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Noise Pollution & its effect

by Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh
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 Noise pollution is generally defined as regular exposure to elevated sound levels that may lead to adverse effects in humans or other living organisms. According to World Health Organization (WHO) sound levels less than 70dB (decibel) are not damaging to living organisms, regardless of how long or consistent the exposure is. Sound that cause discomfort to the ears that produce unpleasant effects or are unwanted are considered to be noise. Noise pollution generally interferes with normal activities, e.g. conversation or sleeping. The normal conversation is about 60dB, a lawn mower is about 90dB and a loud rock concert is about 120dB. In general sound above 85dB are harmful depending on how long and how often you are exposed to them and whether you wear hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs. Continuous noise, intermittent noise, impulsive noise and low frequency noise are four different types of noise according to their source and nature. Noise pollution is caused by the noise when the level of noise gets increased than the normal level in the environment. Excessive amount of noise in the environment is unsafe for the living purpose. Unpleasant sound causes various disadvantages in the natural balance. High volume noise are unnatural and create difficulty in escaping those generated noises. In such a modern and technological world, where everything is possible through electrical appliances at home or outside the home, the risk of noise has been increased to a great extent. Increasing the demand of urbanization and industrialization in India, is causing major exposure of people to the unwanted sounds. The sound we make in our everyday life like loud music, unnecessary use of Television, phone, traffic, dog barking and etc. noise creating sounds have become part of the urban culture, as well as most disturbing things causing headache, sleep disturbance, stress etc. Those things causing disturbances to the natural rhythm of life are called as dangerous pollutions.
        Industrialization is putting our health and life at risk because all the (big or small) industries are using big machines producing high pitch sound in large amounts. Other equipment                (Compressors, generators, exhaust fans, grinding mills) used in the factories and industries also produce big noise. Regular social events like marriages, parties, pub, club, disc or place of worship temples etc create nuisance in the residential areas. In our Manipur also such things are happening most of the time as we experienced during Holi (Yaosang) festival, Lai haraoba and during many other occasions. During Yaosang, in day time, clubs organizing Yaosang Sports used loud speakers and shouted IN-OUT, IN-OUT from all places in Manipur valley. And in the night time the loud sound of THABAL CHONGBA disturbed many people making sleepless even up to the late night. During the LAI HARAOBA also, loud sound can be heard from the early morning in the form of Lai Pena Yakaiba, then maibi laimang famba when the sun’s heat strike all people at around 10 to 12 o’clock. In the afternoon, from around 2pm again started traditional Lai haraoba dance with loud sound of band party which will continue up to late night. Not only this, we also experienced the same problem during Druga Puja or Panthoibi Erat thouni time augmented with Housie play. What a horrible life we are living in the name of religion, tradition & culture!! Even yesterday, one of the most responsible person of our state announced to organize Thabal Chongba anywhere in Manipur to express happiness of announcing as Manipur will be an ILP state during crucial examination time of all schools in Manipur.  Can’t we carry out all these activities & rituals even without loud speakers? Again non-stopped noise of crackers in various parts of India during Druga puja and Diwali as well as the noise of diesel autos in Khwairamban Keithel are not the least to be mentioned.   Poor urban planning may give rise to noise pollution, side-by-side industrial and residential buildings can result in noise pollution in residential areas. Some of the main sources of noise in residential area include loud music, transportation noise, and lawn care maintenance, nearby construction, explosion or young people yelling (Sports games). Noise pollution associated with household electricity generators is an emerging environmental degradation in many developing nations. The average noise level of 97.60 dB obtained exceeded the WHO value of 50dB allowed for residential areas. Research suggests that noise pollution is the highest in low-income and racial minority neighborhood. Documented problems associated with urban Environment noise go back as far as ancient Rome. Noise pollution causes various hearing problems (damage to ear drums and loss of hearing) because of the unwanted sound. It reduces ear sensitivity to the sound required to regulate body rhythm. It affects the psychological health and cause the occurrence of aggressive behavior, sleep disturbance, stress, and weakness, fatigue hypertension, cardio-vascular diseases including other severe and chronic health issue in later life. It creates communication problems and lead to misunderstanding. It also affects wildlife and makes pets more aggressive. In animals, noise can increase the risk of death by altering predator or prey detection and avoidance, interfere with reproduction and navigation and contribute to permanent hearing loss. It also affects the plants and causes poor quality crop production. The effects that noise has on children may be permanent. Noise poses a serious threat to child’s physical and psychological health and may negatively interfere with child’s hearing and behavior.
       Constitution of India guarantee right to life, right to information, right to religion and noise. Section 133 empower human being to remove a public nuisance on a conditional or permanent order. Noise pollution control Rule 2000 under Environment protection Act 1996 involves controlling the growing problem of noise pollution. Factories Act Reduction of noise and oil of machineries limits for noise exposure in work zone. Motor vehicle Act involves the use of horn and change of engines. Indian penal code deals with the health and safety issues caused by the noise pollution. One can be penalized under law of torts. Increasing level of noise pollution has created the urgent need of general awareness about the sources, effects and preventive measures of noise pollution. High level of noise should be prohibited in the areas like working place, Educational institutes, and residential areas etc. Understanding, planning and implementing strategies to get prevented from the noise pollution has been necessary to curb within time. Young children and students should be motivated not to get involved in the high sound producing act like use of high sound generating equipment and instruct on the occasions. Use of high level sound generating fire crackers should be reduced during the occasions like festivals, parties, marriage etc.  Subjects related to the noise pollution should be added to the textbooks and activities can be organized in the schools like lectures, discussion etc. so that new generations can be more aware and responsible citizens.         
     The writer can be reached at:[email protected].

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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