Noise Pollution

Topics: Sound, Noise pollution, Natural environment Pages: 2 (460 words) Published: April 26, 2007
No one on earth can escape the sounds of noise – an unwanted, disturbing sound that causes an annoyance in the eye of the beholder. The thought of pollution, to the majority of people, brings reflections of chemical spills, radiation, and holes in the ozone layer, and noise is usually last on the list. Every day we experience different types of noise and most of the time we are not bothered by it. However, sometimes it can be too loud, unnecessary or just happen at the wrong time or without warning.

In the past thirty years, noise in all areas, especially in urban areas, has been rising rapidly. Road traffic, jet planes, garbage trucks, construction equipment, manufacturing processes, lawn mowers, and boom boxes, are among the audible litter that are consistently broadcasted in the air. There are numerous effects on the human environment due to the increase in noise pollution. Noise causes hearing loss, interferes with human activities at home and work, and is in various ways dangerous to people's health and well being. Studies show that over forty percent of Americans are disturbed at home or lose sleep because of noise pollution. The definite loudness of a sound is only one factor of the effect it has on human beings. Other aspects to consider are the time and place, the duration, the source of the sound, and whether the listener has any control over it.

Noise is measured on the decibel scale; the magnitude of the fluctuations in air pressure caused by sound waves. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established 70 dBA as a safe average for a 24-hour day. 85 decibels is said to cause hearing damage if the noise continues for eight hours or more. In addition, noise-induced stress creates severe tension in on a daily basis and contributes to mental illness.

Governments have traditionally viewed noise as a nuisance rather than an environmental problem. As a result, most instruction has been left up to community authorities. In the United States, the...
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