Currently, cities are major producers of noise and noise pollution. It is estimated that today, two-thirds of the global population live in cities. The sources of noise in cities are diverse, although the main source is traffic and everything that derives from it. These noise levels can lead to illness in people, among other consequences of varying severity.
In this AgroCorrn article, we analyze noise pollution: examples, causes and consequences . Take notes to learn everything there is to know about this type of contamination.
- Noise pollution, its characteristics and examples
- Consequences of noise on human health
- Consequences of noise or noise pollution for animals
Noise pollution, its characteristics and examples
The noise or sound , also called auditory’re , is greater in cities and come from different foci such as circulation, jams, sounds the horn, lights, buildings or works, parties and discos and levels are usually higher at night than for the day. It is the noise specialists who are in charge of carrying out their measurements and drawing up noise maps in cities, where the noise levels in the different areas and their thresholds are detailed, both during the day and at night. The World Health Organization (WHO) proposed an upper noise limit of 65 decibels (dB) so that it does not harm human health, although thousands of people are exposed every day to higher levels.
The characteristics of this type of contamination are quite particular, with respect to other types of contamination. Some of the characteristics of noise pollution are:
- It is a low-energy, cheap pollutant.
- Its measurements are difficult.
- It does not emit waste and its effect on nature does not accumulate, but its effects on living beings do.
- Its radius of expansion from the source of emission is small, with respect to other types of contamination.
- It is not dispersed by means such as the wind, although they are waves that travel through the air.
- It is perceived only through the ear, for example vibrations can also be perceived throughout the body.
Consequences of noise on human health
Constant exposure to such high levels of noise can cause stress, anxiety, cardiovascular problems or learning problems . However, there are many more health consequences that occur as a result of this type of contamination, such as the following:
Those cities with a high nightlife with bars, pubs or discos, suffer more noise at night. This level of nocturnal noise can cause sleep problems and insomnia in neighbors. Insomnia increases the risk of stress, anxiety, forgetfulness, learning problems, or immune system problems. There are already studies that relate the noise level with the increase in hospital admissions.
It has been investigated that people chronically exposed to noise levels above 65 dB or acutely at levels between 80-85 dB, can suffer from long-term heart problems. The reason is that the body responds to these high noise levels by releasing hormones that raise blood pressure, heart rate, or vasoconstriction. Older people are the most vulnerable.
People chronically exposed to these noise levels are at higher risk of hearing damage. They are injuries that gradually destroy the hearing cells and damage hearing.
Hearing loss causes problems in daily life such as difficulty in social relationships, deterioration in work and academic performance, isolation, loneliness or depression
Consequences of noise or noise pollution for animals
Not only humans suffer from noise pollution , wildlife faces even greater problems derived from high noise levels , because they are much more sensitive to them. An added problem they have is that they cannot distinguish whether the noise source represents a danger or not, so, for example, pets become more aggressive at high noise levels. In addition, animals can become disoriented and undergo serious changes in their behavior .
As for animals found in the wild, they can suffer hearing loss and become easy prey for predators, disrupting the natural balance. Sometimes they even lose their ability to hunt.
Other species that communicate through calls may be unable to communicate in this way and, as a consequence, have reproductive problems. Others that are guided by sound waves, can be disoriented and their migration patterns affected, which can happen both in air and on land and in water, as happens to dolphins and all kinds of whales when they beach. In short, noise can alter the sleep, migration, feeding or mating patterns in fauna.
Finally, we recommend that you also read this other AgroCorrn article on Solutions for noise or acoustic pollution.
If you want to read more articles similar to Noise pollution: examples, causes and consequences , we recommend that you enter our Pollution category .
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