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What is Noise Pollution?

Noise pollution is a serious threat to the quality of man's environment. Noise, by definition, is over-
loud or disturbing sound. Sound levels are measured in decibels (dB). It is a unit for expressing the
relative intensity of sound on a scale from 0 to 130.

Noise is unwanted sound and has become a part of urban life and industrial centres in this century.
Noise pollution may come from loudspeakers, factories, aeroplanes, moving trains, construction
activity or even a radio.

- Courtesy by : C.P.R.Environmental Education Centre,


Noise Pollution Includes noise levels and effects from domestic, construction,
urban, industrial, transportation and other sources; acoustic measuring and
instruments; noise surveys and standards.

Sound is such a common part of everyday life that we often overlook all that it can
do. It provides enjoyment, for example through listening to music or bird-song. It
allows spoken communication. It can alert or warn us, say though a door-bell, or wailing siren. In engineering
it can tell us when something has slightly changed, like in a squeaking car.
Yet in a modern society sound often annoys us. Many sounds are unpleasant or unwanted, and this is classed
as noise.

The definition of noise itself is highly subjective. To some people the roar of an engine is satisfying or thrilling;
to others it is an annoyance. Loud music may be enjoyable or a torment, depending on the listener and the
circumstances. Broadly speaking, any form of unwelcome sound is noise pollution, whether it is the roar of a
jet plane overhead or the sound of a barking dog a block away. One measure of pollution is the danger it
poses to health. Noise causes stress, and stress is a leading cause of illness and suicide. Therefore any form
of noise can be considered pollution if it causes annoyance, sleeplessness, fright, or any other stress reaction.

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When considering the effects of noise on human health and quality of life, we have to take into account the
intensity of the sound in question, its duration, and the time and place at which it is heard. Sound intensity is
usually measured on the logarithmic decibel (dB) scale. The threshold level for the human ear is between 3-
45 dB.

The decibel is a measure of sound intensity; that is, the magnitude of the fluctuations in air pressure caused
by sound waves. The decibel scale is logarithmic, not arithmetic. This means that a doubling of sound
intensity is not represented as a doubling of the decibel level. In fact, an increase of just 3 dB means twice as
much sound, and an increase of 10 dB means ten times as much sound.

A sound pressure level of 0 dB represents the threshold of hearing in the most sensitive frequency range of a
young, healthy ear, while the thresholds of tickling or painful sensations in the ear occur at about 120 to 130
dB. The perception of loudness by the human ear is not directly proportional to the decibel level. For example,
a sound 10 dB greater than another is not perceived as being ten times as loud but only about three times as

The intensity of noise diminishes with distance. Outdoors, and in absence of any close reflecting surface, the
effective decibel level diminishes at a rate of 6 dB for each factor of two increase in distance. For example, a
sound measuring 100 dB at 10 metres would be 94 dB at 20 metres, 88 dB at 40 metres, and so on.

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Effects of Noise Pollution

• Even short exposure to noise can produce temporary

hearing losses.
• Prolonged exposure to noise can lead to a gradual
deterioration of the inner ear and subsequent deafness.
• Constant noise causes the blood vessels and muscles to
contract. This causes a gradual loss of hearing, tension,
nervousness and psychiatric illness. High intensity sounds
emitted by many industries and supersonic aircraft, when
continued for long periods of time not only disturb but also
permanently damage hearing.
• Noise has harmful effects on non-living materials too.
Numerous examples can be cited where old buildings and
even new constructions have developed cracks under the
stress of explosive sounds

- Courtesy by : C.P.R.Environmental Education Centre, Chennai

Noise pollution affects nearly every aspect of life and probably has damaging physical effects as
well. The best-studied and best-defined effect on physical health is the effect of noise on hearing.
The research results are clear: loud or sustained noise can damage hearing. The source of the noise is
not very important; it can be a pile driver or rock music. What is important is that it can have a
lasting impact.

