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Cancers > Noise Cancer

Noise Pollution

Noise can be described as sound without agreeable musical quality or as an unwanted or undesired sound. Thus noise can be taken as a group of laud, non harmonious sounds or vibrations that are unpleasant and irritating to ear.
Noise pollution (or environmental noise) is displeasing human- or machine-created sound that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life. A common form of noise pollution is from transportation, principally motor vehicles.
The source of most noise worldwide is transportation systems, motor vehicle noise, but also including aircraft noise and rail noise.  Poor urban planning may give rise to noise pollution, since side-by-side industrial and residential buildings can result in noise pollution in the residential area.
Other sources are car alarms, office equipment, factory machinery, construction work, groundskeeping equipment, barking dogs, appliances, power tools, lighting hum, audio entertainment systems, loudspeakers and noisy people.
A decibel is the standard for the measurement of noise. The zero on a decibel scale is at the threshold of hearing, the lowest sound pressure that can be heard, on the scale acc. To smith, 20 db is whisper, 40 db the noise in a quiet office . 60 db is normal conversation, 80 db is the level at which sound becomes physically painful.
The Noise quantum of some of the cities in our country indicate their pitch in decibel in the nosiest areas of corresponding cities, e.g. Delhi- 80 db, Kolkata - 87,Bombay-85, Chennai-89 db etc.
3 Sources of Noise Pollution:- Noise pollution like other pollutants is also a by- product of industrialization, urbanizations and modern civilization.
Broadly speaking , the noise pollution has two sources, i.e. industrial and non- industrial. The industrial source includes the noise from various industries and big machines working at a very high speed and high noise intensity. Non- industrial source of noise includes the noise created by transport/vehicular traffic and the neighborhood noise generated by various noise pollution can also be divided in the categories , namely, natural and manmade. Most leading noise sources will fall into the following categories: roads traffic, aircraft, railroads, construction, industry, noise in buildings, and consumer products
1. Road Traffic Noise:-
In the city, the main sources of traffic noise are the motors and exhaust system of autos , smaller trucks, buses, and motorcycles. This type of noise can be augmented by narrow streets and tall buildings, which produce a canyon in which traffic noise reverberates.
2. Air Craft Noise: -
 Now-a-days , the problem of low flying military aircraft has added a new dimension to community annoyance, as the nation seeks to improve its nap-of the- earth aircraft operations over national parks, wilderness areas , and other areas previously unaffected by aircraft noise has claimed national attention over recent years.
3. Noise from railroads: -
The noise from locomotive engines, horns and whistles, and switching and shunting operation in rail yards can impact neighboring communities and railroad workers. For example, rail car retarders can produce a high frequency, high level screech that can reach peak levels of 120 dB at a distance of 100 feet, which translates to levels as high as 138, or 140 dB at the railroad worker’s ear.
4. Construction Noise:-
The noise from the construction of highways , city streets , and buildings is a major contributor to the urban scene . Construction noise sources include pneumatic hammers, air compressors, bulldozers, loaders, dump trucks (and their back-up signals), and pavement breakers.
5. Noise in Industry: -
Although industrial noise is one of the less prevalent community noise problems, neighbors of noisy manufacturing plants can be disturbed by sources such as fans, motors, and compressors mounted on the outside of buildings Interior noise can also be transmitted to the community through open windows and doors, and even through building walls. These interior noise sources have significant impacts on industrial workers, among whom noise- induced hearing loss is unfortunately common.
6. Noise in building: -
Apartment dwellers are often annoyed by noise in their homes, especially when the building is not well designed and constructed. In this case, internal building noise from plumbing, boilers, generators, air conditioners, and fans, can be audible and annoying. Improperly insulated walls and ceilings can reveal the soundof-amplified music, voices, footfalls and noisy activities from neighboring units. External noise from emergency vehicles, traffic, refuse collection, and other city noises can be a problem for urban residents, especially when windows are open or insufficiently glazed.
7. Noise from Consumer products:-
Certain household equipment, such as vacuum cleaners and some kitchen appliances have been and continue to be noisemakers, although their contribution to the daily noise dose is usually not very large.

