Noise Pollution: The Definitive Guide (2022)

You may not think much about noise pollution, but it’s something that should be taken seriously.

This definitive guide will teach you all about noise pollution and what you can do to help reduce it.

By the end, you’ll know everything there is to know about this important issue!

Let’s get started.

Noisy Roads

Examples of Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is present around us all the time.

Especially people living in cities are exposed to a lot of noise.

There are many examples of noise pollution around us. Some of them are:


1) Excessive Use of Horns

Too much use of horns can cause a lot of noise pollution.

Trucks, tractors, cars, buses, and all vehicles around us use horns.

But unnecessary use of horns can damage the ears and human health in all forms.


2) Use of Loudspeakers


The use of Loudspeakers in urban areas and villages for many purposes can contribute to noise pollution.

But it should be made compulsory that excess use of loudspeakers should be banned.


3) Noise from the industrial Areas

All the industrial areas produce a lot of continuous and loud noise. So we can say that industrial areas generate a lot of noise pollution through their machinery.

Some measures must be taken to control the noise from these industries. It is also very harmful to the people working in those industries.


4) Noise from construction sites

Construction sites produce a lot of noise pollution. Most of the work done at the construction site includes noise.

Continuous slow-pitched noise is always heard at these sites. Sometimes there is a lot of abrupt high, pitched noise, for example, when demolition occurs in renovation works.


5) Transportation noise

Transportation noise is very irritating and is produced continuously throughout the day on roads. People who live on the main streets experience a lot of noise pollution all day.

The continuous sound of engines roaring and horns produces high-pitched sounds.

This can be very irritating and disturbing for all the people living around. These people may suffer anxiety and severe other health problems.


6) Speaking in a high-pitched voice

Some people have this habit of speaking in a high-pitched voice. Their voice may cause a lot of pollution. This may be irritating and disturbing for many people sitting around or living with them.

Their high-pitched voice can also be harmful to themselves. People who speak loud start listening loud too.


7) Use of Radio and Television at high volume inside homes

Listening to television and radio at high volume is the kind of noise pollution that is commonly produced inside the homes.

Some people like listening loud, and that’s not good for human health.


8) Noise for Air Traffic

People living near airports come across a lot of noise daily and even at night.

Airports should be built away from cities and towns so that people may not experience that loud noise produced when an aircraft lands or takes off.

It is a very high-pitched sound that irritates and damages the environment around it.


Types of Noise Pollution

There are four main types of noise pollution:

a) Continuous noise
b) Intermittent noise
c) Impulsive noise
d) Low-frequency noise


a) Continuous Noise

The continuous noise is a type of noise pollution that is continuously happening. This noise is produced continuously without interruption.

For example, some kind of machinery produces loud noise without interruption.

Another example is the sound of any roaring engine producing continuous loud noise.

This kind of noise pollution irritates the ears because it is happening continuously for a more extended period.


b) Intermittent Noise

Intermittent noise is the kind of noise that increases or decreases rapidly at any moment. It is a kind of noise that happens when the source of the noise comes and stops when the source is gone.

An example of this kind of noise pollution is any factory machinery that operates in cycles and produces loud noise.

Another example is an aircraft flying over your house and producing a high-pitched noise.


c) Impulsive Noise

Impulsive noise is a kind of noise pollution that produces sudden noise.

That abrupt loud sound produced after some intervals is called impulsive noise. This kind of noise is created very suddenly.

An example of this kind of noise is the construction and demolition industry.


d) Low-Frequency Noise

Low-frequency noise is the kind of noise that is produced at a low frequency but is continuously happening in the background.

This is low-frequency noise, but we are exposed to it continuously.

An example of such noise is a nearby power station where any kind of machinery produces noise continuously throughout the day.


Sources of Noise Pollution

Some of the principal sources of noise pollution around us are:

  • Household chores
  • Industrial noise
  • Social events
  • Transportation
  • Air traffic noise
  • Nightlife activities
  • Construction activities
  • Loudspeakers
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Poor urban planning
  • Animal sounds
  • Machinery


Effects of Noise Pollution

Noise pollution has very harmful effects on:

Human health


a) Effects of Noise Pollution on our Environment

Noise pollution has many harmful effects on the environment, and it can cause severe damage to all the organisms living in that environment.

All animals, birds, and humans are severely affected by noise pollution.

There can be health issues, breeding, and echo locating when the environment is polluted with high-pitched sounds.

Humans living in such environments are affected physically as well as mentally.

Even the sea animals like dolphins, sharks, and all kinds of fish are affected by the noise produced these days underwater.


b) Effects of Noise Pollution on Animals

Noise pollution can damage the hearing ability of animals. For animals exposed to loud noise, their ears can be damaged, and their hearing ability can be lost.

Noise pollution can also cause a change in the behavior of all animals and birds. Their habits may change because of the irritability they face day and night.

The growth ability of sea animals can be disturbed. These days it’s a severe problem that the invention of new technologies used under the sea for different purposes can affect sea animals.

Sound waves are produced in the waters that may damage the health of the animals living in the sea.

This harms them because it causes noise pollution in the water. It can also affect the growing ability of sea animals.