Noise pollution also impacts people's sleep. It can result in mood problems and adversely affect job
performance. (See our section on insomnia for more information on the effects of disturbed sleep and
steps to take to improve insomnia.)

Several research studies suggest that noise can cause high blood pressure. Others say that psychiatric
diseases can be caused by noise. Some of these studies are controversial and are contested by other
researchers because so many variables such as age, overall state of health, diet, smoking and drinking
habits, socioeconomic factors, and other sources of environmental and social stress must also be
taken into account.

It is clear, however, that noise, even though a "non-specific stressor", does cause a physical response.
It elicits the same responses as a perceived physical threat would produce: it activates the nervous
system, causes the muscles to tense and the heart rate and respiratory rate to increase and prepares
the body to fight or to run away. This response-called the "fight or flight" response--underlies all
responses to stress.

The long-term effects of this kind of stimulus, of being ready to flee or give battle, are not
completely understood. Being continuously under stress is something like sitting on the edge of your
chair or waiting for the other shoe to drop. Your body isn't quite sure what will happen next or how
to respond, and that state constant confusion has been implicated in the development of a number of

It is also important to remember that people who sense that they have some control over what
happens in their lives are impacted less strongly by stressors than those who feel they have no

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control, and noise is something over which we have very little control. (See our section on stress for
more information about these important problems.)

Noise affects us in another significant way: people exposed to noise feel a greater sense of frustration
and annoyance than people whose environment is not as noisy. Annoyance is the expression of the
negative feelings experienced when one's activities or the enjoyment of one's surroundings are
disrupted. Annoyance can have a major impact on the quality of life and is generally a variable
examined when studying the impact of noise.

In addition to the other environmental pollutants, noise can affect not only our moods but also our
physical well being, and, just like water and air pollution, must be subject to greater study and more
stringent controls.

Noise Causes Problems like :

• Hearing loss
• High blood pressure
• Ulcers
• Depression and
• Psychosomatic problems like nervousness and stress.

That noise has psychological effects is undoubted, so it is important that we take steps to decrease
noise pollution.

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Stress Effects Associated with noise

Stress can be manifested in any number of ways, including headaches, irritability, insomnia, digestive
disorders, and psychological disorders. Workers who are exposed to excessive noise frequently complain that
noisejust makes them tired.

Quite a few field studies have been done on workers in Europe, examining the relationship between noise and
illness. In these studies, noise has been related to the following:

• General morbidity (illness)

• Neuropsychological disturbances
o headaches
o fatigue
o insomnia
o irritability
o neuroticism
• Cardiovascular system disturbances
o hypertension
o hypotension
o cardiac disease
• Digestive disorders
o ulcers
o colitis
• Endocrine and biochemical disorders

Noise parameters that affect work performance

• Characteristics of the noise

• Characteristics of the task
• Aspects of performance considered important
• Individual differences

In general, noise is more likely to reduce the accuracy rather than the total quantity of work and it affects
complex tasks more than simpler ones.

As the noise level increases, both reaction times and numbers of errors increase. These effects are more
pronounced for complex tasks than for simpler tasks. In fact, for some simple tasks, noise may enhance

Noise often results in a disruption of one's attentional processes. Cues that are irrelevant to task performance
are dropped out first. If attention is further restricted, then cues that are relevant to performance of the task
are eliminated.

Performance improves during exposure to noise when distracting cues are dropped out. Task performance
improves when only relevant primary task cues are focused upon.

Noise levels most likely to be detrimental to performance are:

• Continuous noise levels above 90 dB (A-weighted)

• Levels less than 90 dB (A-weighted), if they have predominantly high frequency components,
are intermittent, unexpected, or uncontrollable (5)

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Types of Noise Pollution

• Residential noise -

this is any noise from residential premises such as a house, apartment, flat. The noise could come
from neighbours and the most common problems are from stereos and air conditioners.

