Noise is an environmental pollutant

Noise is defined as unwanted sound and sound which pleases the listeners is music and that which causes pain and annoyance is noise. Noise can be described as sound without agreeable musical quality or as an unwanted
or undesired sound. Thus noise can be taken as a group of loud, non harmonious
sounds or vibrations that are unpleasant and irritating to the ear. Noise is
‘air pollutant’ since air pollution means any solid, liquid or gaseous
substance present in the atmosphere at a concentration that it becomes
injurious to human beings, other living creatures, plants, property or
environment. Noise is an environmental pollutant. Environmental pollutant is
any solid, liquid or gaseous substance present in such concentration that it
becomes injurious to the environment and environment is everything (man,
animals, plants, all living and non living things, noise etc) around us.
Environmental pollution is assuming dangerous proportions all through the
globe, being very dangerous like cancer in which death is sure but slow. The
three ‘gifts’ from modern living, industrialization and urbanization is
population, poverty and pollution (noise).


Measurement
A decibel (db) is the standard for the measurement of sound (noise). The zero on a decibel scale is at the threshold of hearing, the lowest sound pressure
that can be heard, 20 db is whisper, 40 db the noise in a quiet office. 60 db
is normal conversation, 80 db is the level at which sound becomes physically
irritating and painful.


Sources of Noise Pollution: - Noise pollution like other pollutants is also a by- product of industrialization, urbanizations and modern civilization. Noise pollution has two sources, i.e. industrial and non-
industrial. The industrial source includes the noise from various industries
and big machines working at a very high speed with high noise intensity. Non-
industrial source of noise includes the noise created by transport/vehicular
traffic and the neighborhood noise generated by various noise pollution which
can also be divided in categories, namely, natural and manmade. The sources of
noise pollution are stated below though not limited to these:


1. Road Traffic Noise: -
In the city, the main sources of traffic noise are the motors and exhaust system of autos, smaller trucks, buses, and motorcycles. This type of noise can
be augmented by narrow streets and tall buildings, which produce a canyon in
which traffic noise reverberates.


2. Air Craft Noise: -
Now-a-days , the problem of low flying military aircraft has added a new dimension to community annoyance, as the nation seeks to improve its nap-of
the- earth aircraft operations over national parks, wilderness areas , and
other areas previously unaffected by aircraft noise has claimed national
attention over recent years.


3. Noise from railroads: -
The noise from engines, horns and whistles, and switching & shunting operation in rail yards can impact neighboring communities and railroad
workers. For example, rail car retarders can produce a high frequency, high
level screech that can reach peak levels of 120 dB at a distance of 100 feet,
which translates to levels as high as 138, or 140 dB at the railroad worker’s
ear.


4. Construction Noise: -
The noise from the construction of highways, city streets, and buildings is a major contributor to the urban scene. Construction noise sources include
pneumatic hammers, air compressors, bulldozers, loaders, dump trucks (and their
back-up signals), and pavement breakers.


5. Noise in Industry: -
Although industrial noise is one of the less prevalent community noise problems, neighbors of noisy manufacturing plants can be disturbed by sources
such as fans, motors, and compressors mounted on the outside of buildings.
Interior noise can also be transmitted to the community through open windows
and doors, and even through building walls. These interior noise sources have
significant impacts on industrial workers, among whom noise- induced hearing
loss is unfortunately common.


6. Noise in building: -
Apartment dwellers are often annoyed by noise in their homes, especially when the building is not well designed and constructed. In this case, internal
building noise from plumbing, boilers, generators, air conditioners, musical
systems and fans, can be audible and annoying.


7. Noise from Consumer products: -
Certain household equipment, such as vacuum cleaners and some kitchen appliances have been and continue to be noisemakers, although their
contribution to the daily noise dose is usually not very large.


8. No from religious place of worship and musical shops: - this is a very common occurrence since churches and mosques abounds in our streets and neighborhood so is musical shops both mobile and stationery
ones. People can hardly sleep in their homes with peace of
mind.


Harmful Effects of Noise on Human Being, Animal and Property


Noise has always been with the human civilization but it was never been so obvious, so intense, so varied & as pervasive as it is seen today. Noise pollution makes men more irritable. The effect of noise
pollution is multifaceted and inter related. The effects of Noise Pollution are
as follows:


I It decreases the efficiency of a man:- Regarding the impact of noise on human efficiency there are number of experiments which has shown the fact that human efficiency decreases with noise and this is not
within the scope of this discuss.


II Lack of concentration: - For better quality of work there should be concentration, Noise causes lack of concentration. In big cities, mostly all the offices are on main road. The noise of traffic or the
loud speakers of different types of horns divert the attention of the people
working in offices.


III Fatigue: - Because of Noise Pollution, people cannot concentrate on their work. Thus they have to give their more time for completing the work and their feel tired.


Abortion can be caused: - There should be cool and calm atmosphere during the pregnancy. Unpleasant sounds makes a lady irritated in nature. Sudden Noise causes abortion in females.


It causes Blood Pressure: - Noise Pollution causes certain diseases in human. It attacks on the person’s peace of mind. The noises are recognized as major contributing factors in accelerating the already
existing tensions of modern living. These tensions result in certain disease
like blood pressure or mental illness etc.


Temporary or permanent Deafness: - The effect of nose on audition is well recognized. Mechanics, locomotive drivers, telephone operators, people working airport, crane operators and heavy duty drives etc.
All have their hearing impairment as a result of noise at the place of work if
safety gadgets are not worn. Physicists, physicians & psychologists are of
the view that continued exposure to noise level above. 80 to 100 db is unsafe,
loud noise causes temporary or permanent deafness.


Effect on vegetation is poor quality of Crops: - Now is well known to all that plants are similar to human being. They are also as sensitive as man. There should be cool & peaceful environment for their
better growth. Noise pollution causes poor quality of crops in a pleasant
atmosphere.


Effect on animal: - Noise pollution damages the nervous system of animal. Animal looses the control of its mind. They become dangerous.


Effect on structures: - Loud noise is very dangerous to buildings, bridges and monuments. It creates waves which struck the walls and put the building in dangerous condition. It weakens the edifice of
buildings.


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