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When you think about pollution, what comes to mind? Likely, images of smoggy cities, plastic-covered beaches and overflowing trash cans. As physical pollution becomes increasingly prominent, we tend to forget about its invisible cousin – noise pollution. Noise pollution can be harmful, but there are some solutions.
Noise Pollution: Causes and Solutions
Since we can’t see it, it’s hard to believe noise pollution is one of the most common pollutants in the modern world. Many seemingly harmless aspects of daily life are actually culprits of noise pollution, especially in densely populated areas like cities.
So, what is noise pollution? Simply put, noise pollution is any form of excessive, unnatural sound causing either a continuous or temporary disruption. Keep reading to discover 5 of the most common causes of noise pollution – you may be surprised.
In today’s fast-paced world, we’re always on the move. Planes, subways, trucks – even automated cars – are taking us from point A to point B faster than ever before. Fast and easy travel has allowed us to expand our connections across the globe, but with honking horns, revving engines, rumbling subway cars, and blaring radios, transportation is no silent feat.
Loud Construction Complaints
If you’ve ever lived in a city, you know the pains of constant construction. Our growing population is in never-ending need of taller buildings, wider roads and more space, which leads to noisy construction sites at every turn. Whether you’re driving to work, taking a walk, or even just trying to sleep at night the clamor of construction will be sure to find you in any city.
Most cities have noise ordinances that specifically apply to construction noise. For instance, in the city of Tampa, Florida, the municipal code requires that construction noise stop at 9PM, unless a special waiver is signed by City Council. Construction during the day may be up to 90 dBA at the property line.
Major industry causes major noise pollution. Factories, mills and manufacturing plants – they all require machinery and machinery is loud. All that noise is irritating for those walking by, and downright dangerous for industry workers. As industry booms, so do our eardrums.
Loud Events – Concerts & Festivals
One person alone can only make so much noise, but put a bunch of people together and give them something to celebrate? Bam – noise pollution. Concert venues, parties, bars, even outdoor marketplaces and parks generate a ton of noise. People talking – or shouting – loud music, and general commotion are commonplace at any special event and are sure to contribute to the problem of noise pollution.
I’m not afraid to admit that I wear earplugs at concerts if I feel like the music is way too loud. It’s not worth it to me to permanently damage my hearing for one night of listening to live music.
A Growing Population
People are loud, plain and simple. More people equals more noise. Human population is growing every single day and with more people comes more noise pollution.
Sound pollution is hazardous. It damages our ears, harms our overall health, and bothers everyone it reaches. So next time you’re thinking about turning up the volume, consider the consequences of noise pollution and reach for some headphones instead.
Noise Pollution Solutions
Depending on the situation, there are a lot of ways you can work to prevent or avoid noise pollution. For example, if you live near an airport try wearing earplugs while you sleep to avoid being woken up. Airplane noise can actually cause health issues over time if you’re constantly exposed to it.
You can also avoid other noise pollution making it’s way into your house including traffic noise or loud neighbors. Soundproof curtains from Residential Acoustics are STC rated and block out around 60%-80% of outside noise.
If all else fails and noise pollution has has a true negative impact on your life then don’t be afraid to speak up about it. You can file complaints or go to community meetings to voice your concerns. Chances are, someone else is experiencing the same issues and you won’t be alone.