noise pollution

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Related to noise pollution: water pollution, air pollution

noise pollution,

human-created noise harmful to health or welfare. Transportation vehicles are the worst offenders, with aircraft, railroad stock, trucks, buses, automobiles, and motorcycles all producing excessive noise. Construction equipment, e.g., jackhammers and bulldozers, also produce substantial noise pollution.

Noise intensity is measured in decibeldecibel
, abbr. dB, unit used to measure the loudness of sound. It is one tenth of a bel (named for A. G. Bell), but the larger unit is rarely used. The decibel is a measure of sound intensity as a function of power ratio, with the difference in decibels between two sounds being
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 units. The decibel scale is logarithmic; each 10-decibel increase represents a tenfold increase in noise intensity. Human perception of loudness also conforms to a logarithmic scale; a 10-decibel increase is perceived as roughly a doubling of loudness. Thus, 30 decibels is 10 times more intense than 20 decibels and sounds twice as loud; 40 decibels is 100 times more intense than 20 and sounds 4 times as loud; 80 decibels is 1 million times more intense than 20 and sounds 64 times as loud. Distance diminishes the effective decibel level reaching the ear. Thus, moderate auto traffic at a distance of 100 ft (30 m) rates about 50 decibels. To a driver with a car window open or a pedestrian on the sidewalk, the same traffic rates about 70 decibels; that is, it sounds 4 times louder. At a distance of 2,000 ft (600 m), the noise of a jet takeoff reaches about 110 decibels—approximately the same as an automobile horn only 3 ft (1 m) away.

Subjected to 45 decibels of noise, the average person cannot sleep. At 120 decibels the ear registers pain, but hearing damage begins at a much lower level, about 85 decibels. The duration of the exposure is also important. There is evidence that among young Americans hearing sensitivity is decreasing year by year because of exposure to noise, including excessively amplified music. Apart from hearing loss, such noise can cause lack of sleep, irritability, heartburn, indigestion, ulcers, high blood pressure, and possibly heart disease. One burst of noise, as from a passing truck, is known to alter endocrine, neurological, and cardiovascular functions in many individuals; prolonged or frequent exposure to such noise tends to make the physiological disturbances chronic. In addition, noise-induced stress creates severe tension in daily living and contributes to mental illness.

Noise is recognized as a controllable pollutant that can yield to abatement technology. In the United States the Noise Control Act of 1972 empowered the Environmental Protection Agency to determine the limits of noise required to protect public health and welfare; to set noise emission standards for major sources of noise in the environment, including transportation equipment and facilities, construction equipment, and electrical machinery; and to recommend regulations for controlling aircraft noise and sonic booms. Also in the 1970s, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began to try to reduce workplace noise. Funding for these efforts and similar local efforts was severely cut in the early 1980s, and enforcement became negligible.

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Noise pollution

Noise caused by traffic, car alarms, boom box radios, aircraft, industry or other human activity.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

noise pollution

[′nȯiz pə‚lü·shən]
Excessive noise in the human environment.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

noise pollution

annoying or harmful noise in an environment
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
More government regulation to prevent noise pollution from construction sites would be a good thing, says Junaid Khan, project manager at Al Badr Contracting.
While factories and airplanes do not constitute major sources of noise pollution in Yemen, motorcycles and diesel trucks with loud horns do.
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A 2009 study in the journal Current Biology found that noise pollution reduces biodiversity by increasing the population of urban-adapted birds and driving out more noise-shy species.
Moreover, they might be suffered from headache, bad temper, hearing problem and loss of concentration during their working hours manifested by noise pollution (Goswami and Swain, 2012a; Jakovljevic et al, 2009; Bluhm et al, 2004).
Noise pollution has caused the death of certain species of whales that beached themselves after being exposed to the loud sound of military sonar.
Hearing loss, in fact, is the most obvious medical consequence of noise pollution, but it is hardly the only one, explains environmental psychologist Arline Bronzaft.
In comparison with developed countries, developing countries like Nepal are facing more noise pollution because of poor urban planning and unmanaged transportation systems.
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The 10 students, from Ponteland Middle School's eco-action team, visited Newcastle International Airport to learn about what bosses there are doing to cut noise pollution.
The sound nullifiers will cut out noise pollution from printers, passing traffic or chatting colleagues.