EXAMINATION OF NOISE POLLUTION. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
Noise is not often thought as a pollutant, but unwanted sound (noise) can seriously degrade the quantity of life, the acceptance of noise by people obviously depends on the individual, but it has been legislated on levels of sound acceptable to the community. (Agbalagba, 2017).
The level of noise deemed to be acceptable is dependent upon
- The type of environment: acceptable levels of surroundings noise are affected by the type of activity, A library, for, has different requirements to those on a factory floor
- Frequency structure: different noises contain different frequencies and some frequencies are found to be more annoying than lower frequency rumbles.
- Duration: a short period of high level noise is less likely to annoy than a long period.
Different people have different hearing sensitivities, but average values can be measured and provide a map of the sound that the human ear can detect, the threshold of hearing is the weakest sound that the average human hearing can detect, the threshold varies slightly with the individual, but it is remarkably low, there is also high threshold, the threshold of pain, which is the strongest sound that the human ear can tolerate.
Absolute measurements of sound intensity can be expressed in either Wm-2 or in sound pressure pa, but such units do not correspond directly to the way in which the human ear responds to sound levels, since the human ear has a non-linear response to the energy content of sound, a logarithm scale is used to describe the response of the ear, it is converted to sound level measured in decibels. (Agbalagba, 2017).
There are many vulnerable groups of people who are most affected by noise
Pollution such as the young, elderly, and the hospitalized. Young children are unable to protect their hearing and rely on their parents to keep them from constant exposure. Similarly, the elderly may not have the capabilities to protect their hearing if they are disabled by mental or physical illness. Patients in the hospital are not safe from the effects of noise as well. Patients who are in the hospital especially for orthopedic surgeries may be exposed to loud instruments during a procedure although they are not protected from it while under anesthesia.
Noise has numerous health effects making noise pollution a public health concern
although it has not been well addressed. To name a few, these effects include elevated blood pressure, noise-induced hearing loss, sleep disorders, and irritability. (Isabelle lane, 2000).
Noise is a disturbance to the human environment that is escalating at such a high rate that it will become a major threat to the quality of human lives. In the past thirty years, noises in all areas, especially in urban areas, have been increasing rapidly. There are numerous effects on the human environment due to the increase in noise pollution. Slowly, insensibly, we seem to accept noise and the physiological and psychological deterioration that accompanies it as an inevitable part of our lives. Although we attempt to set standards for some of the most major sources of noise, we often are unable to monitor them. Major sources of noise can be airplanes at takeoff and landing, and a truck just off the assembly line, yet we seem accept and enjoy countless other sounds, from hard rock music to loud Harley Davidson motor cycles (Nunez, 2000).