Noise pollution

Noise pollution, also known as environmental noise or sound pollution, is the propagation of noise with harmful impact on the activity of human or animal life. The source of outdoor noise worldwide is mainly caused by machines, transport (especially planes) and propagation systems.[1][2] Poor urban planning may give rise to noise pollution, side-by-side industrial and residential buildings can result in noise pollution in the residential areas. Some of the main sources of noise in residential areas include loud music, transportation noise, lawn care maintenance, nearby construction, explosions, or young people yelling (sports games). Noise pollution associated with household electricity generators is an emerging environmental degradation in many developing nations. The average noise level of 97.60 dB obtained exceeded the WHO value of 50 dB allowed for residential areas.[3] Research suggests that noise pollution is the highest in low-income and racial minority neighborhoods.[4] Documented problems associated with urban environment noise go back as far as ancient Rome.[5]

High noise levels can contribute to cardiovascular effects in humans and an increased incidence of coronary artery disease.[6][7] In animals, noise can increase the risk of death by altering predator or prey detection and avoidance, interfere with reproduction and navigation, and contribute to permanent hearing loss.[8] While the elderly may have cardiac problems due to noise, according to the World Health Organization, children are especially vulnerable to noise, and the effects that noise has on children may be permanent.[9] Noise poses a serious threat to a child’s physical and psychological health, and may negatively interfere with a child's learning and behavior.[10]

Traffic jam Sao Paulo 09 2006 30a
Traffic is the main source of noise pollution in cities (like Sao Paulo shown here) and other places.
Qantas b747 over houses arp
A Qantas Boeing 747-400 passes close to houses shortly before landing at London Heathrow Airport.



NoiseLevel LeafBlower
Noise level from a leaf blower using NIOSH Sound Level Meter app

Noise pollution affects both health and behavior. Unwanted sound (noise) can damage physiological health. Noise pollution can cause hypertension, high stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, and other harmful and disturbing effects.[6][11][12][13] According to a 2019 review of the existing literature, noise pollution was associated with faster cognitive decline.[14]

Sound level meter with sound waves
A sound level meter, is one of the main tools for measuring sounds in the environment and the workplace

Sound becomes unwanted when it either interferes with normal activities such as sleep or conversation, or disrupts or diminishes one's quality of life.[15] Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by prolonged exposure to noise levels above 85 A-weighted decibels.[16] A comparison of Maaban tribesmen, who were insignificantly exposed to transportation or industrial noise, to a typical U.S. population showed that chronic exposure to moderately high levels of environmental noise contributes to hearing loss.[11]

Noise exposure in the workplace can also contribute to noise-induced hearing loss and other health issues. Occupational hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the U.S. and worldwide.[17]

Less addressed is how humans adapt to noise subjectively. Indeed, tolerance for noise is frequently independent of decibel levels. Murray Schafer's soundscape research was groundbreaking in this regard. In his work, he makes compelling arguments about how humans relate to noise on a subjective level, and how such subjectivity is conditioned by culture.[18] Schafer also notes that sound is an expression of power, and as such, material culture (e.g., fast cars or Harley Davidson motorcycles with aftermarket pipes) tend to have louder engines not only for safety reasons, but for expressions of power by dominating the soundscape with a particular sound. Other key research in this area can be seen in Fong's comparative analysis of soundscape differences between Bangkok, Thailand and Los Angeles, California, US. Based on Schafer's research, Fong's study showed how soundscapes differ based on the level of urban development in the area. He found that cities in the periphery have different soundscapes than inner city areas. Fong's findings tie not only soundscape appreciation to subjective views of sound, but also demonstrates how different sounds of the soundscape are indicative of class differences in urban environments.[19]

Noise pollution can have negative affects on adults and children on the autistic spectrum.[20] Those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can have hyperacusis, which is an abnormal sensitivity to sound.[21] People with ASD who experience hyperacusis may have unpleasant emotions, such as fear and anxiety, and uncomfortable physical sensations in noisy environments with loud sounds.[22] This can cause individuals with ASD to avoid environments with noise pollution, which in turn can result in isolation and negatively affect their quality of life. Sudden explosive noises typical of high-performance car exhausts and car alarms are types of noise pollution that can affect people with ASD.[20]


Noise can have a detrimental effect on animals, increasing the risk of death by changing the delicate balance in predator or prey detection and avoidance, and interfering the use of the sounds in communication, especially in relation to reproduction and in navigation. These effects then may alter more interactions within a community through indirect (“domino”) effects.[23] Acoustic overexposure can lead to temporary or permanent loss of hearing.

