Noise Pollution

By noise pollution it is usually implied a high environmental noise that is generated by people or machines with a very negative impact on human and animal life in general. Vehicles and industrial engines are the main elements responsible for noise pollution. Urban areas are the most affected by the loud and rhythmical sounds produced by transportation means, construction works, power tools and even entertainment audio systems. Some cities are more likely to be affected by this type of pollution depending on urban planning efficiency. In modern cities the industrial areas are peripheral and the tendency is to apply this model for older urban agglomerations.

Noise pollution has a direct impact on people's health status, and here we are talking about both psychological and physiological effects of loud sound exposure. Thus, noise pollution is responsible for stress levels, anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure and even panic attacks. People who work in noisy environments should use protection gear so as to avoid exposure to the sounds, in time noise-induced deafness could appear. Moreover, noise pollution can reduce people's sensitivity to sounds, speeding up the premature aging of the auditive system. Don't assume that only high-intensity sounds can do that, in fact it is medium intensity noise that is the most commonly associated with such health issues.

As for the impact of noise pollution on the environment it has been proved that it increases the mortality rate among animal species and it affects the balance in the natural occurring phenomena that rule the animal and plant world. Thus, animals find themselves disturbed in terms of communicating with each other for mating purposes, and moreover, they develop real navigation problems due to the unnatural sound level. The “voice” of the animals should therefore be loud enough to cover the man-made sounds; ultimately this would change the entire balance in the ecosystem.

By adopting the right strategies the reduction of noise pollution is possible. Among the most frequently used means to mitigate traffic noise we should mention speed limitations, tire design, noise barriers and many others. Quieter plane engines and the building of the airports far from residential areas are also worth mentioning here. Special building insulation programs already address the need for quieter homes, and the projects are successfully applied in thousands of households all over the world. There are nevertheless limitations to the measures governments can take concerning noise pollution, but they do count in the overall picture of environment conditions.

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