Noise Pollution: A growing menace

The term ”pollution” refers to the negative impact that any substance can have over the ecosystem. The substances that contaminate the atmosphere causing damage to the biodiversity are called pollutants. Pollutants are basically referred to as components of pollution or energies that play a key role in contaminating the environment, thus, causing pollution. There are different types of pollution namely Air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, light pollution and soil pollution. They are coexisting in the natural form in our ecosystem and are considered as the primitive types of pollution.

Noise pollution is a Primary type of pollution as sound is present in our environment in a natural form. Not all sounds are considered as Noise pollution.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), noise above 65 decibels (dB) is specified as noise pollution. A sound becomes toxic when it exceeds 75 decibels (dB) and is said to be harmful to our ecosystem above 120 dB. As a result, it is necessary that the noise levels are kept below 65 dB during the day. Also, a calming sleep is impossible with nighttime ambient noise if it exceeds 30 dB.

When a human being is exposed to a sound beyond the person’s listening ability, it is known as unwanted sound. Regular exposure to unwanted sound can have a harmful and negative effect on a person health. There are four different types of noise: continous,intermittent,impuslive and low-frequency. Continuous noise refers to the noise that is produced continuously by machinery that does not stop working while intermittent noise refers to the quick elevation and drop in the noise level or the volume produced. Impulsive noise is defined as an immediate and fast volume of sound produced in nature. Low-frequency noise refers to the noise in the background that we hear in our surroundings.

Noise pollution is mainly caused by outdoor propagation systems. It can be classified into three main categories namely industrial, transport and neighbourhood. Industrial noise is caused by the operation of industrial machinery and equipment which tend to produce continuous or impulsive levels of sound. Transport noise is caused by the relentless honking of vehicles causing chaotic situation on the roads when there is a heavy traffic jam in an area. Intermittent noise is also one of the factors contributing to transport noise. The third type of noise pollution is neighbourhood noise. This refers to the noise made in the surrounding or neighbourhood on a daily basis such as the use of electronic appliances, household chores and everyday conversations. 

Effects of Noise Pollution on human health:     Noise pollution can have an adverse effect on human life as well as animal life.It can cause tinnitus or temporary deafness, high blood pressure, constant headache, respiratory agitation and racing pulse.In case of extremely loud and constant sound-gastritis, colitis and even heart attacks.

It can also affect psychological health by causing anxiety, depression and hysteria in humans as well as animals.

It also causes sleep apnea and sleep-related disorders. High decibels of sound can contribute to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Long term consequences include Noise-induced Hearing Loss(NIHL). Noise affects the brain’s responsive behaviour and a person’s ability to focus, which can lead to low-performance levels in an individual and can affect a person’s comprehensive growth.

Due to increasing levels of noise pollution, it has become a matter of concern to take preventive measures against it and protect our environment.

Noise pollution can be curbed by taking a few rational measures,

Starting from your own house-.   

1.Soundproof your windows.             

2.Learn meditation and start adopting it in your daily life to acquire some peace. This helps in calming your mind and also helps your body stay healthy.

 3.Using earplugs and noise-cancelling headphones to avoid unnecessary neighbourhood noise.  

 4.Checking your vehicles and repairing them if needed to avoid any form of noise pollution.              

Such changes in your household and surrounding will make the environment peaceful and a better place to live in.

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