From the study of subatomic particles to the laws of motion, Physics Topics offer insights into the workings of the world around us.
Noise Pollution: What it is, causes, effects and solutions
Sounds that are loud and unnecessary are called noise. The presence of loud, unwanted and disturbing sounds in our environment is called noise pollution. Some of the major sources of noise pollution in the environment around us are as follows :
- The motor vehicles (like cars, buses and trucks, etc.) running on the road produce noise pollution by blowing horns and sounds of their engines.
- The bursting of crackers on various social and religious occasions produces noise pollution.
- The various machines in factories make loud sounds and cause noise pollution.
- The take off, landings, and flying of aeroplanes produces noise pollution.
- The playing of loudspeakers and bands at marriages and other social functions causes noise pollution.
- The construction of buildings produces a lot of noise pollution in the surroundings.
The Major Sources of Noise Pollution in the Homes are the Following :
- The loud playing of radio, stereo-systems and televisions (at high volume) produces noise pollution.
- Some kitchen appliances (like mixer and grinder) cause noise pollution.
- The use of desert coolers and air conditioners produces noise pollution.
Harms of Noise Pollution
Excessive loud noise is harmful to us. The presence of excessive noise in the surroundings may cause many health-related problems. The various harms of noise pollution (or loud noise) are as follows :
- Loud noise can cause great harm to our ears. Constant loud noise reduces the hearing power of our ears. Loud noise can even damage the ears permanently and cause deafness.
- Loud noise can cause a person to lose concentration in his work or studies.
- Loud noise can cause an ailment called hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Loud noise can cause irritation and headache.
- Loud noise during night-time disturbs our sleep. Continued lack of sleep is bad for health.
Measures to Control Noise Pollution
Noise pollution should be controlled to prevent its harmful effects on human beings and other living things. We can control the noise pollution to some extent by taking the following measures :
- We should not play radio, stereo-systems and television too loudly.
- The horns of motor vehicles should not be blown unnecessarily.
- The bursting of crackers should be avoided.
- The noise-making factories and airports should be shifted away from the residential areas of the city,
- Loudspeakers should be played at low volume during marriages and other social functions. No loudspeakers should be allowed to be used late in the night.
- Trees should be planted along the roads and around buildings to reduce the noise pollution from the roads and other activities from reaching the residents of the area.
Suppose our parents are going to buy a house. The property dealer says that two houses are available for sale : one house on the roadside and another house three lanes away from the road. We should suggest our parents to buy the house which is three lanes away from the busy road. This is because being away from the busy road will reduce noise pollution caused by heavy traffic on the road. This will make us live comfortably in the house.
Hearing Impairment (Damaged Hearing)
Hearing impairment means that a person has damaged hearing ability and cannot hear properly. There are many reasons why some people have hearing problems. Some people are born with poor hearing. The people with very poor hearing are said to be deaf. Thus, deafness is the total hearing impairment. You might be surprised to know that most deaf people can still hear some sounds.
Deaf people often use a sign language with their hands to communicate with others effectively.
Partial hearing loss is generally due to an illness, ear infection, injury or old age. Partial hearing loss (or partial hearing impairment) can also be caused by noise pollution. A person having partial hearing loss can hear sounds properly by using ‘hearing aid’. Hearing aid is a small sound amplifying device worn on the ear by a partially deaf person (so as to hear properly).
There are many instances in the world where even totally deaf persons have made great achievements in various fields and lived normal lives. For example, Evelyn Glennie is a famous percussion player who herself cannot hear sounds at all (see Figure). She plays with different orchestras in concert halls all over the world. This is amazing because she became severely deaf when she was just 12 years old. She says that she can feel the vibrations of the music through her body.