European robins living in urban environments are more likely to sing at night in places with high levels of noise pollution during the day, suggesting that they sing at night because it is quieter, and their message can propagate through the environment more clearly.[24] The same study showed that daytime noise was a stronger predictor of nocturnal singing than night-time light pollution, to which the phenomenon often is attributed. Anthropogenic noise reduced the species richness of birds found in Neoptropical urban parks.[25]

Zebra finches become less faithful to their partners when exposed to traffic noise. This could alter a population's evolutionary trajectory by selecting traits, sapping resources normally devoted to other activities and thus leading to profound genetic and evolutionary consequences.[26]

Underwater noise pollution due to human activities is also prevalent in the sea. Cargo ships generate high levels of noise due to propellers and diesel engines[27] [28]. This noise pollution significantly raises the low-frequency ambient noise levels above those caused by wind[29]. Animals such as whales that depend on sound for communication can be affected by this noise in various ways. Even marine invertebrates, such as crabs (Carcinus maenas), have been shown to be negatively affected by ship noise.[30][31] Larger crabs were noted to be negatively affected more by the sounds than smaller crabs. Repeated exposure to the sounds did lead to acclimatization.[31]

Higher ambient noise levels also cause animals to vocalize more loudly, which is called the Lombard effect. Researchers have found that humpback whales' song lengths were longer when low-frequency sonar was active nearby.[32]

Noise pollution may have caused the death of certain species of whales that beached themselves after being exposed to the loud sound of military sonar.[33] (see also Marine mammals and sonar)

Noise control

The sound tube in Melbourne, Australia is designed to reduce roadway noise without detracting from the area's aesthetics.
Man inserting earplugs
A man inserting an earplug in his ear to reduce the noise exposure

The Hierarchy of Controls concept is often used to reduce noise in the environment or the workplace. Engineering noise controls can be used to reduce noise propagation and protect individuals from overexposure. When noise controls are not feasible or adequate, individuals can also take steps to protect themselves from the harmful effects of noise pollution. If people must be around loud sounds, they can protect their ears with hearing protection (e.g., ear plugs or ear muffs).[34] In recent years, Buy Quiet programs and initiatives have arisen in an effort to combat occupational noise exposures. These programs promote the purchase of quieter tools and equipment and encourage manufacturers to design quieter equipment.[35]

Noise from roadways and other urban factors can be mitigated by urban planning and better design of roads. Roadway noise can be reduced by the use of noise barriers, limitation of vehicle speeds, alteration of roadway surface texture, limitation of heavy vehicles, use of traffic controls that smooth vehicle flow to reduce braking and acceleration, and tire design. An important factor in applying these strategies is a computer model for roadway noise, that is capable of addressing local topography, meteorology, traffic operations, and hypothetical mitigation. Costs of building-in mitigation can be modest, provided these solutions are sought in the planning stage of a roadway project.

Aircraft noise can be reduced by using quieter jet engines. Altering flight paths and time of day runway has benefited residents near airports.

Legal status

Up until the 1970s governments tended to view noise as a "nuisance" rather than an environmental problem.

Many conflicts over noise pollution are handled by negotiation between the emitter and the receiver. Escalation procedures vary by country, and may include action in conjunction with local authorities, in particular the police.


