Effects and Control of Noise Pollution

Effects and Control of Noise Pollution

We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

Effects and Control of Noise Pollution

Noise pollution can cause two types of pollution, auditory and non auditory.

  1. Auditory problems: Auditory fatigue can appear in the region of 90 dB and it is greatest at 400 Hz. It is generally associated with buzzing, whistling and ringing in the air. Deafness is the most serious problem of noise pollution. Temporary deafness or hearing loss can be seen after exposure of specific types of noise. Temporary hearing loss disappear 24 hours after stoppage of exposure to noise. Most commonly, temporary hearing loss occurs in frequency between 4000 to 6000 Hz. Continuous or repeated exposure to noise of approximately 100 dB can result in permanent hearing loss. At the beginning of hearing loss patient may not be aware of hearing loss. Permanent hearing loss may vary from minor change in inner ear to complete destruction of organ of Corti. When permanent hearing loss occurs as a result of occupation in industries it is called occupational hearing loss. Exposure to noise above 160 dB can cause rupture of tympanic membrane (ear drum) and cause permanent hearing loss.
  2. Non auditory effects: There may be interference with speech and interfere with communication. Most disturbances of speech communication occurs in between 300 to 500 Hz in everyday life. These type of frequencies are produced by road and air traffic. For a good intelligibility of speech the sound should ideally exceed the Speech Interference Level (SIL) by approximately 12 dB.

Annoyance is a psychological response to noise. Neurotic people are more sensitive to noise and get annoyed easily than normal balanced people. People who are constantly exposed to noise are more short tempered, irritated, impatient and more likely to resort to agitation and violence. Noise pollution can reduce efficiency at work place, especially where mental concentration is required.

Body physiological changes like rise in blood pressure, rise in intracranial pressure (rise in cerebrospinal fluid pressure, which is present inside brain and can cause headache), rise in heart rate, rise in respiratory rate and sweating can occur. Symptoms like nausea, giddiness and fatigue can occur in noise pollution. It ca also interfere with sleep. Noise can cause narrowing of pupils, affect color vision and reduce night vision.

Economic loss due to occupational hearing loss is quite significant to the industry. This is more common in the Armed forces mainly in the Regiment of Artillery, where troops are regularly exposed to artillery gunfire which can be more than 150 dB of intensity. The number of troops with loss of hearing and hard of hearing is very large in the regiment of artillery.

Control of noise pollution:

Careful city planning can reduce noise pollution. Residential areas should be separate from industrial areas. Widening of main street will reduce noise penetration into the houses. House front should ideally be at least 15 meters from street and planted with thick bushes and trees. Green belt should be planned in between residential and industrial areas which can reduce air pollution in addition to reducing noise pollution.

Heavy vehicles should not be allowed in the residential areas and indiscriminate use of horns should be prohibited. Acoustic insulation of the building should be done. Wherever required building should be made soundproof. Protection should be given to all the workers who are exposed to more than 85 dB. Workers should be regularly rotated from noisy areas to less noisy environment. Regular audiogram check up and use of air plugs and air muffs should be made compulsory.

Legislation should be made to control noise pollution as well as for provision of compensation to workers who suffer from hearing loss due to occupational exposure. Loud speakers should be banned in certain areas like hospitals and schools.

Finally people should be educated about the effects of noise pollution. Nothing can succeed without the participation of people with adequate knowledge about that particular subject.


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