Animals can have navigation problems due to sound pollution. They will be unable to locate their prey.

All the human-generated noise can be very damaging to their ears and can disorient these animals.

Loud noise can damage an animal’s ability to echolocate. Animals locate other animals and their prey from a certain distance, a psychological process.

Due to extreme noise pollution, their ability to echolocate is damaged.


c) Effects of Noise Pollution on Human Health

Excessive and loud continuous noise can have the following impacts on human health:


i) Hearing Loss

Noise pollution can cause hearing loss in humans. This is very common nowadays because we are exposed to noise a lot.


ii) Agitation

Agitation is a state of anxiety that is caused due to continuously being exposed to noise pollution.


iii) Racing Impulse

In this state, a person’s heart rate and pulse increase due to sudden or high-pitched noise that a person experiences abruptly.


iv) High Blood Pressures

A person’s blood pressure may increase when he faces a lot of noise pollution around him.

The irritability and mental discomfort he feels may cause a rise in blood pressure.


v) Heart Disease

Many heart-related diseases are caused by continuous exposure to sound pollution.


vi) Sleep Disturbance

The biggest problem caused due to sound pollution is the disturbance in the sleep patterns of adults and kids.

When a person does not take a sound sleep of 8 hours, it further leads to many other health issues.


vii) Stress

Stress is one of the significant problems caused by sound pollution. It further clears paths for many other psychological problems.


viii) Headache

The most common health issue a person faces due to sound pollution is a headache.

It may be caused due to continuous noise or a sudden abrupt sound.


ix) Psychological Problems

When a person is exposed to sound pollution for longer, he may face many psychological issues.

Depression, anxiety, reduced self-care, lower work tolerance, and increased isolation are some psychological problems that a person may face.


Effects of Noise Pollution on Kids

Noise pollution is more harmful to kids as compared to adults. It can cause severe health damage and other psychological issues.

It has shown many adverse effects on kids, such as:


i) Language Disorders

Excessive noise pollution around kids can cause language disorders in them.

The child may start to mumble in his speech, or he may speak less. Or even he may experience a problem in listening and analyzing the speech correctly.


ii) Concentration Problems

Too much noise around kids, continuous low-frequency noise, or sudden high-pitched sounds all contribute to a child’s inability to concentrate on anything.


iii) Bad Behavior Problems

Bad behavior problem is very common among children due to noise pollution exposure.

As adults, kids also experience depression and anxiety when exposed to irritating sounds.

This anxiety that builds in them eventually leads to bad behavior in children.


iv) Hearing Loss

Children of all ages may experience hearing loss when exposed to excessive noise pollution.

Younger children have more sensitive ears. Their ears cannot tolerate high-pitched sounds.


v) Listening Problems

When a child cannot concentrate properly and cannot speak correctly, he may also experience listening problems.

In classrooms and homes, children should have a quiet environment so that they may be able to listen to everything.


vi) Speech Perception Disorder

Speech perception disorder is very common in children due to more exposure to all the unnecessary sounds they may listen to.


How to control Noise Pollution

Some straightforward measures can be taken to control noise pollution. Let us discuss some of them here:


i) Factories should be set up away from residential areas

Factories play a significant role in the increase of noise pollution.

All the machinery used in factories produces high-pitched sounds, which can disturb people living around them. These types of machinery generate continuous noise.

Even if that noise is low-pitched, it continuously plays in the backdrop, and it could damage human health.


ii) Planting more trees could be another way to control noise pollution

If the species and planting design are selected carefully, noise pollution can be decreased by as much as 50%.

Plants help in absorbing noise, especially sharp sounds.


iii) Limiting activities at night time can be another way to control noise pollution

The night is known for its silence; if any noise is generated at night, it doesn’t feel enjoyable.


iv) Develop rules for the use of loudspeakers

They should only be used when necessary otherwise, they should be banned.


v) Airports should be built away from residential areas

When an aircraft lands or takes off, it generates a high-pitched sound for a particular period.

This can be very harmful to people living around that area.


vi) People should start investing in sound-friendly building materials

It may cost a bit, but it would be the best decision.

Noise-friendly material helps absorb sounds, especially sharp ones, thus making it comfortable for a human ear to tolerate all the noise pollution.

Using noise absorbents for noisy machinery would be another very wise decision.

It would help make the sharp, high-pitched sound of machinery tolerant to human ears.


vii) All the old automobile engines that cause more noise should be replaced with new ones

This causes more noise and clears the path for more air pollution.


viii) Awareness among people should be created at the government level

Advertisements should be played on television and radio for awareness purposes.

The government should introduce updated noise regulation policies.

Fine should be generated for people who don’t abide by the law. This way, people will be cautious in spreading noise around them.



Some of the very effective ways to reduce noise pollution on roads are:


i) Good urban planning

Good urban planning is a very effective way to reduce noise.

All the noise-generating factories, airports, and construction sites should be planned away from residential areas.


ii) Making a good road network

By making a good road network, we can control noise pollution. All the vehicles that produce noise will be away from houses.