Noise pollution is a major problem in India.[36] The government of India has rules and regulations against firecrackers and loudspeakers, but enforcement is extremely lax.[37] Awaaz Foundation is a non-governmental organization in India working to control noise pollution from various sources through advocacy, public interest litigation, awareness, and educational campaigns since 2003.[38] Despite increased enforcement and stringency of laws now being practised in urban areas, rural areas are still affected. The Supreme Court of India had banned playing of music on loudspeakers after 10pm. In 2015, The National Green Tribunal directed authorities in Delhi to ensure strict adherence to guidelines on noise pollution, saying noise is more than just a nuisance as it can produce serious psychological stress. However, implementation of the law continues to remain poor.[39]


How noise emissions should be reduced, without the industry being hit too hard, is a major problem in environmental care in Sweden today. The Swedish Work Environment Authority has set an input value of 80 dB for maximum sound exposure for eight hours. In workplaces where there is a need to be able to converse comfortably the background noise level should not exceed 40 dB.[40] The government of Sweden has taken soundproofing and acoustic absorbing actions, such as noise barriers and active noise control.

United Kingdom

Figures compiled by rockwool, the mineral wool insulation manufacturer, based on responses from local authorities to a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request reveal in the period April 2008 – 2009 UK councils received 315,838 complaints about noise pollution from private residences. This resulted in environmental health officers across the UK serving 8,069 noise abatement notices or citations under the terms of the Anti-Social Behaviour (Scotland) Act. In the last 12 months, 524 confiscations of equipment have been authorized involving the removal of powerful speakers, stereos and televisions. Westminster City Council has received more complaints per head of population than any other district in the UK with 9,814 grievances about noise, which equates to 42.32 complaints per thousand residents. Eight of the top 10 councils ranked by complaints per 1,000 residents are located in London.[41]

United States

The Noise Control Act of 1972 established a U.S. national policy to promote an environment for all Americans free from noise that jeopardizes their health and welfare. In the past, Environmental Protection Agency coordinated all federal noise control activities through its Office of Noise Abatement and Control. The EPA phased out the office's funding in 1982 as part of a shift in federal noise control policy to transfer the primary responsibility of regulating noise to state and local governments. However, the Noise Control Act of 1972 and the Quiet Communities Act of 1978 were never rescinded by Congress and remain in effect today, although essentially unfunded.[42]

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates aircraft noise by specifying the maximum noise level that individual civil aircraft can emit through requiring aircraft to meet certain noise certification standards. These standards designate changes in maximum noise level requirements by "stage" designation. The U.S. noise standards are defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 14 Part 36 – Noise Standards: Aircraft Type and Airworthiness Certification (14 CFR Part 36).[43] The FAA also pursues a program of aircraft noise control in cooperation with the aviation community.[44] The FAA has set up a process to report aviation-related noise complaints for anyone who may be impacted by Aircraft noise.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) developed noise regulations to control highway noise as required by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970. The regulations requires promulgation of traffic noise-level criteria for various land use activities, and describe procedures for the abatement of highway traffic noise and construction noise.[45]

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) noise standards as described in 24 CFR part 51, Subpart B provides minimum national standards applicable to HUD programs to protect citizen against excessive noise in their communities and places of residence. For instance, all sites whose environmental or community noise exposure exceeds the day night average sound level (DNL) of 65 (dB) are considered noise-impacted areas, it defines "Normally Unacceptable" noise zones where community noise levels are between 65-75 dB, for such locations, noise abatement and noise attenuation features must be implemented. Locations where the DNL is above 75 dB are considered "Unacceptable" and require approval by the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development.[46]

The Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics has created a National Transportation Noise Map to provide access to comprehensive aircraft and road noise data on national and county-level. The map aims to assist city planners, elected officials, scholars, and residents to gain access to up-to-date aviation and Interstate highway noise information.[47]

States and local governments typically have very specific statutes on building codes, urban planning, and roadway development. Noise laws and ordinances vary widely among municipalities and indeed do not even exist in some cities. An ordinance may contain a general prohibition against making noise that is a nuisance, or it may set out specific guidelines for the level of noise allowable at certain times of the day and for certain activities.[48]