• Traffic noise -

people living or working near busy roads can find traffic noise disturbing and annoying

• Factory noise
• Entertainment noise -

loud music from hotels, clubs, discos and concerts can be a problem

• Alarm noise -

these are used to deter burglars but their loudness and pitch can cause problems if not turned off
straight away or if they are faulty

• Motor vehicle noise -

by car horns misused by the driver as they should only be used as a traffic warning, exhaust noise
levels and traffic noise

• Aircraft noise
• Motor boats/jet ski noise
• Railway and tramway maintenance noise
• Other noises -

examples are shops, rubbish collection, public address systems and pets.

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Harmful effects of Chemicals Used in Crackers:

• Copper:

Poison to humans by ingestion. Inhalation of copper dust and fume causes irritation in the respiratory
tract. Absorption of excess copper results in "Wilson's disease" in which excess copper is deposited in
the brain, skin, liver, pancreas and myocardium (middle muscular layer in the heart).

• Cadmium:

Can be poisonous to humans by inhalation, ingestion, intraperitonial, sub-cutaneous, intra-muscular

and intravenous routes. Cadmium absorption can damage the kidneys and can cause anaemia. It is a
potential human carcinogen. Cadmium causes increased blood pressure and also a disease called
"Itai--Itai", which makes bones brittle resulting in multiple fractures.

• Lead:

Affects the central nervous system in humans. A poison if ingested, moderately irritating. It can cause
cancer of lungs and kidneys and an experimental teratogen. When heated it can emit highly toxic
fumes. In inorganic form, it is a general metabolic poison and an enzyme inhibitor. Young children can
suffer mental retardation and semi-permanent brain damage by exposure to lead. Incase of lead
levels in blood, the disturbing feature is that the natural levels are very close to the lowest safety

• Magnesium:

Poison by ingestion, inhalation of magnesium dust and fumes can cause metal fume fever. Particles
embedded in the skin can produce gaseous blebs and a gas gangrene. Dangerous fire hazard in the
form of dust or flakes when exposed to flames. Manganese in the air has adverse effects on humans.
Poisoning takes the form of progressive deterioration in the central nervous system.

• Manganese:

An experimental carcinogen and mutagen. Human toxicity caused by dust or fumes. The main
symptoms of exposure are languor, sleepiness, weakness, emotional disturbances, spastic gait and

• Potassium:

Dangerous fire hazard. If there is any confinement, an explosion can occur.

• Sodium:

In elemental form, it is highly reactive, particularly with moisture with which it reacts violently and
therefore can attack living tissue. When heated in air, it emits toxic fumes of sodium oxide. Dangerous
fire hazard when exposed to heat and moisture.

• Zinc:

Human skin irritant and effects pulmonary system. Pure zinc powder is non-toxic to humans by
inhalation but difficulty arises from oxidation (burning), as it emits zinc fumes. Zinc is perhaps the least
toxic of all heavy metals, in fact an essential element in animal and human nutrition, still they become
toxic when absorbed in excess. Zinc stimulates the sensation of vomiting. An exposure to 150 mg of
zinc can stimulate the process of vomiting in an adult male.

• Nitrate:

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Large amounts taken by mouth can have serious and even fatal effects. The symptoms are dizziness,
abdominal cramps, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, weakness, convulsions and collapse. Small repeated
doses may lead to weakness, general depression, headache and mental impairment. Also there is
some implication of increased cancer incidents among those exposed. Highly inflammable and on
decomposition they emit highly toxic fumes.

• Nitrite:

Large amounts taken by mouth may produce nausea, vomiting, cyanosis, collapse and coma.
Repeated small doses can cause a fall in blood pressure, rapid pulse, headaches and visual
disturbances. When heated, emit highly toxic fumes of NOx.

