We always encounter different kind of noises in our everyday life, from brewing coffee to the honking of the car you are riding on on your way to the office. Do we realize what are these noises for? It is just a natural thing in our life that we don’t really care about it at all? Well, we hope once you’re done reading this, you will start to care about the noise we encounter regularly.
What is noise pollution?
Noise pollution is any sound that can have a harmful effect on human and animals. It is mainly caused of machines, transportation, and propagation system. Singapore has been facing a serious problem with noise pollution with Serangoon, Clementi, and Bukit Timah being the noisiest neighborhoods. It is inevitable as Singapore continues to develop its residential, construction, industrial and transport infrastructure plus the noise vehicles produce.
The National Environmental Agency (NEA) recommends more than 67 decibels averaged over an hour and World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 70 decibels a day. However, a study made in National University Singapore has found that Singapore’s average of outdoor noise is 69.4 which is higher than NEA’s recommended noise level and close to WHO’s. They conducted a study wherein they gathered outdoor noises and measured it. Unfortunately, around 27% of the gathered materials exceeded 70 decibels.
What are the effects of noise pollution?
1. Blocked communication
People living near commercial areas are likely to suffer from consequences of noise pollution. A couple living near MRT shared that they barely understand what they are talking about because of the noises around them. They are even get used to shouting to each other in to communicate.
2. Losing sense of hearing
Constant exposure in noises for a long period of time might cause losing the ability to hear.
3. Unable to concentrate
Loud noises is a disturbance to everyone. Students will find it hard to understand what they are studying if they are exposed to noises. Workers will also suffer as they couldn’t concentrate to their jobs.
4. Sleep disturbance
If you have been working and studying all day, you are looking forward to meeting your bed and having a good sleep. But loud noises will be a big disturbance. It can cause annoyance and stress to everyone once sleep is interrupted.
5. Mental Problems
Loud noises can cause stress, personality changes and violent behavior. Studies show that auditory stimuli can trigger post traumatic disorder.
6. Stress to animals
Animals are sensitive with sounds and loud noises can cause stress even to them. This is why during New Years, you can see your pet hiding somewhere they can think they wouldn’t hear any noise.
Reduce noise pollution
In a busy city, noise is something we can’t avoid. Noise is everywhere. But we can still do things to reduce it.
1. Follow street signs
Make sure that when you see a sign saying “No Blowing of Horns”, do not blow your horn.
2. Turn off appliances
Turn off appliances that are not in used like television, microwaves, coffee makers, aircons.
3. Close windows and doors
We can shut the window and doors to lessen the amount of noises coming to our ears.
4. Use earplugs
Earmuffs can bring down the level of noises into a manageable one.
5. Lower the volume
Listening to music with your earphone on is not bad, but always make sure that the volume is not too high.
Noise pollution could be a serious problem to mankind and even to animals. This is the time we should take it seriously. Share with us your thoughts about noise pollution.