New York City instituted the first comprehensive noise code in 1985. The Portland Noise Code includes potential fines of up to $5000 per infraction and is the basis for other major U.S. and Canadian city noise ordinances.[49]

See also


  1. ^ Senate Public Works Committee. Noise Pollution and Abatement Act of 1972. S. Rep. No. 1160, 92nd Congress. 2nd session
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan and Gary L. Latshaw, "The relationship between highway planning and urban noise", The Proceedings of the ASCE. Urban Transportation. May 21–23, 1973, Chicago, Illinois. By American Society of Civil Engineers. Urban Transportation Division.
  3. ^ Menkiti Nwasinachi U., Agunwamba Jonah C (2015), Assessment of noise pollution from electricity generators in a high-density residential area, African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, Pages 306 –312, Volume 7, Issue 4,
  4. ^ Casey, Joan A; James, Peter; Morello-Forsch, Rachel. "Urban noise pollution is worst in poor and minority neighborhoods and segregated cities". PBS. Published October 7, 2017. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  5. ^ "Noise Pollution: A Modern Plague".
  6. ^ a b Münzel, Thomas; Schmidt, Frank P.; Steven, Sebastian; Herzog, Johannes; Daiber, Andreas; Sørensen, Mette (February 2018). "Environmental Noise and the Cardiovascular System". Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 71 (6): 688–697. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2017.12.015. ISSN 0735-1097. PMID 29420965.
  7. ^ Hoffmann, Barbara; Moebus, Susanne; Stang, Andreas; Beck, Eva-Maria; Dragano, Nico; Möhlenkamp, Stephan; Schmermund, Axel; Memmesheimer, Michael; Mann, Klaus (2006-11-01). "Residence close to high traffic and prevalence of coronary heart disease". European Heart Journal. 27 (22): 2696–2702. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehl278. ISSN 0195-668X. PMID 17003049.
  8. ^ "Results and Discussion – Effects – Noise Effect On Wildlife – Noise – Environment – FHWA". Retrieved 2015-12-21.
  9. ^ Children and Noise, WHO,
  10. ^ Noise and Its Effects on Children, EPA,
  11. ^ a b S. Rosen and P. Olin, Hearing Loss and Coronary Heart Disease, Archives of Otolaryngology, 82:236 (1965)
  12. ^ "Noise Pollution". World Health Organization. 2018-12-08.
  13. ^ "Road noise link to blood pressure". BBC News. 2009-09-10. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  14. ^ Paul, Kimberly C.; Haan, Mary; Mayeda, Elizabeth Rose; Ritz, Beate R. (2019). "Ambient Air Pollution, Noise, and Late-Life Cognitive Decline and Dementia Risk". Annual Review of Public Health. 40 (1): 203–220. doi:10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040218-044058. PMID 30935305.
  15. ^ Jefferson, Catrice. "Noise Pollution". U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  16. ^ National Institutes of Health, NIDCD (Feb 7, 2017). "Noise-Induced Hearing Loss". Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  17. ^ National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Feb 6, 2018). "Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention". Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  18. ^ Schafer, Murray (1977). The Soundscape. Destiny Books.
  19. ^ Fong, Jack (2014). "Making Operative Concepts from Murray Schafer's Soundscapes Typology: A Qualitative and Comparative Analysis of Noise Pollution in Bangkok, Thailand and Los Angeles, California". Urban Studies. 53 (1): 173–192. doi:10.1177/0042098014562333.
  20. ^ a b "Autism & Anxiety: Parents seek help for extreme reaction to loud noise". Autism Speaks. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  21. ^ "Tinnitus and Hyperacusis: Overview". American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  22. ^ Stiegler, L. N.; Davis, R. (2010). "Understanding Sound Sensitivity in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders". Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. 25 (2): 67–75. doi:10.1177/1088357610364530.
  23. ^ Barton, Brandon T.; Hodge, Mariah E.; Speights, Cori J.; Autrey, Anna M.; Lashley, Marcus A.; Klink, Vincent P. (10 July 2018). "Testing the AC/DC hypothesis: Rock and roll is noise pollution and weakens a trophic cascade". Ecology and Evolution. 8 (15): 7649–7656. doi:10.1002/ece3.4273. PMC 6106185. PMID 30151178.