On Human Being, Animal and Property: Noise has always been with the human civilization but it was never so obvious, so intense, so varied & so pervasive as it is seen in the last of this century. Noise pollution makes men more irritable. The effect of noise pollution is multifaceted & inter related. The effects of Noise Pollution on Human Being, Animal and property are as follows:

I It decreases the efficiency of a man:-
Regarding the impact of noise on human efficiency there are number of experiments which print out the fact that human efficiency increases with noise reduction. A study by Sinha & Sinha in India suggested that reducing industrial booths could improve the quality of their work. Thus human efficiency is related with noise.

II Lack of concentration:-
For better quality of work there should be concentration , Noise causes lack of concentration. In big cities , mostly all the offices are on main road. The noise of traffic or the loud speakers of different types of horns divert the attention of the people working in offices.

III Fatigue:-
Because of Noise Pollution, people cannot concentrate on their work. Thus they have to give their more time for completing the work and they feel tiring

IV Abortion is caused: -
There should be cool and calm atmosphere during the pregnancy. Unpleasant sounds make a lady of irriative nature. Sudden Noise causes abortion in females.

V It causes Blood Pressure: -
Noise Pollution causes certain diseases in human. It attacks on the person’s peace of mind. The noises are recognized as major contributing factors in accelerating the already existing tensions of modern living. These tensions result in certain disease like blood pressure or mental illness etc.

VI Temporary of permanent Deafness:-
The effect of nose on audition is well recognized. Mechanics , locomotive drivers, telephone operators etc. All have their hearing . Impairment as a result of noise at the place of work. Physictist, physicians & psychologists are of the view that continued exposure to noise level above. 80 to 100 db is unsafe, Loud noise causes temporary or permanent deafness.

VII EFFECT ON VEGETATION Poor quality of Crops:-
Now is well known to all that plants are similar to human being. They are also as sensitive as man. There should be cool & peaceful environment for their better growth. Noise pollution causes poor quality of crops in a pleasant atmosphere.

Noise pollution damage the nervous system of animal. Animal looses the control of its mind. They become dangerous.

IX EFFECT ON PROPERTY:- Loud noise is very dangerous to buildings, bridges and monuments. It creates waves which struck the walls and put the building in danger condition. It weakens the edifice of buildings.

The Noise Regulation Rules 2000
These rulings, and the continuing pressure for specific legislation eventually led to the addition of the Noise Regulation Rules (2000) to section 3 of the Environmental Protection Act of 1986. The EPA is the umbrella legislation to deal with the every dynamic issue in relation to environmental protection. The rules regulate noise levels in industrial, [75 decibels] commercial [65 decibels] and residential zones [55 decibels], and also establish zones of silence (100 meters) near schools, courts, hospitals, etc. The rules also assign regulatory authority for these standards to the local district courts. Some important observations from the rules:

  • No permission can be granted by any authority for use of public address system in the open after 10.00 PM and before 6.00 AM. No exception is possible. Any person or organization making noise on amplified system after 10.00 pm is violation of the law and the person can be prosecuted under the provisions of the EPA 1986. Only District Magistrates can grant permissions after 10.00 PM for functions within closed premises. District Magistrates cannot grant permission for use of any amplified public address system after 10.00 PM.
  • After permission has been procured the sound must fall within the sound limits prescribed in the Noise Rules. This can be measured on a sound meter. Any person violating the Rules is liable to be arrested under the stringent provisions of the EPA.
  • If the authorities do not act to stop violation of the Noise Rules, the citizen who has filed a complaint can approach the Court with his complaint after 60 days' notice and the Court can initiate prosecution.
  • The rules also fix different ambient air quality levels for firecrackers and industrial activities.
  • The rules are silent on noise from vehicles, which is regulated by the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 (although the prohibition against the use of multi-toned horns is hardly enforced). Police and ambulance sirens are still used in ordinary transport vehicles as horns, and mufflers are disengaged or absent even in Euro-I certified vehicles.

The rules are clearly a step forward although they do not attempt to create comprehensive legislation on noise pollution, and continue with the piece-meal approach to specific problems encountered over the years. They are further evidence that the legislative side has often lagged judges' efforts to create and regulate a fine balance between competing demands - from religion, the environment, public health, law and order, etc. As a result, notwithstanding progress in understanding and documenting the various negative effects of noise pollution, there is still much that remains undone.

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