NOISE POLLUTION

Noise pollution can cause health problems for people and wildlife, both on land and in the sea. From traffic noise to rock concerts, loud or inescapable sounds can cause hearing loss, stress, and high blood pressure. Noise from ships and human activities in the ocean is harmful to whales and dolphins that depend on echolocation to survive.

Noise pollution  is an invisible danger. It cannot be seen, but it is present nonetheless, both on land and under the sea. Noise pollution is considered to be any unwanted or disturbing sound that affects the health and well-being of humans and other organisms.                        

Sound is measured in decibles. There are many sounds in the environment, from rustling leaves (20 to 30 decibels) to a thunderclap (120 decibels) to the wail of a siren (120 to 140 decibels). Sounds that reach 85 decibels or higher can harm a person’s ears. Sound sources that exceed this threshold include familiar things, such as power lawn mowers (90 decibels), subway trains (90 to 115 decibels), and loud rock concerts (110 to 120 decibels).

Noise pollution impacts millions of people on a daily basis. The most common health problem it causes is Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). Exposure to loud noise can also cause high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disturbances, and stress.

These health problems can affect all age groups, especially children. Many children who live near noisy airports or streets have been found to suffer from stress and other problems, such as impairments in memory, attention level, and reading skill.

Noise pollution also impacts the health and well-being of wildlife. Studies have shown that loud noises cause caterpillars’ hearts to beat faster and bluebirds to have fewer chicks. Animals use sound for a variety of reasons, including to navigate, find food, attract mates, and avoid predators. Noise pollution makes it difficult for them to accomplish these tasks, which affects their ability survive.

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