Environment
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Everything to Do With Noise Hazards

The other day I was sitting in my room reading a book and suddenly came this loud boisterous voice of a man shouting political slogans in a mike outside our house. This went on for a while. Now this is not the first time something like this has happened. I tried closing the window and […]

The other day I was sitting in my room reading a book and suddenly came this loud boisterous voice of a man shouting political slogans in a mike outside our house. This went on for a while. Now this is not the first time something like this has happened. I tried closing the window and it helped to some extent. But just when I got back to my reading came another deafening sound which made me get up and go look outside. To my dismay, I found out that apparently the neighbours are having some new furniture built. This was all I could take. My reading for the day was over.

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Sounds familiar? Well this is a situation which many of us have to face in our daily lives. There is always too much noise around you, wherever you go. Be it the market, the highway or just your neighbourhood, noise follows you everywhere. In layman terms, this is what we call noise pollution. Noise pollution is the extreme or excessive noise that disrupts normal peaceful life and poses a threat to human and animal health. Noise pollution usually occurs in high density in urban areas and towns, although rural areas are not completely devoid of noise pollution. There are some places that I have noticed where noise pollution occurs frequently. They are-

  • Roads and highways- speeding cars and buses mean one thing- lots of noise, coming from horns to engines. Even the car radios contribute to the noise. Sometimes the noise can be deafening and too much to bear.
  • Construction sites- another noise hub are the hundreds of construction sites located in different parts of the city. Heavy machineries like cranes, bulldozers and other equipments produce loud thunderous sounds that have the potential of making you deaf with repeated exposure, as faced by the workers there. But we will be coming to that later.
  • Events and parties- loud ear-splitting music, bursting of crackers, marching bands and people shouting laughing, singing and dancing at the top of their voices all define a big fat Indian wedding. Any events or functions are usually accompanied by loud music and the occasional bursting of fire crackers. This is highly annoying and disturbing for the neighbours in the area. Bid goodbye to a good night’s sleep if this happens in your neighbourhood.
  • Loud speakers- I began my discussion with this. Loud speakers fitted in localities all around town promise to deafen you with their extremely loud songs and speeches.
  • Festivals- festivals in India are never complete without the bursting of crackers and playing of loud music.

These places generally sum up the source to most of the noise pollution that happens in the world. Now we delve into a more serious issue- the hazardous effects that noise can have in our lives-

  • The most drastic effect of noise pollution can be hearing loss, also called “noise induced hearing loss”. Aged people, children and individuals working in industries and construction sites are more susceptible to this condition.
  • Noise pollution can result in psychological trauma like irritation, anxiety, stress, fatigue and low energy. This in turn can lead to high blood pressure.
  • Sleep disorder is a common ailment induced by noise pollution.
  • Noise pollution can lead to palpitation and heart problems as well. Most extreme cases are death.
  • Noise pollution does not affect humans alone. Animals and birds are also severely affected by noise. As noise pollution increases, usable habitat for animals decreases which can lead to extinction. Whales, crabs and other oceanic animals have been found to be severely affected by noise pollution.

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All this is reason enough for us to take a stand and reduce noise pollution as fast as possible. We may not be able to eliminate it completely, but we can at least reduce it to some extent. If we all work together and put our hearts into it, this goal is indeed possible to accomplish. I have compiled a list of measures that we can take to decrease noise.

  • Insulate your walls with sound-proof materials that prevent noise from entering your homes as well as the noise from the inside to travel outside. Metal, concrete and heavy glass is some sound-insulating materials.
  • When listening to music, try to keep the noise at an acceptable decibel. If that is not possible, shut the windows to prevent the blaring noise from travelling outside.
  • Don’t burst noise producing crackers.
  • Don’t honk your car horns unnecessarily.
  • Don’t use noisy leaf blowers.
  • Try to reduce the use of noise generating equipments like generators and air conditioners.
  • Keep the volume of your television at a standard and acceptable level. You don’t want your neighbours to know every time you switch on the TV.
  • For people working in construction sites and industries, noise cancelling and ear protecting head phones is a must.

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Every individual has his share in noise pollution. So instead of looking at what others are doing or not doing, why don’t we do it ourselves? We don’t have a moment to lose. Start acting today!

 

 

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Written by Green Blogger