annoying to being extremely painful and hazardous lowers workers efficiency and productivity and higher accident rates on the job.
e. Physical damage to the ear and the temporary hearing loss often called a temporary threshold shift (TTS). People suffering from this condition will be unable to detect weak sounds. However, hearing ability is usually recovered within a month of exposure. Permanent loss, usually called Noise Induced Permanent Threshold Shift (NIPTS) represents a loss of hearing ability from which there is no recovery.
Below a sound level of 80 dB. hearing loss does not occur at all. However temporary effects are noticed at sound levels between 80 and 130 dB. About 50 percent of the people exposed to 95 dB sound levels at work will develop NIPTS and most people exposed to more than 105 dB will experience permanent hearing loss. A sound level of 150 dB or more can physically rupture the human eardrum and >180dB can kill a person.
f. In additions to hearing losses, excessive sound levels can cause harmful effect on the circulatory system by raising blood pressure and altering pulse rates.
Noise Control Techniques:
There are 4 fundamental ways in which noise can be controlled:
(1) Reduce noise at the source
(2) block the path of noise
(3) increase the path length and
(4) protect the recipient.
1. Reduce Noise at the Source:
a. Make sure that all openings are acoustically sealed. Noise, lake water rushes out through any cracks or openings. Muffling vehicles and machinery to reduce the noise.
b. In industries, different types of absorptive material can be used to control interior noise. Noise reduction can be done by using rigid sealed enclosures around machinery lined with acoustic absorbing material. Isolating machines and their enclosures from the floor using special spring mounts or absorbent mounts and pads and using flexible couplings for interior pipelines also contribute to reducing noise pollution at the source.
c. Regular and thorough maintenance of operating machinery. We should reduce mechanical run out of shafts. By reducing this source of vibration excitation many components like bearing gears and cans may generate less noise and have generate life. We must improve lubrications. We should install bearings correctly. Improper installation sometimes is the reason for bearing noise problems.
d. Traffic volume and speed also have significant effects on the overall sound. Example: doubling the speed increases the sound levels by about 9 dB and doubling the traffic volume (number of vehicles per hour) increases sound levels by about 3 dB. A smooth flow of traffic causes less noise than a stop-and-go traffic pattern. Thus proper highway planning and design are essential for controlling traffic noise.
e. Establishing lower speed limits for highways that pass through residential areas, limiting traffic volume and providing alternative routes for truck traffic are effective noise control measures.
f. Using efficient flow techniques: for reducing noise associated with high fluid velocities and turbulence.
g. Reducing fluid jet velocities: As jet noise is proportional to the eight power of jet velocity.
2. Block the path of noise:
Through construction of temporary/permanent barriers:
a. Planting of trees around houses can also act as effective noise barriers.
b. Highly absorptive interior finish material for walls, ceilings and floors can decrease indoor noise levels significantly.
3. Increasing the path length:
Increasing distance from the noise source and the recipient offers a passive means of control:
a. Municipal land- use ordinances pertaining to the location of airports make use of the attenuating effect of distance on sound levels.
4. Protect the recipient:
a. Use of earplugs and earmuffs. Specially designed earmuffs can reduce the sound level reaching the eardrum by as much as 40 dB.
Besides these in general making Legislation, Educating and bringing awareness in the people is common for control of any pollution Example: Ban on loud speakers from 10 pm to 6 pm.
What is Noise Pollution?
Noise pollution (also sound pollution, sound disturbance) refers to the excessive and troublesome sound that is injurious to health.
Noise pollution refers to the presence of such levels of noise or sound in the environment that are disturbing, irritating and annoying to living beings.
So, noise pollution is noise that causes discomfort and harm to living being’s mental and physical health. Such noise is considered harmful either physically or psychologically. It is one of the major cause for deafness and other health hazards. Even animals suffer from excessive environmental noise.
In this article, we will further discuss on the following sub-topics of Noise Pollution. Click on the links below to directly jump to the relevant section.
- Causes of Noise Pollution
- Effects of Noise Pollution
- Prevention of Noise Pollution
Causes of Noise pollution
Noise pollution can be caused by several phenomenon including industrial activity, and social activity (such as explosion of fire crackers, loud parties), and surface travel. The many causes of noise pollution are discussed below:
1. Fire crackers: Fire crackers are exploded to make huge sound during celebrations and festive occasions. It is common sight to witness the firing of crackers at live concerts.
