Most of you would think noise pollution is something that only machinery workers need to worry about, but in reality it is a problem we all need to be aware of. If it is not prevented, it could result in serious health problems.
Sound is essential to our every day lives, but noise is not. Noise can be defined as unwanted sound which produces discomfort on the ears.
1. Noise-induced hearing loss is 100 percent preventable
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only type of hearing loss that is completely preventable. The maximum safe threshold for humans is 80 decibels. For those who work above the limit, in the long run will have a hearing loss.
To give you an idea of how noise is compared to every day life activities take a look below.
45dB Refrigerator humming
60dB General conversation
85dB City traffic
105dB MP3 player at max volume
The most common and easiest ways to prevent NIHL in your own home is to sound proof your space, keep noisy machines away from living areas and limit your time spent with prolonged use of noise.
2. Noise pollution can cause more than just temporary discomfort
There are many side effects of noise pollution causing negative changes to our general health and wellbeing. Apart from causing injury to the ear leading to loss of hearing, noise pollution can cause a lot of serious health issues. Here are some side effects:
Emotional and behavioural stress
Increased chance of headache, high blood pressure and heart failure
Damage to liver, brain and heart
Increased heart rate, constriction of blood vessels and dilation of pupils
Disturbances in the nervous system
Increase in cholesterol levels
3. Household Noise Pollution is mostly self-induced
It is easy to understand that industrial workers who use big machines are affected by noise pollution. But you’re not a factory worker so you’re in the clear, right? Wrong. Noise pollution can affect you even in the comfort of your own home.
Congested housing – Large families sharing a small space
Transportation – Houses next to busy traffic, trains or aeroplanes
Household – Air conditioning units or generators
Social – Music headphones, bass sound systems or loud neighbours
Did you know? We are not the only ones affected by noise pollution. Marine scientists are concerned with the excessive noise used by oil drills and submarines on the inside of the ocean. Many marine animals use hearing the find food and defend to survive in the ocean. A submarine sonar can be felt 300 miles away from the source.
4. There are easy measures in which you can reduce household noise pollution
Like all other pollutions, noise pollution needs to be controlled by measures to maintain acceptable levels.
Suppression of noise at source
Sound insulation – as sound travels through cracks, these spaces should be packed with sound absorbing material
Sound proof walls – protect your house from outside noise before it can enter your yard
Plant trees – planting trees and shrubs help to reduce noise to a considerable extent
Noise is not just merely a nuisance, but a serious health hazard and environmental problem. We need to be aware of the dangers and how to effectively protect ourselves from this not so silent pollution.
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