Noise Pollution – Definition, Sources, Effects, Control And Prevention

Hello Folk !!

This is Abhishek, Welcoming you to Engineers Rail- The number one portal for all your Engineering queries.

In today’s article, I am going to discuss Noise Pollution including its definition, Sources, Effects of noise pollution, and much more down the road.

So, grab your seat comfortably, and let me take you to the mainstream of this article.

Let’s begin…

noise pollution


The human ear is constantly being as sailed by man-made sound from all sides and there remain few places in populous areas where relative quiet prevails.

The word noise (Latin nausea) is usually defined as an unwanted or unpleasant sound that causes discomfort.

Noise Pollution-

Definition of Noise Pollution-

Noise is defined as “wrong sound in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

And, Noise pollution means- ”The unwanted sound dumped into the atmosphere leading to health hazards”

Also, The production of unbearable high-pitched sounds is called noise pollution.

Source of Noise Pollution-

The main contributors to noise are factories and industries, transportation and community, and religious activity.

The noise pollution is both from natural sources and human activities.

There are mainly Two sources of Noise Pollution-

  1. Natural Sources
  2. Human Sources

1. Natural Sources-

Noise pollution occurs due to natural sources like cloud thunder, high-intensity rainfall, storm, and heavy rainfall.

2. Human Sources-

Urban areas are usually packed with automobiles, factories, industries, trains, airplanes, loudspeakers, radio, television, religious functions, pressure cookers, cooler electron convincing, and family celebrations.

Such activities are very frequent in urban areas. This cause to raise in noise pollution and this is all because of human sources.

Effect of Noise Pollution-

The different effects are categorized as-

  1. Auditory Effects
  2. Non-auditory Effects

1. Auditory Effects-

These include auditory fatigue and deafness. Auditory fatigue appears in the 90 dB and may be associated with side effects such as whishing and buzzing in the ears.

Deafness can be caused due to continuous noise exposure. Temporary deafness occurs at 4000-6000 Hz. Permanent loss of hearing occurs at 100 dB.

Indian Cities such as Mumbai and Kolkata are the noisiest cities in the world. Many persons have the risk of deafness there.

2. Non-Auditory Effects-

Non-auditory Effects are also categorized into four categories and they are-

  1. Interference with speech communication
  2. Annoyance
  3. Loss of working efficiency
  4. Physiological Disorders

A. Interference with speech communication-

A noise of 50-60 dB commonly interferes with speech, and the sound of a warning may be misunderstood. This causes interference while communicating.

B. Annoyance-

Balanced persons express great annoyance at even low levels of noise of crowds, highways, radio, etc.

C. Loss of Working Efficiency-

These develop tiredness and those doing mental work may put to deterioration in their efficiency or even a complete loss of ability to work.

D. Physiological Disorders-

These develop a number of physiological disorders due to imbalances in the functioning of the body. These are neurosis, anxiety, insomnia, hypertension, hepatic diseases, behavioral and emotional stress, increase in sweating, giddiness, nausea, fatigue etc.

Other Effects on Human Health-

Noise also causes visual disturbance and reduces the depth and quality of sleep thus affecting overall mental and physical health. Noise pollution also causes the incidence of peptic ulcers.

Continuous noise causes an increase in cholesterol levels resulting in the constriction of blood vessels making you prone to heart attack and strokes.

Supersonic airplanes create a shock wave called sonic boom which produces a startling effect that can be more harmful than continuous noise.

The sonic boom may spread in an area of 10 to 80- miles and when if hits the ground it damages window panes and building structures. This may also fasten the human fetus’s heartbeat rate.

Unit of Noise-

Noise is measured in the unit of decibels (dB) which is a tenth of the largest unit of the Bel. One decibel is equal to the finest sound that can be heard by a human car.

Acceptable Noise Level-

There are two basic properties of sound-

  1. Loudness
  2. Frequency

1. Loudness-

Loudness is the strength of sensation of sound perceived by the individual. It is measured in terms of decibels.

Just audible sound is about 10 dB, a whisper about 20 dB.

The loudest sound a person can stand without much discomfort is about 80 dB. Sounds beyond 80 dB can be safely regarded as pollutant as it harms the hearing system.

The WHO has fixed 45 dB as the safe noise level for activity. For international standards, a noise level of up to 65 dB is considered tolerated.

As you know, Loudness is also expressed in moles. One mole equals the loudness of 40 dB sound pressure at 1000 Hz.

The intensity of some noise sources is as follows:

 PlacesNoise Intensity(dB)
Library place30
Normal conversation35-60
Heavy street traffic60-80
Boiler factories120
Jet planes150
Rocket engine180

2. Frequency-

Frequency is defined as the number of vibrations per second and it is denoted as Hertz (Hz). One Hz equals one vibration per second.

People can hear sound from 16 (infra-audible) to 20,000 (ultrasonic) Hz.

Prevention and Control of Noise Pollution-

There are Different Methods of Minimizing Noise Pollution and These are the following way to minimize and control the noise menace.

  1. Source Control
  2. Transmission Control
  3. To protect an exposed person
  4. To create vegetation cover
  5. Control Noise pollution through law

1. Source Control-

This can be done by designing and fabricating silencing devices in aircraft engines, automobiles, industrial machines, and home appliances.

These could be developed gadgets to control noise at the source.

2. Transmission Control-

 This can be achieved by covering the room walls with sound absorbers as acoustic tiles and constructing enclosures around industrial machinery.

3. To Protect an Exposed Person-

 The workers exposed to noise can be provided with wearing devices such as ear plugs and car muffs.

4. To Create Vegetation Cover-

Plants absorb and dissipate sound energy and thus act as the buffer zone. The tree should be planted along highways, streets, and other places.

5. Controlling Noise Pollution through Law-

 Silence zones must be created near schools, and hospitals, and the indiscriminate use of loudspeakers in public places may be done by laws.

Adequate restrictions must be put on the unnecessary use of horns and vehicles playing without silencers.

6. Education-

The public must be made aware and educated about noise nuisance through adequate news, media, lectures, and other programs.

The main reason is that most of us do not consider noise as pollution but as a part of routine life.


Wrapping Up-

For Noise pollution, that is all I have to say. Please let me know if anything is missed in the comments area below.

Share this article with those in need if you liked it, and save Engineers Rail for later easy reading.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones while you wait for another article.

You should continue reading these articles, which are mentioned below:

Global Warming – Definition, Causes, Effects, Control And Prevention

Soil Pollution- Definition, Sources, Effects, Prevention and Control

Water Pollution- Definition, Sources, Causes, Effects Prevention and control

Air Pollution – Definition, Causes, Effects, Control And Prevention


Leave a comment