Despite being one of the least tangible types of pollution, noise pollution decisively affects the development and well-being of both human beings and other animals that suffer from it. In general terms, most people consider that noise pollution is the “noise” that is generated by human activity, but the definition goes further and its implications are many, understanding this type of pollution and how it affects us can get to be much more complex.
In the following AgroCorrn article we will tell you what noise pollution is and how it affects our quality of life.
- Definition of noise pollution, what is it?
- Examples of noise pollution
- When noise is considered to cause noise pollution
- Consequences of noise pollution on our health
- Solutions for noise pollution
Definition of noise pollution, what is it?
Despite identifying noise pollution (or noise pollution) with simple noise, in reality noise pollution is always annoying noise but manifested in an excessive way and to the point where it negatively alters the adequate living conditions at the environmental level of a specific area.
One of the characteristics that identify it and that this type of contamination presents is that, unlike other types, it does not leave physical residues, nor is it transferred or maintained over time. Rather, it is a localized contamination determined by human activities that take place in a specific place.
Examples of noise pollution
For excess noise to be considered as noise pollution it must come from some human activity. Obviously, the higher the noise produced by the activity in question, the higher the level of noise pollution produced.
Noise pollution: examples
Some of the most common examples of noise pollution are found in the following human activities:
- Traffic : roads and urban centers are spaces with a very high level of noise pollution precisely to noise from road traffic, regardless of whether it is passenger or freight vehicles.
- Industrial activity : the different industrial activities produce a considerable level of noise pollution. This activity includes from manufacturing factories to activities of exploitation of natural resources such as mines.
- Leisure venues : it is a type of noise pollution that is usually located in urban centers and is related, above all, to nightlife, which takes place when noise pollution is most annoying and damaging, which are the hours of sleep.
- Stations, ports and airports : of all, air traffic is the most annoying, but activity near seaports and stations also entails a high level of noise pollution.
When noise is considered to cause noise pollution
According to the WHO, any type of sound that is greater than 65 decibels is considered noise , which is the measure used to measure the acoustic impact of any activity that involves noise pollution.
On the other hand, the current legislation (the one that says when a noise level is excessive and can be penalized for producing it) depends on the City Councils. That is, depending on the locality in which we are, we may encounter different types of limits when considering that an activity is producing noise pollution that exceeds the limits stipulated by law and that, therefore, it can be warned to the competent authorities so that they can proceed to take the pertinent measures.
Likewise, these limits depend on the time zone in which we are, differentiating between day and night. In general, the maximum level of decibels that are allowed on an urban street is between 50 and 65 decibels during the day, while at night it is between 40 and 55.
However, these limits are often not respected , and that is when noise pollution will begin to cause real health problems for both people and animals.
Consequences of noise pollution on our health
Noise pollution affects both people and animals. Although it is true that, in most cases, those who are going to be most affected are people and domestic animals , this is because they are those who live in urban centers, which are the places where the level of noise pollution is older.
However, if we think of the noise pollution produced by air traffic at an airport, it will affect all the local fauna that live within a radius of several kilometers around the take-off and landing runways.
Noise pollution, especially when it is prolonged in time, affects health by developing various types of diseases. Likewise, these medical conditions tend to increase in the event that the problem is not solved.
Some of the most common consequences of noise pollution are:
- Lack of concentration
- Social isolation
On the other hand, in addition to these diseases, suffering from it can trigger other types of diseases as a consequence of the lack of a correct rest at night, such as those related to the respiratory system, heart diseases, weight gain, failure school, violent behavior, or hearing loss among others.
Solutions for noise pollution
The solutions against noise pollution may be of two types:
- Preventive solutions : in the case of preventive we will be talking about solutions that eliminate the sources that produce noise pollution. An example of this would be to pedestrianize a street, which will avoid road traffic and, consequently, the noise pollution derived from it.
- Healing solutions : while in the case of healing we will be counteracting, as far as possible, the impact that noise pollution produces. For example, the use of ear plugs or having windows that muffle the sound of road traffic, making noise pollution not reach the interior of the house or, if it does, it has been minimized as much as possible.
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