Is Noise Pollution Bad for the Environment?
Sound is an invisible sensation that uses decibels to measure its intensity. Nearly anything can create sound. Some examples include a thunderclap, rustling leaves, and a babbling brook. However, when done in excess, it makes noise, harming a person’s ears and affecting the ecosystem. As a rule of thumb, any sound above 85 decibels (dB) can damage the ears while creating other health concerns.
What Is Noise Pollution?
Noise pollution is the byproduct of intense noises. The source of such byproducts is human activities like construction, using weapons of mass destruction, automobiles, and other everyday creations that have become ubiquitous in modern life. However, noise pollution can be anything above 65 decibels, meaning a barking dog can produce noise between 60–80 dB.
What Are the Effects of Noise Pollution?
Noise pollution has devastating effects on our health and our environment. When left unregulated for too long, it can produce the following:
1. Hearing issues.
Loud noises can cause hearing issues, specifically in cochlea cells and membranes. Listening to such loud noises for a long time can overwork the hair cells in the ear, leading it to die due to constant exposure.
2. Affect the cycle of wildlife.
According to National Geographic, noise pollution causes stress to an animal’s overall health. Some examples include caterpillars and bluebirds, making it difficult for them to thrive. Additionally, animals require echolocation for navigation, mating, and foraging. When noise pollution occurs, animals may find it challenging to adapt and, thus, unable to thrive in their environment.
3. It causes irritability.
Constant loud noises make it impossible for a person to relax and practice mindfulness. Additionally, frequent exposure to noises also disrupts our psychological health—making us more irritable, stressed, and unlikely to make the most of our sleep.
When stressed and irritable, we may become less rational, prone to illness, and struggle to manage our problems effectively.
What Are Some Possible Solutions to Reduce Noise Pollution?
1. Raising awareness. Raising awareness of noise pollution, especially in metropolitan areas, will help citizens become more aware of their impact on the environment and themselves.
2. Raise concerns to government officials. Government bodies may also take measures to manage such noises. For instance, some places regulate construction hours and use sound-absorbing materials for work. Additionally, noise insulation in buildings and separating residential, environmental, and construction sites can help reduce noise.
Takeaway: Noise pollution is an invisible threat that we rarely see its impact. However, by equipping ourselves with knowledge and establishing public protocol, we can reduce its harmful effects on the ecosystem’s health.