  24. ^ Fuller RA, Warren PH, Gaston KJ (2007). "Daytime noise predicts nocturnal singing in urban robins". Biology Letters. 3 (4): 368–70. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2007.0134. PMC 2390663. PMID 17456449.
  25. ^ Perillo, A.; Mazzoni, L. G.; Passos, L. F.; Goulart, V. D. L. R.; Duca, C.; Young, R. J. (2017). "Anthropogenic noise reduces bird species richness and diversity in urban parks". Ibis. 159 (3): 638–646. doi:10.1111/ibi.12481.
  26. ^ Milius, S. (2007). High Volume, Low Fidelity: Birds are less faithful as sounds blare, Science News vol. 172, p. 116. (references)
  27. ^ Arveson, Paul T; Vendittis, David J (2000). "Radiated noise characteristics of a modern cargo ship". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 107 (1): 118–129. doi:10.1121/1.428344.
  28. ^ McKenna, Megan F; Ross, Donald; Wiggins, Sean M; Hildebrand, John A (2011). "Measurements of radiated underwater noise from modern merchant ships relevant to noise impacts on marine mammals". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 129: 2368. doi:10.1121/1.3587665.
  29. ^ Wenz, Gordon M (1962). "Acoustic Ambient Noise in the Ocean: Spectra and Sources". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 34 (12). doi:10.1121/1.1909155.
  30. ^ McClain, Craig (2013-04-03). "Loud Noise Makes Crabs Even More Crabby". Deep Sea News. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  31. ^ a b Wale, M. A.; Simpson, S. D.; Radford, A. N. (2013). "Size-dependent physiological responses of shore crabs to single and repeated playback of ship noise". Biology Letters. 9 (2): 20121194. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2012.1194. ISSN 1744-9561. PMC 3639773. PMID 23445945.
  32. ^ Fristrup, Kurt M; Hatch, Leila T; Clark, Christopher W (2003). "Variation in humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) song length in relation to low-frequency sound broadcasts". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 113 (6): 3411–24. Bibcode:2003ASAJ..113.3411F. doi:10.1121/1.1573637. PMID 12822811.
  33. ^ Bahamas Marine Mammal Stranding Event of 15–16 March 2000
  34. ^ NIOSH (Feb 5, 2018). "Noise Controls". Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  35. ^ "CDC – Buy Quiet – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topics". Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  36. ^ IANS (29 August 2016). "Freedom from noise pollution will be true independence (Comment: Special to IANS)". Business Standard India – via Business Standard.
  37. ^ "Central Pollution Control Board: FAQs". Indian Central Pollution Control Board. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  38. ^ "Rising festival noise undoing past efforts'". Archived from the original on 2013-05-17. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
  39. ^ Strictly Adhere To Supreme Court Guidelines On Noise Pollution: Green Tribunal, NDTV,
  40. ^ Arbetsmiljövärkets Författningssamling (PDF) (in Swedish), retrieved 2019-05-09
  41. ^ "London is home to the noisiest neighbours". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 2013-01-14.
  42. ^ EPA (1982). "EPA History: Noise and the Noise Control Act". Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  43. ^ FAA (Nov 15, 2001). "C 36-1H - Noise Levels for U.S. Certificated and Foreign Aircraft". Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  44. ^ FAA (Jan 9, 2018). "Aircraft Noise Issues". Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  45. ^ FWHA (June 6, 2017). "Highway Traffic Noise". Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  46. ^ HUD (April 1, 2013). "Noise Abatement and Control". Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  47. ^ Department of Transportation (Mar 28, 2018). "National Transportation Noise Map". Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  48. ^ Noise Pollution Clearinghouse. "Noise Pollution Clearinghouse Law Library". Archived from the original on 1998-06-11. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  49. ^ City of Portland, Oregon. Auditor's Office. Chapter 18.02 Title Noise Control. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.


