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Noise Pollution

Last Updated : 04 Feb, 2024
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Noise pollution is the pollution caused by sound which results in various problems for Humans. A sound is a form of energy that enables us to hear. We hear the sound from the frequency range of 20 to 20000 Hertz (20kHz). Humans have a fixed range for which comfortably hear a sound if we are exposed to loud sound above our hearing range for quite some time it can permanently damage our hearing capacity.

Noise pollution is the pollution created by loud noises which adversely affect the surroundings. In this article, we will learn about noise pollution, its types, examples, prevention, and others in detail.

What is Noise Pollution?

In simple language, we can say that any unwanted and undesirable sound is noise. It can be anything for example; loud music which we don’t want to hear or the blowing of a horn at the traffic signals.

So, we can define Noise Pollution as the presence of unwanted, undesirable, and unnecessary sounds in our environment.

Our environment is such that it has become difficult to escape the noise. Even electrical appliances at home have a constant hum or beeping sound.

Measuring and Perceiving Loudness

We can identify sound waves as disturbances in the air molecules around us these waves propagate from the source to our ears and when we feel these waves we process them as sound waves. Sound can not travel in a vacuum it always needs some material medium to propagate.

The intensity of the sound is measured with respect to the amplitude of the sound wave. The more the amplitude the more is the intensity of the sound wave. Another important factor of the sound wave is its pitch which is described by its frequency. 

The Loudness of the sound is another important characteristic of the sound wave. We measure the loudness of the sound in decibels or dB. The normal can hear a sound ranging from 0 dB to 140 dB, (sound in the range from 120 dB to 140 dB causes pain to humans.)

The noise level in a Library is close to 30 -35 dB while in a moving Bus or Train it is 80-85 dB. The intensity of the sound decreases drastically with respect to the distance between the source and the observer.

Chart of Loudness


Types of Noise Pollution

Before taking a closer look at the various causes of noise pollution, let us first understand two primary types of noise.

Man-Made Noise

All the noises which are generated due to human activities are referred to as Man-Made Noises. For example, construction work, noise from automobiles, household appliances, etc. This type of noise can range between 30dB to 140dB which is very much harmful.

Environmental Noise

All the noises that are generated due to environmental activities. For example, the sound produced by animals, the sound of thunderstorms, cyclones, hurricanes, etc. Environmental noise can often go up to 140dB which is again a very harmful number for human mankind.

Sources of Noise Pollution

There are many sources of Noise Pollution, some of them are:

  • Bursting of crackers on various social events or religious functions.
  • The loud sound of Radio, Speaker Systems, and Television is also a major source of Noise Pollution.
  • Construction Activities such as constructing buildings or any real estate architecture.
  • Industries are also major sources of Noise Pollution because the machines they use produce noise in an excessive amount which is unbearable.
  • Automobiles also generate a lot of noise pollution in the surrounding by the sound of their engine and by blowing horns excessively.
  • The aviation field is another major source of Noise Pollution as the taking-off and landing of a plane make undesirable and unbearable noise up to 130dB.
  • Home appliances such as Mixer grinders, Washing Machines, Pressure cookers, etc. also produce unwanted sounds i.e. Noise.
  • Animal sounds such as the howling or the barking of a dog are also a source of Noise Pollution.
  • Sound of lightning and thunderstorm, Hurricanes, and cyclones also cause noise pollution.

Noise Pollution Examples

Various examples where noise pollution is observed in our daily life are,

  • The honking of the vehicles causes noise pollution.
  • Various Industries using heavy machinery cause noise pollution.
  • The unnecessary use of loudspeakers used for functions, rallies, and religious purposes causes noise pollution.
  • Fireworks used for prolonged periods of time cause noise pollution.
  • Loud noise from the construction side cause noise pollution.
  • Loud noise from aircraft, jet engines, and railway engines also causes noise pollution.
Noise Pollution Examples


Effects of Noise Pollution

Noise pollution has various effects and some of them are,

  • Hearing Problems: Loud noise can cause great harm to our ears i.e. reduces the hearing capability of our ears.
  • Physical Issues: Noise Pollution can cause headaches, high blood pressure, and heart attacks.
  • Psychological Issues: It can cause hypertension, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and stress in humans as well as animals.
  • Sleeping Disorders: Excessive noise disturbs our sleeping patterns which may lead to extreme health issues.
  • Loss of Concentration: Noise distracts the person’s mind and a person finds it difficult to concentrate or focus on work or study.
  • Effect on Wildlife: Wild animals also get disturbed heavily by the noises which humans make, they fear out, faint and in some cases die.

Prevention of Noise Pollution

Noise Pollution can easily be prevented by following the below suggestions.

  • We should avoid playing speakers, radios, and television loudly at home.
  • The bursting of crackers unnecessarily should be avoided.
  • The horns of vehicles should not be blown unnecessarily and vehicles should be serviced from time to time to prevent the noisy engine.
  • Trees should be planted around the buildings and along the roads to reduce noise from roads.
  • Sources of noise such as industries, airports, etc., and residential areas should be separated.
  • Fine for exceeding certain noise limits.
  • Keep checking the surrounding noise levels and limit the sounds that you produce.

Hearing Impairments

Any person who cannot hear properly or has damaged hearing ability comes under hearing impairments. In terms of severity, the hearing impairments are classified as,

  • Mild Hearing Impairments: In mild hearing impairments people can not hear soft sounds and are unable to communicate in a noisy environment.
  • Moderate Hearing Impairments: In moderate hearing impairments people can not hear soft or moderate sounds and it is difficult for them to communicate without a proper hearing aid. 
  • Severe Hearing Impairments: In severe hearing impairments people can not hear any type of sounds and rely on other techniques such as lip reading or sign language to communicate.
  • Deaf people are people who have very poor hearing ability. They either use Hearing Aid which is a device that amplifies the incoming sound and helps them to hear properly or they use other techniques such as lip reading or sign language to communicate.

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FAQs on Noise Pollution

Q1: What is Noise Pollution?


Unwanted and unpleasing sound which cause irritation to the human ear is called noise pollution.

Q2: How Noise Pollution is Caused?


Noise pollution is caused by loud and unwanted noise which causes irritation to the human ear. Thus, any sound unpleasant to the individual is considered noise by the individual.

Q3: How many Decibels is Noise Pollution?


According to WHO any sound above 65 decibels is considered noise pollution. Noise pollution is very harmful to the health of humans and other animals.

Q4: How is Sound Measured?


The intensity of sound is measured by measuring the amplitude of the sound wave. The unit used for measuring the intensity of the sound is decibels also written as dB.

Q5: What is Sound?


Sound is the form of the wave which provides us with the sense of hearing. It is a type of longitudinal wave.

Q6: What are Various Effects of Noise Pollution on Human Health?


Noise pollution has various adverse effects on human health it causes hypertension, headache, hearing loss, sleeping disorders, and other issues in humans.

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