• Phosphorous in PO4:

Poison to humans. Dangerous fire hazard when exposed to heat or chemical reaction. Poison by
inhalation, ingestion, skin contact and subcutaneous routes. Ingestion affects the central nervous
system. Toxic quantities have an acute effect on the liver and can cause severe eye damage.

• Sulphur in SO4:

Poison to humans by inhalation an eye, skin and mucous membrane irritant and corrosive, an
experimental carcinogen. It chiefly affects the upper respiratory tract and the bronchi. It may cause
edema of the lungs or glottis, and can produce respiratory paralysis.
Source: Hazardous Chemicals Desk Reference, N.Irving Sax and Richard J.Lewis

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Causes of Noise Pollution

The major sources of noise are

Us e of T elevis ion and Us e of I ndus tr ial

Railways Air cr aft
Radio louds peaker s activities

- Courtesy by : C.P.R.Environmental Education Centre, Chennai

Causes of Noise

• Transport noise
• Social Noise
• Industrial Noise
• Noise in the Sea

Transport noise :

There's no getting around it. Transport is a necessity, and because of this there are
very few places in the United Kingdom where transport noise cannot be heard. An
industrial society depends on mechanical transport for the efficient distribution of
people and goods between dwellings, schools, shops, offices, factories, leisure
centres, and many other places.

Categories of Transport Noise :

• Road Noise: This mainly comes from cars,buses, lorries, vans and motorbikes, and each of
these makes noise in a variety of different ways. Typically the things that bother people the
most are engine starting, gear changing, car stereos, brakes and tyres. Half the responsibility
of keeping their vehicle quiet lies with the driver, making sure the car is in good working order,
for example; that the brakes don't squeak. Also driver's must be aware that their vehicle is
likely to cause a noise, and drive it in a way that reduces the annoyance to others; not racing
along quiet residential roads, avoiding driving at night, unless necessary.

The simple solution is to make people park their cars a few minutes walk away from residential areas,
but when one suggests this to people, it turns out that they would prefer to occasionally be disturbed
by noise, rather than have to walk to their car, or the nearest bus stop.

• Rail Noise:

Noise from trains is really a bit odd. If one compares two people, exposed to the same amount of
noise, one from cars, the other from trains, the car person is far more likely to complain. No-one is
quite sure why this is, but it could be that the trains are seen as more useful, or that their noise is
unavoidable. Whatever the reason, there is far less pressure on the railways to reduce their noise,
than for road vehicles, and aircraft.

• Air Craft Noise:

This is a major problem to those people who live near a busy commercial or military airport, but for
most people aircraft noise goes unnoticed.

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Airplane noise can be a much greater disturbance to sleep than other noises. Research indicates that
near a major airport, the number of people awakened by airplanes is about 50% greater than the
number awakened by other noises. Mumbai has one of the busiest airports in the country. Most
people living near the airport have to deal with the noise disturbance caused by planes landing or
taking off every three to five minutes. People living close to the airport have to bear with noise levels
up to 110 decibels. Says 29-year old Anjali Kapoor, a Computer Analyst who lives close to the
Domestic Airport in Mumbai, "Every time a plane takes off the conversation in the house automatically
becomes louder. We can’t hear the television or the phone so we have to increase the volume to hear
it well. Besides your sleep gets disturbed at least twice or thrice practically every night."

Aircraft noise is not simply a problem for those trying to sleep. Studies have demonstrated that
exposure to high levels of aircraft and environmental noise can adversely affect reading ability in
school-age children. Sleep disturbances are probably the most widespread source of annoyance
caused by noise.

Studies on aircraft noise have also concluded that elevated blood pressure, heart disease, and
psychological trauma are direct consequences of noise exposure. Although these associations have
been reported, others contradict or do not bear them out. Hypertension, heart disease and
psychological trauma, as well as irritation and annoyance can be engendered by a variety of risk
factors or by several operating simultaneously.

