21st Century Noise Pollution – The Facts about Noise Pollution Part 4: Controlling Noise Pollution
In the earlier parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series on 21st Century Noise Pollution we had covered topics on growth of noise pollution since olden days, Management of Noise Pollution, mental and psychological disorders caused by noise pollution. In Part 4 we will discuss noise levels emitted by different items, limits of noise pollution and various sources of noise pollution.
Sound when is unsuitable for our hearing we call it noise. When noise becomes too much for comfort in the surroundings is called noise pollution. Pollution caused by noise can be due to several sources–traffic noise, street noise, noise in playgrounds, workplaces, public transport, shopping malls… there is an endless list. Among the sources causing maximum noise pollution are the airports, and this can be testified by those living near an airport.
Noise Pollution Sources
Unit of measurement of sound is called decibel. Although no particular decibel limit is fixed to determine when sound can be classified as noise, normally it is accepted that an incessantly high decibel value will be considered as noise pollution. A few areas have fixed their own limits for sound, which naturally differ based on the legislation of the area. In the USA, for example, most of the states fixed sound limit as 65 dB during daytime and 55 dB during nighttime, and this is valid for the streets. Anyone exceeding this limit is held responsible for noise pollution.
Nevertheless, all these stipulated limits for sound limits are vague, because most of the equipment used in households and factories go far beyond these limits. Given below are few of the noise pollution sources that we know of but usually ignore:-
- Home appliances such as vacuum cleaners, mixer grinders, washing machines, etc. jointly cause a collective sound of approx. 87 dB. This alone is higher than the sound limits in maximum number of areas. In addition to this, if you add loudspeakers, music systems, television sets which are used with high volumes, you can very well imagine how high the noise pollution will be.
- Small factories working with only single machines would create a sound of approx. 98 dB or more. The sound goes higher if more machines are installed.
- Airplanes are responsible for maximum sound of all – 150 dB. Road vehicles also contribute to high noise pollution. The vehicles include buses, trucks, tractors, SUVs and even most cars and motorcycles.
- Also there are many environmental noise pollution sources that are harmful and we cannot ignore them. Uninterrupted noises cause most worries. Noise originating from sources like ticking clocks and dripping taps are very irritating and can also contribute to noise pollution.