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Noise pollution

Kaushik Chanda, Ph.D

Assistant Professor
Organic Chemistry Division,
School of Advanced Sciences,
VIT University, Vellore – 14.
II. Noise Pollution- Environmental noise

Production of unwanted sounds that are annoying,

distracting or damaging to one’s hearing.
Any unwanted sound that penetrates the environment is noise
In general noise pollution refers to any noise irritating to one's ear
which comes from an external source.

Noise pollution (or environmental noise ) is displeasing
human- or machine-created sound that disrupts the activity or
balance of human or animal life.
Sources of noise pollution

Sources of noise pollution

• Street traffic
• Rail roads
• Airplanes
• Constructions
• Consumer products.

Level of tolerance
Normal level of tolerance is 80dbA.

Sound level above this 80dbA is considered to be as

noise pollution.
Noise Pollution
Noise Pollution

• A common form of noise pollution is from transportation,

through motor vehicles.

• The loudness is expressed in terms of a unit called ‘decibel’

• Decibel (dB) = 10 log

• (Sound intensity measured/reference sound intensity)

195 dB Lung damage

180 dB Ear drum rupture
135 dB Painful
110 dB Discomfort
88 dB Hearing impairment
80 dB Annoying
65 dB Intrusive
List of common noises and their decibel levels:
 Aircraft at take-off (180)
 Fireworks (140)
 Amplified music (110)
 Noisy office (90)
 Vacuum cleaner (80)
 City traffic (80)
 Normal conversation (60)
 Refrigerator humming (40)
 Whisper (20)
 Leaves rustling (10)
 Calm breathing (10)
 Noise levels of 130 decibels or over will be painful and is very likely to
cause immediate hearing damage.

Perceptions of increases in decibel level

The list below gives you an idea of how noticable a change in decibel level will
be to you:
1dB - Not noticable
3dB - Barely noticeable
5dB - Clearly noticeable change
10dB - About twice as loud
20dB - About four times as loud
Causes of Noise Pollution

Industry and machinery

Transportation, automobiles, trains
and aero planes.
Community activities, entertainment and
construction noises, Social & Religious
ceremonies .

T.V, radio,
transistors, generators,
bursting of firecrackers, etc.
Effects of Noise pollution
Level of tolerance: Normal level of tolerance is 80dbA.

Effects of noise pollution:

• About 25,000 hair cells in our ear which create wave in our ear,
responding to different levels of frequencies.

• With increasing levels of sound the cells get destroyed, decreasing our
ability to hear the high frequency sound.

• Most harmful effect is temporary or permanent loss of hearing.

This often called as TTS (temporary threshold shift)

• Hearing that does not return after an acute noise injury is called a
permanent threshold shift.
Effects of Noise Pollution
1. Noise diminishes the power of hearing

2. It gives pain to the ear

3. It interferes with communication systems

4. It causes stress, fight, deafness, head-ache.

5. It increases the rate of heart beat

6. It causes the constriction of blood vessels

7. It causes the dilation of pupil of the eye.

8. It causes emotional upsets.
9. It disturbs sleep – insomnia.
10. In industrial situations, this effect results in lowered
efficiency, reduced work ratio and higher chances for accident.
Control of Noise Pollution
1. Legislation should be framed.

2.The sources that generate unwanted sound should be reduced.

3. Noisy automobiles should be condemned.

4. Wheels of automobiles should be oiled properly.

5. Industrialist must take up necessary steps to control noise.

6. Loud speakers should be set low sound.

7. Trees absorb noise and thus reduce noise pollution.

8. Noise-producing machines should be placed in closed rooms.

9. Residential houses should be constructed far away from industries,

factories, and airports.

Noise Regulation Rules under the Environment (Protection) Act

of 1986.

• Industrial- 75db

• Commercial- 65 db

• Residential zones- 55 db

Zones of silence
• No public address system after 10:00 pm and before 06:00
Actions taken and to be taken
• There are a variety of effective strategies for mitigating
adverse sound levels
 use of noise barriers.

 limitation of vehicle speeds

 alteration of roadway surface texture.

 limitation of heavy duty vehicles

 use of traffic controls that smooth vehicle flow to reduce

braking and acceleration, innovative tire design and other
Be cautious from today
• Irreversible hearing loss.
• Blood pressure rise of 5 to 10 mmHg on 8 hrs of exposure to even
70 db of sound level.
• Hearing loss begins at 80- 90 dbA.
• 140 dbA is painful and 180 dbA can even kill a person.
• Amplified rock music is 120 dbA.

• Most of the electronic vehicles and motors are above 80 dbA level.

• High noise levels may interfere with the natural cycles of animals,
including feeding behavior, breeding rituals and migration paths.
Symptoms of occupational hearing loss

• Feeling of fullness in the ear.

• Sounds may seem muffled.

• Cannot hear high frequency sounds.

• Ringing in the ears while listening to the high frequency


• Loud noise for a long period of time, or sudden burst of

sound can cause occupational hearing loss.