Social noise :

Of all sorts of noise, neighbourhood noise is the greatest source of noise nuisance
and complaints. A survey carried out in the UK in 1986/87 estimated that 14% of
the adult population was bothered by neighbourhood noise, compared with 11%
from road traffic noise, and 7% bothered by aircraft noise.

The sources of neighbourhood noise, in order of number of complaints, was

Amplified music; Dogs; Domestic activities; Voices; DIY; Car repairs; with 10% complaining about something

Engineers strive to make these complains less frequent. Often there is little engineers can do to reduce the
noise at source. People are people, and will make a noise. What is done is to stop the noise, as it travels from
from the source to the listener. Double glazing and better insulated walls are two low-tech solutions to the
problem. Hi-tech solutions include the active control of sound: For every noise, making an anti-noise, and
having the two cancel out, but active control is still to expensive and unreliable to apply to general cases, at
the moment.

Industrial Noise :

Industrial noise comes from either an established factory, or by building works. As industrial noise is much
more of a problem to people working in a factory, who might suffer permanent hearing damage as a result of
noise, than to the general public, who report annoyance at it. Because of this most of the engineering
solutions and regulations governing factory noise are to deal with the high levels inside, though this does have
a benefit outside the factory.

There are however, specific guidelines that the government has developed, under the guidance of engineers,
to estimate the number of people likely to be affected by an industrial noise. With this tool, engineers can plan
factories so they will disturb as few possible in the surrounding area. Once again the benefits of a new factory
have to be weighed against the disturbance to the local inhabitants, and if necessary, offer some
compensation to those effected.

Ocean Noise :

The ocean has always been a noisy place to live. Breaking waves cause lots of noise, shrimps click their
claws, surf on the beach and various fishy noises all contribute to the general hubbub. Now however, the
greater amount of shipping has dramatically increased the noise in the ocean, drowning out all the natural

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noises. Huge engines hammer away, driving the ships across the oceans, radiating sound from their
propellers and through their hulls.

Through all this clamour there is one creature that really relies on hearing quiet noises across vast distances,
and that creature is the whale. Whale song has been popular for several years now, but the whales have been
using it much longer than that. It is widely believed that the whales use their song to communicate with each
other, across hundreds of miles of ocean. With the increase in noise in the ocean people are beginning to
worry that the whales won't be a ble to hear each other, and so will be less likely to find each other. This could
effect their migration patterns, and so effect their population.

As always it comes down to the engineer to improve on what has gone before. The ship owners don't want to
pay a fortune to make their ships quiet for the benefit of a few fish (I know they're mammals really), so
combined with government legislation, the engineers make ships that are cheaper, faster, and more efficient,
while still making less noise than older ships. This keeps both the ship owners and environmentalists happy,
while allowing the whales to sing in peace.

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Health Hazards of Noise Pollution

Psychological and physical effects of noise at different decibel levels (db)

Noise Level in decibels Source Effects
135 pneumatic drill painful
110 rock band discomfort
hearing impairment on
88 industry / city traffic
prolonged exposure
80 alarm clock annoying
65 average city traffic intrusive

- Courtesy by : C.P.R.Environmental Education Centre, Chennai

How does noise pollution affect our health?

• Hearing loss
• Heart disease - noise causes stress and the body reacts with increased adrenaline,
changes in heart rate, and a rise in blood pressure
• Sleep disruption - noise affects the quantity and quality of sleep. When sleep is
disturbed by noise, work efficiency and health may suffer
• Mental and social well-being - when noise becomes sufficiently loud or unpredictable
our first annoyance can graduate to more extreme behaviour
• Danger to people- noise can cover warning signals, causing accidents to occur and
noise can hide shouts for help if a person is in danger