2. Transportation vehicles: Noise pollution is severest in the cities. The different modes of transportation (land, air and water), such as motor-cars, buses, trains, trams, airplanes, etc. produces sound that disturbs the human mind.
3. Microphones: The unrestricted use of microphones during social and political events.
4. Loud speakers: During social events and other festive occasions, people use loud speakers in unjustified manner.
5. Factories and industries: In large cities, there are large number of factories, mills and industries. These industrial sites produce immense environmental noise to disturb the habitats of nearby residential areas.
6. Domestic appliances: Even at homes, people use large number of domestic appliances such as grinder, mixer, juicer, etc.
7. Loud music: Playing music in high volume,
8. Television: Television also causes sound and watching television for long hours in just as harmful for ears as they are for eyes.
9. Building and construction sites near residential areas: The building and construction activity involves use of sound producing equipment such as cement-mixer, road-roller, crane, etc.
All the above activities produce enough noise to disturb the health and mind of human-beings and other living bodies.
- What are the Causes of Noise Pollution?
- Sources of Noise Pollution
Effects of Noise Pollution
Noise pollution affects the human mind and body negatively. The ill-effects of noise pollution are many. It is the major cause for several ailments. The quality of human life gets disrupted. The lives of the children, the aged or the ailing people become miserable.
1. Loss of hearing and deafness: Noise above the tolerable threshold is the leading cause for loss of hearing and deafness.
2. Cardiac disturbance: Noise increase the risk of cardiac disturbance including coronary artery disease or ischemic heart disease (IHD).
3. Sleeplessness: Noise may make people restless and tired. It may cause disrupted sleeping pattern or may keep people away from sound sleep. In the long-term, due to tiredness and lack of sleep, the immune system may get compromised.
4. Headache: Human mind can tolerate sound only to a limited extent. Excess noise causes headache.
5. Stress, tension and aggressiveness: Loud noises can be very stressful. Constant exposure to irritating sound may cause stress and tension. The behavior of people often becomes aggressive. Other than psychological imbalance, is causes physical illness such as increased blood pressure, cardiac disturbance and insomnia.
6. Irregular blood pressure: For good health, it is very important to maintain normal pressure in the arteries both during the heartbeat and between the heartbeat. Noise may contribute to fluctuations in the levels of blood pressure.
7. Mental imbalance and nervous debility: Mental illness is among the worst negative effects of noise pollution. People may find it difficult to cope with their normal routine life. Human mind cannot accept sound beyond a certain level. Excess sound may lead to mental imbalance and nervous disability.
8. Psychological imbalance: It may also cause psychological imbalance.
9. Difficulty in talking: Due to excessive noise, it becomes very difficult to talk on roads or inside malls.
Also read: Negative Effects of Noise Pollution on Human Health
Prevention of Noise Pollution
Some effective measures should be taken too solve the problem. The following measures can be taken to prevent noise pollution:
- To prevent and control noise pollution it is necessary to create public awareness. Only law is not sufficient. People must be made aware of the harmful consequences of noise pollution.
- People should be made aware that excessive noise beyond certain limits may cause deafness.
- They should know that injuries caused by sound pollution are often irreversible.
- There should be minimum use of sound producing instruments. There should be proper regulations for the use of loudspeakers and other devices that produce noise beyond that are beyond the toleration limits of human-beings.
- The Pollution Control Board and the High Court have already taken effective measures to bring sound pollution under control. Adequate measures should be taken to ensure that noise related restrictions are not violated.
- Anti-pollution laws should be enacted and enforced.
- Ban of fire crackers should be imposed and electric horns should be replaced by bulb horns.
- The use of microphones should be controlled and regulated.
Noise pollution is real. It is not just a mild annoyance. It can negatively effect the lives of both humans and animals. It poses severs threats such as environmental hazards, health problems, habitat loss, etc. It also changes in the ways in which people cohere. As such, we should all make sure that we do not contribute to noise pollution.
Also read: Noise Pollution (in Wikipedia)
Category: Essays, Paragraphs and ArticlesTagged With: Noise Pollution, Pollution