Pollution of all kinds has been hurting the environment, animals, and people for years on end. One of the popular types of pollution that mainly affect humans is noise pollution. Noise pollution is the disruption of normal sounds of the environment or a specific surrounding with other unwanted sounds or ‘noises.’ Although it is more or less a term for a relative phenomenon, in several cases, all the people in a particular situation can agree to the fact that annoying noise is polluting their otherwise normal-sounding environment.
Noise pollution in an area often emanates from a single noise source, although there are some cases where the noise could be coming from more than one source. It can either be prevented in the future or silenced in some way to reduce the overall annoyance factor and disturbance to people in that surrounding. There are several ways to do so and thereby reduce the ill effects of said noise pollution.
Sources of Noise Pollution
Several factors pose as the sources for noise pollution, which can be vaguely put into two categories – external sources of noise and indoor sources of noise. As the name suggests, external sources of noise refer to those sources that can be found outside someone’s home, office, or any other indoor facility. These include the noise from factories, roads, construction sites, and airports, to name a few. Internal or indoor sources of noise, on the other hand, refer to noise pollution that is caused within someone’s office, home, etc.
Industrialization led to several benefits for the human race as a whole and resulted in the production of noise pollution in the environment. This noise pollution is an annoyance to employees and residents near a factory and harmful to both these groups of people. The noise sources include textile mills, metal and steel factories, printing and presses, and more. Bustling cities and roads are another source of noise pollution as transportation is loud in traffic jams and other areas that lead to the impatient hooting of several car horns. This is more annoying to the residents in and around the site of the traffic jam as compared to the people in the cars on the road as they most probably have to deal with it daily.
Some of the other honorable mentions of noise pollution sources include public functions such as parades and rallies, poorly planned urban locations, machinery used for agriculture, and military equipment. The origins of indoor noise pollution include office machineries such as printers and copiers, building services and construction, household activities, and loud neighbors.
Effects of Noise Pollution
Noise pollution affects humans more than a mere annoyance in many cases. Noise pollution in large amounts can cause medical problems and conditions such as gradual hearing loss and loss of body coordination. This often occurs in workers who are surrounded by loud machinery all day long, every day. Over time, they also tend to lose their memory and sleep, which causes stress and sometimes strokes.
Loud noise outdoors can also harm animals in the same ways it affects humans, including psychological disorders and problems including lethargy, stress, anxiety, depression, and constant throbbing headaches. Noise pollution affects a person’s behavior over time as they tend to get more short-tempered and irritable. Noise pollution can also cause a person to lose their focus, and concentration levels dip below average. This reduces a person’s overall performance levels over time and makes it hard for them to learn anything new or remember anything old due to memory loss.
Precaution and Cures for Noise Pollution
Precaution should be taken against noise pollution to stop these ill effects from happening to anyone else in the future. The primary step that the government can take to make sure there is less noise pollution in the future is to implement laws in favor of road noise control, aircraft and industrial noise reduction, and better urban planning. They can also enforce occupational hazards and health and safety policies for noise pollution aside from the existing physical injury laws. Places that produce a lot of noise and want to prevent it from leaking into the outside environment can use rubber-seal tapes for the edges of doors and windows to be blocked further. Another step would be to limit the openings to these noisy rooms to a single entry and exit door, removing all other vents and windows if possible.
Some of the prevention methods include the installation of acoustic enclosures for factory noise control, the alteration of machinery to make them less noisy, the structure of soundproof rooms or acoustic enclosures at home to protect the family from noisy neighbors or garages, and the provision of noise-canceling gear for all employees in loud machinery’s vicinity for factory noise control.
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