Hearing loss

Most of society is now aware that noise can damage hearing. However, short of a threat that disaster
would overtake the human race if nothing is done about noise, it is unlikely that many people today
would become strongly motivated to do something about the problem. Yet, the evidence about the ill
effects of noise does not allow for complacency or neglect. For instance, researchers working with
children with hearing disorders are constantly reminded of the crucial importance of hearing to
children. In the early years the child cannot learn to speak without special training if he has enough
hearing loss to interfere effectively with the hearing of words in context (Bugliarello, et al., 1976). In
this respect, there is a clear need for parents to protect their children’s hearing as they try to protect
their eyesight. If no steps are taken to lessen the effects of noise, we may expect a significant
percentage of future generations to have hearing damage. It would be difficult to predict the total
outcome if total population would suffer hearing loss. Conceivably, the loss could even be
detrimental to our survival if it were ever necessary for us to be able to hear high frequencies.
Colavita has consistently been unable to find among university students in his classes any who could
hear 20 kHz, although the classical results of Fletcher and Munson show 20 kHz as an audible
frequency (Fletcher, 1953).

There are two types of hearing loss:

• conductive
• sensorineural

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In conductive deafness sound-pressure waves never reach the cochlea, most often as a consequence
of a ruptured eardrum or a defect in the ossicles of the middle ear.

The three bones form a system of levers linked together, hammer pushing anvil, anvil-pushing
stirrup. Working together, the bones amplify the force of sound vibrations. Taken together, the bones
double, often treble the force of the vibrations reaching the eardrum

Mitigation of potentially harmful amplification occurs via muscles of the middle ear. These muscles
act as safety device protection the ear against excessive vibrations from very loud noises, very much
like an automatic damper or volume control.

When jarring sounds with their rapid vibrations strike the eardrum; the muscles twist the bones
slightly, allowing the stirrup to rotate in a different direction. With this directional shift, less force is
transmitted to the inner ear: less, not all.

The human ear is a delicate and fragile anatomical structure on the other hand it’s a fairly powerful
physical force. These muscles act quickly but not always as in examples of when the ear catches the
sound of gun being shot unexpectedly. The muscles of the ear were relaxed and were unprepared for
such a blast, because of this damage was done.

Conductive hearing loss can be minimized, even overcome by use of the familiar hearing aids. The
most common is worn over the mastoid bond behind the pinna. It picks up sound waves and
transmits them through the skull to the cochlea.

Sensorineural hearing loss, the most common form in the United States, occurs as a result of
advancing age as well as exposure to loud noises. In both instances there is a disruption of the organ
of Corti. The organ serves two functions: converting mechanical energy to electrical and dispatching
to the brain a coded version of the original sound with information bout frequency, intensity, and
timbre. The hair cells of the organ of Corti send their electrochemical signals into the central nervous
system, where the signals are picked up by thousands of auditory nerve fibers and transmitted to the
brain. It is the decoding of all the information that enables a person to distinguish the unique ant
separate sounds of a violin, trumpet, and clarinet, even all three are playing the same note.

The organ of corti, a gelatinous mass, is on of the best protected parts of the body, encased as it is
within the cochlea which in turn is deeply embedded in the temporal bone, perhaps the hardest of the
206 bones (Bugliarello, et al., 1976). None the less, loud noise can damage the hair cells and the
auditory nerve, producing at times, depending on the type of noise, sudden and often total deafness.

Sustained noise over a period of time can also engender sensorineural deafness in the form of gradual
losses in hearing. This is the most common loss in teenagers today listening to loud rock music
(Bugliarello, et al., 1976).

Until a few years ago, sensorineural deafness could not be helped by hearing aids. However, with
advances in electronic wizardry and miniaturization, devices for insertion into the auditory canal are

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Prevention of Noise pollution

• A green-belt effectively reduces the noise.

