World became more and more civilized during past centuries and noise pollution became a serious problem our days. It is a huge issue to everyone and especially for people who live in big and crowded cities. It is not only airports, cars or factories that pollute noise, but also such things as computers or printers can distract people. Even pleasurable things, such as listening to loud music, can damage our hearing. It is proven that noise has different negative influences on people. It not only damages our hearing but also affects our behaviour. In this research I will try to prove that noise pollution is a very dangerous thing that can not only distract people but also make them deaf.
According Encyclopaedia, noise is “sound that interferes with other sound that are being listened to”. Every day we hear different noises. Big cities are the main sources of noise pollution. People invented engines, amplifiers, speakers and other things to make our life easier and more pleasurable. Noise from “road traffic, jet planes, jet skis, garbage trucks, construction equipment, manufacturing processes, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and boom boxes, to name a few, are among unwanted sounds that are routinely broadcasted into the air”(Clearinghouse, web). However, these inventions not only help us but also make damage to our ears and behaviour. It is obvious, that noise pollution reached the enormous level now and there is no way we can stop it. It is impossible to stop factories, planes or cars. According T.J. Winpenny in his book Values of the Environment, we have to choose between health and well being on the one hand, and the commercial and public services, on the other. Generally, it is very important to know how noise affects us and how can we protect ourselves from the harm it is doing.
No matter what kind of noise it is, it still affects us in a similar way. It is scientifically proved that the noise level of 85 decibels can damage hearing if the noise continues for eight hours or more (Noise watch, web.) Loud noise wrecks hearing by damaging the delicate mechanisms of the inner ear that convert sound information into nerve signals. The most common thing for people who are often exposed to loud noise is tinnitus or ringing in the ears. Reports of tinnitus experienced by young people exposed to loud music have increased three times since the early 1980s. The report found that “6.8% of people not regularly exposed to loud music of 85 decibels or over suffer from tinnitus compared to 20% of people who are”.(Noise watch, web) Symptoms in some cases last only a few hours, but they are a sign that damage to hearing has occurred. However, many people lack this information or look at these facts not enough seriously. They believe that such pleasurable thing as listening to music cannot do anything wrong to their hearing. It is very wrong opinion. Research from Australia suggests children aged between 10 and 15 who listen to loud personal stereos for more than six hours a week may be damaging their hearing so badly they could suffer hearing problems 30 years early. They also say stereo noise is equivalent to listening to a pneumatic drill for eight hours a day (Noise watch, web). Even more, it is true that in some clubs, cinemas and restaurants noise level reaches 100 or more decibels. It became a threat for outgoing people, because long exposure to such noise may seriously damage the ear. A recent survey showed that eight out of ten young club goers were unconcerned about potential damage to their hearing. This is despite the fact that 62% of regular clubbers and 72% of regular concertgoers report problems with their hearing. Concerts and nightclubs produce sounds that can register up to 120 decibels, louder than a pneumatic drill.(Clearinghouse, web) In the workplace employees are required to wear hearing protection when levels exceed 85 decibels. . However, noise affects not only our hearing but also our behaviour. Mostly people who experience high amount of noise (for example, those who live near train stations) “suffer elevated rates of stress-related disorders; high blood pressure, anxiety, and feeling of helplessness” (Myers,166). Depression, anxiety, loss of hearing, and other effects on behaviour are only few influences that noises do on people. Web site in UK publishes the research results, which say: children brought in noisy areas have poorer reading skills than those bought in quieter areas. Obviously, these different vibrations, carried to our nerve and brain cell, have mostly negative impact on us.
Finally I would like to talk about how humanity is preventing noise pollution. It is impossible to stop the noise pollution completely, but to reduce amount of it is possible. The biggest problems in the cities are cars, factories and clubs. For that reason some cities have quiet hours or special walls that protect people from the car noise. It became popular now to measure if noise level especially near the clubs or pubs is not too high. From technical perspective, humans have done a lot to reduce noise of the engines. Most of the new cars have noise reduction systems and many modern aircrafts have special engines, which reduce noise. Moreover, there are lots of ear protections made for people who work in noisy factories. In conclusion, I would like to say that noise pollution will be reduced in future and now we just have to understand that noise pollution is still a serious issue and try to protect ourselves.
Works Cite Page
Myers, David G. Psychology. New York: Worth, 1998
“Noise” Encyclopaedia Britannica 8 vol., Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc, 1990
Winpenny, J.T. Values for the Environment. Welington: Shropshire, 1991
“Noise watch on line”. Online. Available http://www3.sympatico.ca/noise
“About noise and NPC”. Online. Available http://www.clearinghouse.org