Noise Pollution Effects and Causes: What Can You Do?
Wherever we look around, we cannot help thinking about the huge problem of environmental pollution. Even though some people do their best to keep things clean and be eco-conscious still there are those who simply don’t care a whit!
But, if we use our ears instead of eyes, could we still talk about pollution?
Even though this is not a visible type of pollution, it is very present in all aspects of our lives, which is why we have to raise awareness on the subject. My article here will try to give a better insight into this problem by defining it, listing the types, causes, and effect, along with some practical tips.
What is noise pollution?
If you’ve been with me and my posts, you have surely learned numerous definitions of noise, where does it come from and how to get rid of it, or at least minimize it. However, even though we are aware of all the sounds, still we rarely think of them as pollution. We never think of it as something that may kill us, but…
When a person is exposed to prolonged or excessive noise, that is considered as a noise pollution.
Even though definition itself is rather simple, the nature of the problem is not. By that, I mean that we can generally describe or locate it but cannot always get rid of it. That’s because the noise is related to the job which by nature is a loud one. On the other side, one would never think of music as pollution, but, on certain levels, it is very dangerous.
Types of noise pollution
There are really many different types of noise pollution, but based on their sources, you can divide them into the following:
- Manmade noises
- Environmental noises
Here are some basics on each type:
Manmade noises are mostly traffic and transportation-related sounds. Those would be sounds from city traffic, airports and subway terminals, construction sites, and similar. This group also includes sound coming from household appliances. Believe it or not, even though we don’t think of it as pollution, music also belongs to this one.
Environmental noises are those coming from loud thunderstorms or animals, for example, a dog barking.
Speaking in decibels, 60 is still the safe level that’s not considered harmful. That’s the sound of most conversation between people.
What about other things around us?
To start with manmade noises, vacuum cleaners are about 70 dB, whereas food processors can reach 80 to 90. Both of these are very loud, hence harmful. Music which exceeds 100dB is considered as both loud and harmful. 15 minutes of such music on daily basis is more than enough to damage hearing.
As for environmental ones, moderate rainfall is about 50 dB (too low to be harmful). The thunder strike sometimes sounds similar to the sound of a gunshot but usually is not as harmful as gunshot sound can be. Gunshot sound can reach up to 190 dB and can lead to instant hearing damage.
See more such examples of decibels in this colorful infographic.
Noise pollution causes
Like I mentioned, sometimes it’s hard to define sound like a harmful one if we are in the concert or on a wedding, and similar pleasant social events. Sometimes we are simply not aware of problematic aspects of certain sounds around us. Here are the most common causes of noise pollution.
Noise pollution effects
As expected, there are many negative effects on our health, as this pollution is present practically everywhere. All groups of people are affected- adults, children, and even fetuses. Here are some of the most common problems:
As you can see, the negative effects extend to every aspect of our health.
Animals and noise pollutions
However, it’s not only us people who have numerous problems caused by sound pollution. Animals are also affected by this.
Some of the most common problems which are the result of exposure to loud sounds are:
It is more than obvious that noise affects all types of animals, wherever they live, and leads to serious problems.
How to protect from noise pollution?
Even though you may think that it’s a “mission impossible” situation, still something can be done to improve the situation. As I said, you cannot just turn the noise off, but you can do something to reduce it to some tolerable and less hazardous levels.
Final Word : On Noise Pollution Causes and Effects
Even when the pollution doesn’t seem so harmful, sometimes consequences are far-reaching. The adverse effects on overall environmental health can be very severe, both for humans and animals.
Now that you know all about noise pollution and its effects, do your best to contribute to decreasing it. Raise awareness among people around you. When every one of us does a little, a lot will be done in a wider perspective.
If you have some useful thoughts on noise pollution effects, don’t hesitate to share it with us.