External links

Aircraft noise pollution

Aircraft noise pollution is a harmful noise effect produced by any aircraft or its components during the various phases of a flight. Sound production is divided into three categories:

Mechanical noise—rotation of the engine parts, most noticeable when fan blades reach supersonic speeds.

Aerodynamic noise—from the airflow around the surfaces of the aircraft, especially when flying low at high speeds.

Noise from aircraft systems—cockpit and cabin pressurization and conditioning systems, and Auxiliary Power units.Health consequences include sleep disturbance, hearing impairment and heart disease, as well as workplace accidents caused by stress. Memory and recall can also be affected. Governments have enacted extensive controls that apply to aircraft designers, manufacturers, and operators, resulting in improved procedures and cuts in pollution.

Ambient noise level

In atmospheric sounding and noise pollution, ambient noise level (sometimes called background noise level, reference sound level, or room noise level) is the background sound pressure level at a given location, normally specified as a reference level to study a new intrusive sound source.

Ambient sound levels are often measured in order to map sound conditions over a spatial regime to understand their variation with locale. In this case the product of the investigation is a sound level contour map. Alternatively ambient noise levels may be measured to provide a reference point for analyzing an intrusive sound to a given environment. For example, sometimes aircraft noise is studied by measuring ambient sound without presence of any overflights, and then studying the noise addition by measurement or computer simulation of overflight events. Or roadway noise is measured as ambient sound, prior to introducing a hypothetical noise barrier intended to reduce that ambient noise level.

Ambient noise level is measured with a sound level meter. It is usually measured in dB relative to a reference pressure of 0.00002 Pa, i.e., 20 μPa (micropascals) in SI units. A pascal is a newton per square meter. The centimeter-gram-second system of units, the reference sound pressure for measuring ambient noise level is 0.0002 dyn/cm2. Most frequently ambient noise levels are measured using a frequency weighting filter, the most common being the A-weighting scale, such that resulting measurements are denoted dB(A), or decibels on the A-weighting scale.

Engine braking

Engine braking occurs when the retarding forces within an engine are used to slow down a motor vehicle, as opposed to using additional external braking mechanisms such as friction brakes or magnetic brakes.

The term is often confused with several other types of braking, most notably compression-release braking or "jake braking" which uses a different mechanism.

Traffic regulations in a large number of countries require trucks to always drive with an engaged gear, which in turn provides a certain amount of engine braking (viscous losses to the engine oil and air pumped through the engine and friction losses to the cylinder walls and bearings) when no accelerator pedal is applied.

Environmental issues in India

There are many environmental issues in India. Air pollution, water pollution, garbage and pollution of the natural environment are all challenges for India. Nature is also causing some drastic effects on India. The situation was worse between 1947 through 1995. According to data collection and environment assessment studies of World Bank experts, between 1995 through 2010, India has made some of the fastest progress in addressing its environmental issues and improving its environmental quality in the world. Still, India has a long way to go to reach environmental quality similar to those enjoyed in developed economies. Pollution remains a major challenge and opportunity for India.

Environmental issues are one of the primary causes of disease, health issues and long term livelihood impact for India.

Environmental issues in Pakistan

Environmental issues in Pakistan include deforestation, air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, climate change, pesticide misuse, soil erosion, natural disasters and desertification. These are serious environmental problems that Pakistan is facing, and they are getting worse as the country's economy expands and the population grows. Little is being done to tackle these issues, because the goals of economic growth and tackling terrorism within the country supersede the goals of environmental preservation. Although NGOs and government departments have taken initiatives to stop environmental degradation, Pakistan's environmental issues still remain.

Environmental noise

Environmental noise is an accumulation of noise pollution that occurs outside. This noise can be caused by transport, industrial, and recreational activities.

