Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Noise Pollution

What is noise pollution actually?? Noise pollution or environmental noise is displeasing human, animal or machine created sound that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life. Noise is an environmental stressor and levels are rising. Noise can be frustrating and harmful to our well being. People feel disturb into their physical privacy, the space for our thoughts and emotions which we have marked out as our own. At higher levels noise can be undesirable because it interferes with hearing and at even higher levels it can damage our hearing. Sound is measured in decibels (dB). Below 80 to 85 dB is generally considered to be safe, but ongoing low-level noise may be stressful for some individuals. The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) industrial noise exposure limit recommedation is 75 dB. The noise threshold for pain is about 120 dB. Do you realise that the simplest activity in our daily life is a noise pollution? For example sounds from vehicle during traffic jam. Some familiar noises and their loudness are listed below:

Source of noise

Sound level in dB



Rustle of leaves






Alarm clock



60 to 90

Diesel or Electric Train




Food blender


Pneumatic drill (at 3 metres)


Propeller driven aircraft (at 30 metres)


Jet aircraft (at 30 metres)


Jet (taking off and flying overhead at 450 m)


Rocket launching


Do we aware about this? It seem look like simple but. If it continuous happens it will give effect to human health and environment effect. We have to take seriously about this situation. Our government, also take serious about this situation. As in the Malaysia environmental health profile, the following issues had been identified and discussed to be important in Malaysia:

a) Siltation caused by agro-based activities, logging and mining, and infrastructure


b) Deteriorating water quality

c) Marine pollution

d) Air pollution problems

e) Noise Pollution

f) Toxic and Hazardous Waste

g) Solid Waste

h) Deforestation and destruction of biodiversity caused by logging and conversion to other

Land Use

i) Rapid growth in water demand

j) More efficient use of energy required

k) Coastal pollution

l) Transboundary air pollution

We can see the noise pollution is in the 5th important issue. In many developed nations the impact of noise is sufficient to impair the hearing of a large fraction of the population over the course of a lifetime. Noise exposure has also been known to induce tinnitus, hypertension, vasoconstriction and other cardiovascular impacts. Beyond these effects, elevated noise levels can create stress, increase workplace accident rates, and stimulate aggression and other anti-social behaviors as effect for human. Effects of noise on wildlife are reduced migration of birds and other animals, loss of food habitats if animals are driven away, animals in city zoos tend to become lethargic and their health deteriorates, and animals tend not to reproduce, which threatens their survival.

It is important for us to take actions to this situation. Noise control is most effective if it can reduce noise at the source. We can prevent noise at its source by enforcing noise regulations and imposing tougher penalties. For example, introduce penalties for faulty car and burglar alarms and establish noise control zones for cars and aircraft. We also should improve the design and construction of engines and other machinery and subsidise building materials with proven sound proofing properties. Plant vegetation such as trees along roads and around factories and other sources of noise. The denser the vegetation the greater the noise reduction. Reduction is approximately 10 dB for every 100 metres of trees. This is due to absorption by the foliage and scattering of the sound.

Reduce vibrations in machinery, pipework and other equipment, with sufficient support and regular maintenance. Use vibration isolators and mounts on machines, pipes, ducts and electrical conduits. Reduce the speed of moving parts. We need to do more research, for example in creating better and cheaper materials for sound insulation and ways of making things run quieter.



by zahidah,malyanah,zatil,atikah,nana,dayah


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