Noise Quality

Noise – unwanted or disturbing sound 

Noise Pollution – defined as unwanted noise that unreasonably intrudes on daily activities

The common parameters tested for Noise Pollution are as follows

  • dBA
  • LAeq – Equivalent Continuous Sound Pressure Level
  • L10 – L10 is the level exceeded for 10% of the time
  • L50 – L50 is the level exceeded for 50% of the time
  • L90 – L90 is the level exceeded for 90% of the time
  • 1:1 & 1:3 Octave Bands Analysis

Common Sources of Noise Pollution

  • Road, rail and air transport
  • Industrial noise
  • Recreational and neighbourhood noise

Effect of Noise Pollution

  • Noise induced hearing loss
  • Worker illness and injury reports
  • lead to a sense of isolation, annoyance, difficulty concentrating, lowered morale, reduced efficiency, absenteeism, and accidents

Reducing Noise Pollution

All the sources of noise including road traffic, heavy vehicles, airplanes, factory machines etc. contribute towards noise pollution in one way or another. Some of these sources may have tolerable noise levels but when combined together, these can cause serious risks. According to World Health Organization, noise pollution control is easiest among all kinds of pollution the world is facing today Several steps are needed to be implemented so as to improve environmental conditions and to attain healthy “noise free” environment. Some of these steps are following

Public awareness measures are required to make people understand about noise pollution and to guide them about permissible noise levels by using print media and electronic media properly.

Noise exposure may be reduced on personal level by usage of protective ear plugs and also steps are required to reduce of exposure time to noise.

Engineering techniques such as altering and modifying the designs to reduce noise, construction of sound barriers and sound absorbers might be helpful.

Academic institutions and hospitals can be shifted away from the noisy roads, railway stations and airports. Similarly, the heavy industries and factories ought to be formed away from residential areas.

The usage of pressure horns and record players among all means of transportation must be banned by the government in order to reduce the noise intensity.

Monitoring of sound levels should be carried out by the traffic police. Legal action should be taken against violators by the government.

Law formation and implementation is required to lessen the hearing problems among factory workers.

Vegetation programmes along the roads should be initiated as plants absorb and dissipate high energy sound waves.