• A 20 foot wide plantation inside the compound protects the house from the noise of
vehicular traffic.
• Decibel metres should be installed along highways and in factories to check and
control the intensity of noise pollution.
• Specific legislation and regulations should be proposed for designing and operation of
machines to include vibration control, sound-proof cabins and sound-absorbing
• In metropolitan areas a green belt of vegetation and open spaces in general may have
a great value in noise control as in air purification. It has been seen that plants are
efficient absorbers of noise, especially noise of higher frequency. Plants can also
absorb aeroplane noise, so a green belt should be planted around airports.
• Loud speakers, which have become a part of festivals, weddings and prayers are
banned in most places. The playing of loud speakers should be reported immediately
to the police.

- Courtesy by : C.P.R.Environmental Education Centre, Chennai

• The first approach should be to reduce noise at source.

• Design and fabrication of silencing devices and their use in aircraft engines, trucks,
cars, motorcycles, industrial machines and home appliances should be an effective
• Protection to workers can be provided with the help of devices such as earplugs and
• Making a change in design and operation of machines, vibration control, sound proof
cabins and sound-absorbing materials can reduce noise.
• Noise can be reduced by prescribing noise limits for vehicular traffic, ban on honking
of horns in certain areas and planning main traffic arteries, industrial establishments,
amusement areas, residential colonies, creation of silent zones near schools.

Reducing Indoor Noise :

• Trees and shrubs could be planted in front of the building to provide some absorption
for the sound.
• Music addicts should be advised to keep the volume low.

Reducing Outside Noise :

• Vegetation buffer zones must be created in different parts of the city.

• Efforts should be made for roadside plantations.

Legislation for control of noise pollution :

In India, in the absence of a specific legislation for control and prevention of the noise pollution, one
has to seek provisions in various branches of law and regulations. There has been no doubt that the
available provisions in various branches of law are inadequate, unscientific and crude. In most of the
developed countries specific legislation has been made and scientific methods for investigation of
noise pollution have been invented. At present, there is no specific and detailed legislation to control
the noise pollution. However, there is an urgent need that the Central Government of India should

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manage to get a legislation passed for the control of noise pollution. Some legislation regarding
water and air pollution has been made in India.

Government should pass the

• Noise Pollution Control Act to meet special Indian conditions.

• Apart from such Central legislation, there should be a city noise control code for all
major cities in India.
• Creation of unnecessary noise has to be prohibited and should be punishable under

Education :

• People can be educated through radio, TV, newsreels in cinema halls about noise
• In the family, elders can teach children to keep the radio volume low, low voice
talking, not to horn unnecessarily on the roads, avoid quarreling amongst each other
and so on.
• There should be a complete ban of loudspeakers from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Public awakening and control :

Public awakening is also very essential for the control and prevention of the noise pollution. In India,
most people lack knowledge about the ways in which noise pollution can be controlled. Masses are
still ignorant of the grave effects of the noise pollution. In this regard television, radio, Internet, and
newspapers should start a campaign for wider publicity.

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Hearing Conservation

Noise problem can be Solved by the three basic elements of the problem:

• By modifying the source to reduce its noise output
• By altering the transmission path to reduce the noise level reaching the
• By altering the receiver's exposure either through limiting the exposure time or by providing
personal protective equipment (11)

Noise output can be reduced by

• Reducing impact or impulsive forces

• Reducing speed in machines, and flow velocities and pressures in fluid systems
• Balancing rotating parts
• Reducing frictional resistance
• Isolating vibrating elements within the machine
• Reducing noise radiating areas
• Applying vibration damping materials
• Reducing noise leakage from the interior of the machine

Noise transmission paths can be altered by:

• Separating the noise source and receiver as much as possible

• Using sound absorbing materials
• Using sound barriers or deflectors
• Using acoustical linings
• Using mufflers, silencers, or snubbers
• Using vibration isolators and flexible couplers

More Links for Other Related Topics

• Other informationon in this subject can be obtained from WHO Press Releases
• -- Noise Pollution Clearinghouse
• -- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): Noise and
Hearing Loss Prevention
• -- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication
• -- League for the Hard of Hearing, Noise Center
• -- American Speech-Language-Hearing
Association (ASHA): Noise

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