Noise pollution is excessive, displeasing human, animal or machine-created environmental noise that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life. The word noise comes from the Latin word nauseas, meaning seasickness. The source of most outdoor noise worldwide is mainly construction and transportation systems, including motor vehicle noise, aircraft noise and rail noise.  Poor urban planning may give rise to noise pollution, since side-by-side industrial and residential buildings can result in noise pollution in the residential area.
Indoor and outdoor noise pollution sources include car alarms, emergency service sirens, mechanical equipment, fireworks, compressed air horns, grounds keeping equipment, barking dogs, appliances, lighting hum, audio entertainment systems, electric megaphones, and loud people. Noise Pollution causes The sources/causes of noise pollution increased or probably originated with the invention of machines. Let us have a look at the various noise pollution causes in detail. Traffic: It is the biggest source of noise pollution in today’s times, especially in urban areas.
In the past few years the number of automobile vehicles has increased manifold. Thus, traffic problems created by these vehicles is an important source of noise pollution. The sound produced by the exhaust systems of trucks, autos, buses, motorcycles, etc. cause a lot of noise. Railway Stations: Locomotive engines of trains are an important source of noise pollution. Besides, the shunting and switching operations in rail yards too cause noise pollution to a great extent. The whistles and horns being used by the railway employees add to the effect and increase noise pollution.
Aircrafts: The national parks and wastelands were earlier considered to be the pollution free zones and people traveled to these places for relaxation. Nowadays, however, the sound created by low flying military aircrafts causes noise pollution in these areas too. Industrial Noise: The various machines used in industries are also a major cause of noise pollution. The different machines which are responsible for creating noise include the compressors, motors and other machinery. It is therefore recommended to grow trees in the premises of industries, which act as absorbents of noise.
The trees grown in the premises of ‘Tata Motors’ an automobile company based in India is a perfect example of how to reduce noise pollution in the industrial belts. Read more on effects of industrial noise pollution. Construction Equipment: The different types of machines and equipments used in construction of roads and buildings are also an important cause behind noise pollution. The machinery used for the purpose of construction includes pneumatic hammers, bulldozers, air compressors, dump trucks, loaders, pavement breakers, etc. s also responsible for noise pollution to a great extent. Household Equipment: The household equipments are amongst the minor contributors to noise pollution. These machines include mixers, vacuum cleaners and other noise creating equipments. The effects of noise pollution caused by these machines shouldn’t be neglected. This is because one has to work in close contact with the equipments and the magnitude of sound that one need to bear is high. Other Causes: The boilers, plumbing equipment, air conditioners, generators and fans contribute to noise pollution to some extent.
Noise created by people in public places too is a major contributor amongst different sources. Loudspeakers used in public places are responsible for creating noise of a high degree/amplitude. Effects Human health Main article: Noise health effects Noise health effects are both health and behavioral in nature.  The unwanted sound is called noise. This unwanted sound can damage physiological and psychological health. Noise pollution can cause annoyance and aggression, hypertension, high stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, and other harmful effects. 3] Furthermore, stress and hypertension are the leading causes to health problems, whereas tinnitus can lead to forgetfulness, severe depression and at times panic attacks.  Chronic exposure to noise may cause noise-induced hearing loss.
Older males exposed to significant occupational noise demonstrate significantly reduced hearing sensitivity than their non-exposed peers, though differences in hearing sensitivity decrease with time and the two groups are indistinguishable by age 79. 8] 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.  High noise levels can contribute to cardiovascular effects and exposure to moderately high levels during a single eight hour period causes a statistical rise in blood pressure of five to ten points and an increase in stress and vasoconstriction leading to the increased blood pressure noted above as well as to increased incidence of coronary artery disease.
Noise pollution is also a cause of annoyance. A 2005 study by Spanish researchers found that in urban areas households are willing to pay approximately four Euros per decibel per year for noise reduction.  Recommendation As a society, our history is filled with failures to recognize the agents that cause disease; once the causes have been recognized, we have responded reluctantly, slowly, and often inadequately. The case with tobacco is an instructive one.
It took many years of lobbying by dedicated individuals before legislators and the general public recognized the links between the hazards of tobacco smoke and disease; as a result, laws were finally enacted and behaviors changed accordingly. Despite the evidence about the many medical, social, and economic effects of noise, as a society, we continue to suffer from the same inertia, the same reluctance to change, and the same denial of the obvious that the anti-tobacco lobby faced a couple of decades ago.
This inertia and denial are similar to those that delayed appropriate action on lead, mercury, and asbestos. Now we seem unable to make the connection between noise and disease, despite the evidence, and despite the fact, which we all recognize, that our cities are becoming increasingly more polluted with noise. Noise makers and the businesses that support them are as reluctant as smokers to give up their bad habits. Legislators at all levels should protect us from noise pollution the same way they protected us from tobacco smoke and other forms of pollution.
It is clear that laws can change behaviors in ways that benefit society as a whole. Noise represents an important public health problem that can lead to hearing loss, sleep disruption, cardiovascular disease, social handicaps, reduced productivity, impaired teaching and learning, absenteeism, increased drug use, and accidents. It can impair the ability to enjoy one’s property and leisure time and increases the frequency of antisocial behavior. Noise adversely affects general health and well-being in the same way as does chronic stress.
It adversely affects future generations by degrading residential, social, and learning environments with corresponding economic losses. Local control of noise has not been successful in most places. These point out the need for improved methods of local control that should include public education, enlightened legislation, and active enforcement of noise ordinances by local law enforcement officials. Part of the solution may require federal or state legislation aimed at supporting local efforts or the restoration of federal funding for the Office of Noise Abatement and Control.