Noise:A Health Culprit?

No one on earth can escape the sounds of noise- an unwanted, disturbing sound that causes a nuisance in the eye of the beholder. Noise is a disturbance to the human environment that is escalating at such a high rate that it will become a major threat to the quality of human lives. In the past thirty years, noise in all areas, especially in urban areas, has been increasing rapidly. There are numerous effects on the human environment due to the increase in no noise pollution.

Every day noise pollution affects not only the health of millions of people but also their well being and a general reduction in the quality of life and opportunities for tranquility. Many people are exposed to dangerous levels of noise without even realizing it whether it is from loud music, a motorcycle, aero plane, lawnmowers, or even driving on the highway with your window open. Transportation vehicles especially aero planes and airports produce the most amount of noise in our environment.

Scientists have recently found that continuous exposure to noise with a volume more than 70 decibels can lead to permanent hearing damage. Excessive noise levels can also lead to the increase of heartbeat, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol. It also has potential to harm the respiratory and digestive systems. Constant noise can lead to stress disorders, which could further develop into ulcers or high blood pressure. Large amounts of noise every day not only causes stress for people but can also contribute to mental illness, lost productivity. Sleep deprivation usually occurs for people at a decibel of 45 or higher, at 85 decibels hearing damage occurs. People of all ages who already experience health problems are at very high risk.
Scientists have also found that the following list of things produce a sound higher than 70 decibels:

  • Air Raid Sirens (140 decibels)
  • Aero plane Taking Off and Thunder (120 decibels)
  • Garbage Truck (100 decibels)
  • City Traffic and Truck Driving (90 decibels)
  • Alarm Clock and Hairdryer (80 decibels)

Each day a huge majority of people are exposed to large amounts of noise. Even if we are sitting outside our homes or taking the dog for a walk, we are subjected to loud noises, which damage our health whether it is the passing of a garbage truck or the sound of a car horn.

Many young people listen to their car stereos very loud on their way to colleges or work, this is damaging to their health not only because of the amount of noise but also because it is done consecutively every day.

The interference of noise with speech communication is a process in which one of two simultaneous sounds renders the other inaudible. An important aspect of communication interference in occupational situations is that the failure of workers to hear warning signals or shouts may lead to injury. In offices, schools and homes, speech interference is the major source of annoyance. Noise can change the performance of an individual and may increase or decrease the efficiency.

Sound which influences people through hearing also has a number of Physiological effects in the body. Sound increases hormone production from thyroid, increases heart rate, increases the production of adrenaline, changes the movement of stomach and abdomen, muscle reaction and constriction of blood vessels. It has been determined that noise has explicit effect on blood vessels, specially the smaller ones known as pre-capillaries. Overall, noise makes these blood vessels narrower. Noise causes the peripheral blood vessel in the toes, fingers, skin and abdominal organs to constrict, thereby decreasing the amount of blood normally supplied to these areas. This shrinking of the small blood vessel is known as vaso constriction and its reflex action generated by the nervous system. It is triggered by various body chemicals, namely adrenaline, which is produced when the body is under stress.

The investigations have revealed that the blood vessels, which feed the brain, dilate in the presence of noise. This is the reason why headaches, results from listening to persistent high noise.

Studies have shown that noise can induce heart attacks. When the small blood vessels are subjected to noise there is an aggression of red blood cells within them, and the vessels contract in spasm. Thus noise will actually cause the blood to thicken and could very well lead to a heart attack.

  • Noise Pollution: Sources and Types (rashidfaridi.wordpress.com)
  • Listening to MP3s on Tube is ‘worse for your hearing than using a building site drill’ (standard.co.uk)
  • Wind park building noise ‘can kill porpoises’ (thelocal.de)
  • İstanbul noise pollution centered in Maslak (worldbulletin.net)
  • Your vehicle noise is recorded here (thehindu.com)
  • Detecting Noise Pollution in the Sea
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About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
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