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What is Noise Pollution?

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  • Written By: Matthew F.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2016
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While noise pollution is not pollution in the traditional sense of the word, it can have similar negative effects on people and the world. It is created by displeasing noises from any source: human, animal, or machine. These noises fill specific areas with sound, and cause many health and behavioral effects. This form of pollution does not produce the same kind of physical substance as industrial or environmental pollution, but is just as prevalent around the globe, and can be just as damaging in ways.

Noise pollution, though some may see it as any noise that is irritating or annoying, generally describes any sound that disrupts human or animal life and behavior. This type of pollution is common among many different types of large machinery. Often transportation is associated with this pollution, and often produces it through jet engines, rail noises, automobiles, and car alarms.

Other forms of noise pollution created by machines can be less distinct or less consuming, but just as wearisome. These include office equipment, factory machinery, construction work, and entertainment systems. These sources can disrupt a quiet neighborhood, a busy metropolitan, a large office building, or a small residential building. A barking dog outside or noisy people within also account for noise pollution in many circumstances.

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The effects of noise pollution, as well as the causes, are also paramount across the world. Damaging to mental health, noise can produce annoyance and irritation, and this can quickly lead to aggression. This cycle of noise can soon lead to violence, hypertension, stress, sleep loss, hearing loss, and other unnoticed effects. The high blood pressure produced by stress from noise pollution can lead to cardiovascular effects, bad tempers, and even harmful reactions like heart attacks in the most extreme.

Animals as well as humans are affected by noise. Industrial hubs placed near animal habitats can drastically alter animals' lives. The noise associated with these areas, even if they are not within sight of the animals, can cause the same kind of stress that it does in humans. Loud and machinated noises can scare animals, disrupt the balance between the predator and the prey, and have effects on mating calls and signals. The loss of hearing that is harmful in humans can cause animals to lose their natural awareness of their surroundings. This can lead to increased deaths and decreased mating, and has been thought to lead some creatures to extinction.

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anon287681
Post 7

What are the rights of a homeowner who hears loud video, radio and/or television noises beginning from 9 p.m. to 2-4 a.m. most evenings? What are the laws of dog barking continuously, fireworks, motorcycle loud muffler sounds, banging hockey pucks in the house and banging against your semi-attached walls, and what are laws about hammering and sawing from 9 p.m. to whenever on weeknights and weekends? Help is needed.

anon224141
Post 6

@stormyknight: I couldn't agree more! You see, noise has become a part of everyday life and even though it is unwanted, it is needed! We humans are constantly needing stuff and to fulfill these needs, technology comes into picture but with the sweet comes the sour!

GrumpyGuppy
Post 4

What are some things that we can do to cut down on noise pollution?

StormyKnight
Post 3

@cellmania: There is a Noise Pollution Clearinghouse and they have a website. According to NPC, “Noise is among the most pervasive pollutants today. The problem with noise is not only that it is unwanted, but also that it negatively affects human health and well-being. Problems related to noise include hearing loss, stress, high blood pressure, sleep loss, distraction and lost productivity, and a general reduction in the quality of life.”

You can find more information on their website.

CellMania
Post 2

Where would I find more information about noise pollution and the effects? Are there certain noise pollution sources?

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