Noise is frequently described as 'unwanted sound'. Within this context, environmental noise is generally present in some form in all areas of human, animal, or environmental activity. The effects in humans of exposure to environmental noise may vary from emotional to physiological and psychological.Noise at low levels is not necessarily harmful. Environmental noise can also convey a sense of liveliness in an area, which can be desirable. However, the adverse effects of noise exposure (i.e. noise pollution) could include: interference with speech or other 'desired' sounds, annoyance, sleep disturbance, anxiety, hearing damage and stress-related cardiovascular health problems.As a result, environmental noise is studied, regulated, and monitored by many governments and institutions around the world. This creates a number of different occupations. The basis of all decisions is supported by the objective and accurate measurement of noise. Noise is measured in decibels (dB) using a pattern-approved sound level meter. The measurements are typically taken over a period of weeks, in all weather conditions.

Health effects from noise

Noise health effects are the physical and psychological health consequences of regular exposure to consistent elevated sound levels. Elevated workplace or environmental noise can cause hearing impairment, tinnitus, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance, and sleep disturbance. Changes in the immune system and birth defects have been also attributed to noise exposure.Although age-related health effects (presbycusis) occur naturally with age, in many countries the cumulative impact of noise is sufficient to impair the hearing of a large fraction of the population over the course of a lifetime. Noise exposure has been known to induce noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus, hypertension, vasoconstriction, and other cardiovascular adverse effects. Chronic noise exposure has been associated with sleep disturbances and increased incidence of diabetes. Adverse cardiovascular effects occur from chronic exposure to noise due to the sympathetic nervous system's inability to habituate. The sympathetic nervous system maintains lighter stages of sleep when the body is exposed to noise, which does not allow blood pressure to follow the normal rise and fall cycle of an undisturbed circadian rhythm.Stress from time spent around elevated noise levels has been linked with increased workplace accident rates and aggression and other anti-social behaviors. The most significant sources are vehicles, aircraft, prolonged exposure to loud music, and industrial noise.There are an 10,000 deaths per year as a result of noise in the European Union.

Maroon Bells

The Maroon Bells are two peaks in the Elk Mountains, Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak, separated by about half a kilometer (one-third of a mile). The mountains are on the border between Pitkin County and Gunnison County, Colorado, United States, about 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Aspen. Both peaks are fourteeners. Maroon Peak, at 14,163 feet (4317 m), is the 27th highest peak in Colorado. North Maroon Peak, at 14,019 feet (4273 m), is the 50th highest (depending on how they are counted). The view of the Maroon Bells to the southwest from the Maroon Creek valley is commonly photographed. The peaks are located in the Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness of White River National Forest. Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness was one of five areas in Colorado designated as wilderness in the original Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness area surrounds the extremely popular Maroon Bells Scenic Area, which is a major access point for Wilderness travel.


Noise is unwanted sound judged to be unpleasant, loud or disruptive to hearing. From a physics standpoint, noise is indistinguishable from sound, as both are vibrations through a medium, such as air or water. The difference arises when the brain receives and perceives a sound.Acoustic noise is any sound in the acoustic domain, either deliberate (e.g., music or speech) or unintended. In contrast, noise in electronics may not be audible to the human ear and may require instruments for detection.In audio engineering, noise can refer to the unwanted residual electronic noise signal that gives rise to acoustic noise heard as a hiss. This signal noise is commonly measured using A-weighting or ITU-R 468 weighting.In experimental sciences, noise can refer to any random fluctuations of data that hinders perception of a signal.

Noise Control Act

The Noise Pollution and Abatement Act of 1972 is a statute of the United States initiating a federal program of regulating noise pollution with the intent of protecting human health and minimizing annoyance of noise to the general public.The Act established mechanisms of setting emission standards for virtually every source of noise, including motor vehicles, aircraft, certain types of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) equipment and major appliances. It also put local governments on notice as to their responsibilities in land-use planning to address noise mitigation. This noise regulation framework comprised a broad data base detailing the extent of noise health effects.

Congress ended funding of the federal noise control program in 1981, which curtailed development of further national regulations. Since then, starting in 1982, the primary responsibility to addressing noise pollution shifted to state and local governments. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) retains authority to conduct research and publish information on noise and its effects on the public, which is often included nowadays in environmental impact assessments for new urban developments. The initial EPA regulations and programs provided a basis for development of many state and local government noise control laws across the United States. See Noise regulation.

