What is Noise Pollution ?
Noise is generally regarded as an unwanted sound or sound, which produces unpleasant effects on the ears. Noise is produced by household gadgets, vehicles on the road, jet planes, loud speakers etc. Noise produces severe adverse effects on the quality of mans surrounding and is, therefore, considered to be polluting the environment. It is the loudness and duration of the noise which is disturbing and causes physical discomfort and damage to hearing.
- Household gadgets like mixer, grinder, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, cooler, air conditioners, greatly enhance the levels of sound and are deleterious to health.
- Loud speakers not only disturb the students in their studies but also the peace of the locality. Loud radios, stereos and televisions are also a major source.
- Printing presses, industries, vehicles on road, aero planes contribute to noise pollutions in large cities.
Effects of Noise Pollution
The immediate and acute effect of noise pollution is impairment of hearing. Damage to the eardrum can be caused by impulsive loud sounds or by prolonged exposure to noise. Long exposure to loud noise may result in hearing loss which may become permanent.
Effects on general health
Apart from hearing impairment, the first effects are anxiety and stress reaction and in extreme cases fright. The physiological manifestations are:
- Increase in the rate of heart-beat, increased cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Constriction of blood vessels
- Digestive spasms and stomach disorders
- Dilation of the pupil of the eye
- It interferes with proper communication, peace of mind and behavior
- It causes headache, irritability and nervousness, feeling of fatigue and decreases work efficiency.
- Noise also affects the developing embryo in mother’s uterus.
Control of Noise Pollution
Construction of sound proof rooms for noisy machines in industries.
- Use of horns with jarring sounds to be banned.
- Noise producing industries, aerodromes, and railway stations to be shifted away from the inhabited areas.
- Proper law should be enforced to check the misuse of loudspeakers and public announcements systems.
- To enforce silence zones near schools / colleges, hospitals etc.
- Growing green plants/trees along roadside to reduce noise pollution as they absorb sound.
- Loud speakers are banned from 10pm to 6am. India enacted Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and noise pollution has been declared an offence.