Noise pollution : Health Hazards


What is noise?

Noise is unwanted unpleasant sound which is loud or disruptive to hearing. From definition of physics, noise is same as any form of sound but it is perceived in the brain in a different way.

What is noise pollution?

Noise pollution is environmental noise and the propagation of noise which cause  harmful impact on the activity of human or animal life.

What are the health issues associated with noise pollution?

Exposure to noise is associated with adverse health outcomes.

Examples:

  • Hearing loss
  • High blood pressure
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Injuries
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Decreased work performance

What are the Psychological effects of noise pollution?

Noise has following psychological effects –

  • Annoyance
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Adverse psychosocial well-being

What is the noise levels allowed for residential areas?

WHO recommends value of 50 dB allowed for residential areas.

How noise pollution affects cardiovascular health?

High noise levels can result in cardiovascular effects. Exposure to moderately high levels during a single eight-hour period causes a statistical rise in blood pressure of five to ten points and an increase in stress, and vasoconstriction leading to the increased blood pressure as well as increased incidence of coronary artery disease.

Can we reverse noise induced hearing loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent. But this is very much preventable.

What is the acceptable noise levels in India?

The Central Pollution Control Board of India has set the safe limit for ambient noise at 55 dB for residential areas and 65 dB for commercial areas.

What is the average city noise ?

Average city traffic noise corresponds to 70 dB.

  What is the heavy city noise ?

Average city traffic noise corresponds to 90 dB.

What are examples of very loud noise and its measure?

Very loud noise spans 90 to 110 dB. Examples of 100 and 110 dB respectively are a farm tractor and a jet plane flying 310 meter overhead.

Which is the most nosiest city in India?

A study by the National Physical Laboratory indicated that Mumbai is ‘the noisiest city in India’, the biggest source of noise for a person there being vehicular traffic .

What is the noise level that can drive the person insane?

A noise of 140 decibels is sufficient to drive a person insane.

Which noise can make a permanent hearing loss?

Prolonged  exposure to noise levels greater than 85 decibels can impair hearing permanently.

How to avoid noise pollution?

Ear plugs and ear muffs can be used for this purpose. The workers in noisy environment should be rotated to avoid prolonged exposure. Education about noise pollution and its health hazards are important steps.

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