Environmental Effects Of Noise Pollution

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Noise can be defined as unwanted sound1. Sounds which we deem as unwanted or unnecessary are noise. Our environment is beset by noise, which is pervasive, intrusive and ubiquitous as well as unhealthy. The effects of noise, a pollutant and its effects on health have been neglected despite being aware of the ability to precisely measure or calculate the exposure from the peak levels2. The effects of noise pollution were first recognized in the occupational settings. In our environment, there are different sources of noise, but they generally depend on the activity performed, location and the time of the day3. In everyday life noise is pervasive, that can cause both auditory and non-auditory effects on the health. Noise is an audible acoustic phenomenon that may or may not adversely affect the people. The effects of noise can be physiologically as well as psychologically be appreciated. In occupational settings noise-induced hearing loss remains highly prevalent, which is increasingly caused by social noise exposure for example personal music player. If the exposure to noise remains chronic and exceeds certain level negative health outcomes are seen. Health effects which were first recognized in an occupational setting were through the weaving mills where the level of high noises was associated with hearing loss2. Excess of noise exposure leads to annoyance, disturbed sleep, increase in daytime sleepiness, decrease in patient outcome and staff performance in the hospital, increase in physiological conditions like hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, and impairment of the cognitive functioning of the school children. Occupational noise is the most studied noise exposure. Researchers have now broadened to social noise like those heard in bars or personal music players.
Environmental noise consists of all the unwanted noise that arise from our environment rather than our workplace1. Environmental noise pollution is considered a form of air pollution which causes a threat to the health and the well-being of the people living in the community. Noise pollution is a phenomenon that affects everybody but is generally associated with the level of activity performed, the place and the duration. Environmental noise
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