Noise pollution is machine-created sound that unsettles the natural balance of human or animal life. Noise is described as an unwanted, annoying sound. Also known as environmental noise, it can also be caused by animals. Although the disturbing noise most often comes from worldwide transportation systems, it is not the only cause. Some other sources include annual firework displays, and everyday noisy people.
Both indoor and outdoor noise pollution can come from a wide range of sources. Many of these include things that surround people every single day. They are present in everyday life. Some of those known include car alarms, emergency service sirens, office equipment, barking dogs, appliances, power tools, lighting hum, audio entertainment systems, electric megaphones, factory machinery, compressed air horns, and construction work.
Surely there have been moments in your life when you couldn’t sleep because your next-door-neighbor was having a party with loud music. Or perhaps, you have been to a football game in which an enthusiastic fan blew an air horn right in your ear. These situations are perfect example of noise pollution.
Unfortunately, noise pollution is capable of having negative effects on human health. The annoying, unwanted noise often causes aggression, hypertension, elevated stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, and sleep disturbances. All of these can lead to more serious medical issues such as cases of depression and a weakened immune system due to sleep deprivation. Hypertension and stress are the most common causes of more severe health problems. Long term exposure to loud, disturbing noise, also contributes to loss of hearing and even cardiovascular effects. Studies have shown that elderly males who were previously exposed to occupational noise show significant signs of damaged hearing, unlike those who were never exposed to such noise.
Elevated levels of noise have also been linked to cardiovascular effects. In just one eight hour period of exposure to high noise levels, blood pressure can rise five to ten points. Increased incidences of coronary artery disease have also been found in those who have been exposed to dangerous noise levels.
While noise pollution is damaging to humans, it also has harmful effects on the environment. Like humans, when exposed to noise, animals become stressed. The animal’s balance of predator/prey detection and avoidance is also interfered with and therefore increases the animal’s risk of death. Overexposure to unwanted sound can also lead to an animal’s temporary or even permanent hearing loss.
Noise also sometimes contributes to a species’ extinction. When the animals are exposed to the noise pollution, they naturally try to move away from the source of the sound. Unfortunately, after the move, the animals are sometimes unable to fully adapt to their new environment or may even enter one that is harmful to them. For example, a species of whales once became extinct after they...