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Noise Pollution Effects

Updated on April 20, 2017

What Is Noise?

The word "Noise" is derived from Latin word "Nauseas", which means sea sickness. Noise is any unwanted, irritating, distracting or unpleasant sound which causes disturbance.

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is the result of this unwanted noise, which disturbs people and animals. There are various sources of noise pollution. Some of them are flying airplanes, moving trains, construction work, vacuum cleaners, machines in a factory, car alarms, shouting people, sirens, vehicular traffic, horns, fireworks, barking dogs and loud music. The US Environmental Protection Agency considers sound levels between 55 to 65 dB (decibel) to be acceptable.

Harmful Effects of Noise Pollution

People generally do not realize the dangerous effects of noise pollution. It has many disruptive effects. Here are some of them:

  • It increases stress levels which is bound to affect execution of day to day activities.
  • It causes annoyance. WHO (World Health Organization) has reported that 15 percent of Europeans suffer severe annoyance due to noise pollution.

  • Increases aggression. This definitely impacts relationships. The affected person also feels tired easily.
  • It may cause high blood pressure, which leads to further health complications. Hypertension due to noise pollution can cause ulcers.

  • It is proved that noise pollution is the main cause of tinnitus (perception of sound in the ear, even though there may be no sound outside). WHO studies indicate that 3 percent of all reported tinnitus cases in Europe were due to chronic exposure to noise pollution from loud traffic. Tinnitus may cause further complications like panic attacks, depression and forgetfulness.

  • Continuous exposure to noise is known to cause loss of hearing. It is estimated that more than 7 million people working in American factories have noise induced hearing loss. Another survey indicated that 80 percent of traffic police in Pune, India, were deaf.

  • It is known to cause heart related problems. A study conducted by WHO (World Health Organization) indicates that persistent exposure to noise is directly responsible for 3 percent of all heart disease deaths in Europe. Noise pollution affects heart beat rate and pulse rate. It is also known to affect cholesterol levels in the body.

  • Research conducted on pregnant female mice revealed that sound of airplane taking off caused miscarriages in them. An airplane taking off emits more than 120 dB of sound.
  • It causes disturbance during sleep. WHO study indicates that at least 2 percent of Europeans experience severely disturbed sleep due to noise pollution. This results in the affected person not able to concentrate during the waking hours.

  • Continuous exposure to high noise levels can damage hair cells, cause nausea, headaches and loss of appetite.
  • It also affects animal life causing stress and ear related problems in them. Animals use sounds to communicate with each other. This gets affected due to noise pollution.
  • It affects migratory pattern in birds.

Noise pollution affects migratory pattern in birds.

  • Continuous exposure to noise pollution is known to affect the quality of crops.
  • Buildings and materials may be damaged due to continuous exposure to infrasonic or ultrasonic waves.

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Noise pollution affects normal human performance which can have a negative impact on the economy. Governments all over the world should plan the cities at least in the future in such a way that there are no residential areas near factories. Sound barriers may also be considered at industrial areas. People should use ear plugs, which are effective against noise pollution.

5 Diseases Caused by Noise Pollution

Sl No
Ischemic heart disease

Keep the noise down or the noise will keep you down.


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