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Write a Brief Note on Noise Pollution. - Environmental Studies

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Answer in Brief

Write a brief note on noise pollution.

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  • Noise is defined as unpleasant or disagreeable loud sound or sound that causes discomfort to the listener. With the rapid growth in population, traffic and urban crowd, noise has emerged as a widely prevalent irritant. The efficiency of humans is higher when they perform their duties under satisfying and comfortable conditions than when they are constantly irritated or annoyed by their surroundings.
  • Noise pollution is unwanted or offensive sounds that unreasonably intrude into our daily activities. Noise measurements are expressed as Sound Pressure Level (SPL) which is logarithmic ratio of the sound pressure to reference pressure. It is expressed as a dimensionless unit called decibel ( dB ).
  • Sources of noise pollution:
    The main identified sources of noise pollution are categorized as:
  • Natural sources: Some natural phenomena like volcanic eruption, thunder, firestorm etc. are sources of noise pollution which is not humanly possible to control.
  • Man-made sources: Some sources of noise pollution owing to human activities are occupational noise due to heavy industrial machines, domestic appliances, transport noise due to road traffic, aircraft, rail traffic and neighbourhood noise due to loud speakers, fireworks, entertainment etc.

Effects of noise pollution:

  • Noise pollution does not only affect hearing capabilities on humans but also can cause various other health disorders and so effects of noise pollution can be classified into:
  •  Auditory effects: Exposure to high intensity sound for short duration can cause temporary deafness and continuous exposure to high intensity noise will lead to irreversible hearing loss or permanent deafness.
  • Non-auditory effects: The other effects of noise pollution in humans include physiological disorders like anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, fatigue, etc., loss of working efficiency due to poor concentration and reduced ability to think, annoyance due to noisy surroundings. Some effects on wildlife due to loud noise include an increase in rate of mortality as a result of interference in the predator –prey detection and avoidance, disturbances in sound communication and navigation of species like whales and dolphins, migratory birds, health deterioration of many animals due to continued exposure to high intensity noise. Sometimes buildings and materials may get damaged by exposure to infrasonic / ultrasonic waves and may even get collapsed.
Concept: Sources, Effects of Noise Pollution
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