Noise barrier

A noise barrier (also called a soundwall, noise wall, sound berm, sound barrier, or acoustical barrier) is an exterior structure designed to protect inhabitants of sensitive land use areas from noise pollution. Noise barriers are the most effective method of mitigating roadway, railway, and industrial noise sources –

other than cessation of the source activity or use of source controls.

In the case of surface transportation noise, other methods of reducing the source noise intensity include encouraging the use of hybrid and electric vehicles, improving automobile aerodynamics and tire design, and choosing low-noise paving material. Extensive use of noise barriers began in the United States after noise regulations were introduced in the early 1970s.

Noise control

Noise control or noise mitigation is a set of strategies to reduce noise pollution or to reduce the impact of that noise, whether outdoors or indoors.

Noise map

A noise map is a graphic representation of the sound level distribution and the propagation of sound waves in a given region, for a defined period.

Noise measurement

In acoustics, noise measurement can be for the purpose of measuring environmental noise. Applications include monitoring of construction sites, aircraft noise, road traffic noise, entertainment venues and neighborhood noise.

The word "noise" means any "unwanted sound". Environmental noise monitoring is the measurement of noise in an outdoor environment caused by transport (e.g. motor vehicles, aircraft, and trains), industry (e.g. machines) and recreational activities (e.g. music). The laws and limits governing environmental noise monitoring differ from country to country.

At the very least, noise may be annoying or displeasing or may disrupt the activity or balance of human or animal life, increasing levels of aggression, hypertension and stress. In the extreme, excessive levels or periods of noise can have long-term negative health effects such as hearing loss, tinnitus, sleep disturbances, a rise in blood pressure, an increase in stress and vasoconstriction, and an increased incidence of coronary artery disease. In animals, noise can increase the risk of death by altering predator or prey detection and avoidance, interfering with reproduction and navigation, and contributing to permanent hearing loss.

Various cures are available to combat Environmental Noise; Roadway noise can be reduced by the use of noise barriers, limitation of vehicle speeds, alteration of roadway surface texture, limitation of heavy vehicles, use of traffic controls that smooth vehicle flow to reduce braking and acceleration, and tire design. Aircraft noise can be reduced by using quieter jet engines, altering flight paths and considering the time of day to benefit residents near airports. Industrial noise is addressed by redesign of industrial equipment, shock mounted assemblies and physical barriers in the workplace.

Roadway noise

Roadway noise is the collective sound energy emanating from motor vehicles. It consists chiefly of road surface, tire, engine/transmission, aerodynamic, and braking elements. Noise of rolling tires driving on pavement is found to be the biggest contributor of highway noise which increases with higher vehicle speeds.In developed and developing countries, roadway noise contributes a proportionately large share of the total societal noise pollution. In the U.S., it contributes more to environmental noise exposure than any other noise source.

Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution

"Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" is a song by the rock band AC/DC. It is the tenth and final track of the album released in 1980 Back in Black. It is the fourth and final single released of the album. The song reached number 15 on the UK singles charts, the highest placing of any song on the album.

Sound baffle

A sound baffle is a construction or device which reduces the strength (level) of airborne sound. Sound baffles are a fundamental tool of noise mitigation, the practice of minimizing noise pollution or reverberation. An important type of sound baffle is the noise barrier constructed along highways to reduce sound levels at properties in the vicinity. Sound baffles are also applied to walls and ceilings in building interiors to absorb sound energy and thus lessen reverberation.

Sound energy

In physics, sound energy is a form of energy. Sound is a mechanical wave and as such consists physically in oscillatory elastic compression and in oscillatory displacement of a fluid. Therefore, the medium acts as storage for both potential and kinetic energy.

Consequently, the sound energy in a volume of interest is defined as the sum of the potential and kinetic energy densities integrated over that volume:


Woodstock (Portugal. The Man album)

Woodstock is the eighth full-length album by American rock band Portugal. The Man, released on June 16, 2017 through Atlantic Records.

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