More trees should be planted on the roadside so that they may absorb maximum noise.


iii) Less use of horns

People should make this compulsory so they would not use horns until necessary.

The excessive use of horns can be very damaging to human health and all the animals that are exposed to it.


iv) Using vehicles that have silent engines

No, with the vast improvement in technology, we can find silent engines for our cars that may produce less noise.

It would be better if we use those engines.


v) Fitting low-noise tires to vehicles

Fitting tires to your vehicle which produce less noise is also an effective way to reduce noise pollution.


vi) Using noise-absorbing road materials

Roads should be built with materials that help absorb noise.


vii) Reporting noisy vehicles

The government should introduce noise regulation policies.

People should be aware of those policies so that they should be careful not to make noise themselves and report all the noisy vehicles they listen to on the roads.


viii) Setting rules for road noise

Government should set rules for road noise.



Some of the very effective ways to reduce noise pollution in cities are:


i) Planting more trees

Planting more trees is very effective in reducing noise pollution. Trees absorb sounds, and they make sharp sounds softer for the ears.

They may also reduce sound pollution by as much as fifty percent if suitable trees are planted.


ii) Using noise-absorbing building materials

As discussed above, the noise-absorbing building material helps absorb the sound and not reflect it.


iii) Staying away from noisy areas

People should try building their homes away from noisy areas such as industrial areas and airports.

following the limits of noise level

People should be aware of what noise range is harmful to their ears.

So they should be careful not to cross limits at home, in social gatherings, and household chores.


iv) Using fewer horns

The excessive use of horns can be very damaging to human health and all the animals that are exposed to it.


v) Using low-volume music at social gatherings

A significant amount of noise is produced at social gatherings these days. People play music at high volumes and then speak in high-pitched voices.

This can be very damaging to their health.


vi) Avoid unnecessary use of machines

Almost all kinds of machines generate noise. They can be in households, construction sites, or even industrial areas.

Unnecessary use of the machine should be avoided.



Some of the very effective ways to reduce noise pollution at home are:


i) Choose to build a home in a noise-free area

Try choosing a location for your home where there are no noisy areas.


ii) Closing the windows

Closing all the windows and doors helps shut down all the noise from outside.


iii) Use of earplugs

Earplugs help us avoid the noise, which is irritating and unnecessary playing all the time in the backdrop.


iv) Use of appliances that make less noise

We should start using such appliances at home that make less noise.


v) Use of carpets and rugs to absorb unnecessary sounds

Using carpets and rugs in our house can make sharp sounds to become bearable for our ears.

Even wall hangings are a good option because soft materials absorb sounds.


vi) Use of sound-absorbing building material for your house

Sound absorbing materials may be a little costly, but they will help absorb all the damaging noise from outside in the long term.


vii) Invest in noise-friendly flooring

Noise-friendly flooring is another way to help us reduce noise pollution in our homes.


viii) Invest in noise-friendly furniture

Noise-friendly furniture is an excellent option to help control noise pollution at home.


ix) More frequent lubrication and maintenance of machinery

Machinery often produces more sound when it is not adequately maintained or lubricated.



Some ways by which we can reduce noise in construction are:


i) Use of noise-absorbent building material

Use noise-absorbent building materials. This will help in the long run to control all the noise pollution.


ii) Using machinery which produces less noise

Priority should be given to machinery which produces lesser noise.


iii) Remove people from the vicinity of noise

All the labor working on the construction site should be kept from the vicinity of loud noise.

That noise cans b very harmful to the health of humans.


iv) Add noise barriers

Noise barriers should be added around the area, producing more noise. Walls should be built around that area.

All the machinery producing loud noise should be placed in an enclosed area if possible.


v) Frequent maintenance of all equipment

All the equipment should be maintained frequently and kept in good condition.

Old equipment should be timely replaced with new ones. This would help in the reduction of noise.


How to reduce noise pollution in the classrooms

Some ways which can help reduce noise pollution in the classrooms are:

  • By carpeting the classrooms
  • By using sound-insulating materials
  • Placing indoor plants
  • Hanging soft materials on the walls
  • By closing doors and windows
  • By turning off loud noise-producing things
  • Hanging curtains on the windows
  • By using soft tips on the bottoms of future


How to reduce noise pollution for animals

Here are some ways to reduce noise pollution for animals:

  • Raise more awareness among people to help reduce noise
  • Simple lifestyle changes in humans can be helpful for animals.
  • Government should play a role in noise management.
  • Forests should be protected.
  • Species in the ocean can be saved by controlling underwater traffic.


How to reduce noise pollution in urban areas

Below are some ways to reduce noise pollution in urban areas:

  • Building industrial areas away from residential areas
  • By using quieter vehicles
  • By using sound-absorbent building materials
  • Government should enforce noise standards.
  • Limiting social gatherings
  • Ensuring noise-free machinery is used
  • Building airports far from residential areas


How to reduce noise pollution in industries

Here are some ways to reduce noise pollution in industries:

  • Use barriers to block direct sounds
  • Keep workers away from loud sound-making machines.
  • Use well-lubricated machinery
  • Use sound-absorbent building materials for building factories.
  • Use rubber tires on trollies.
  • Use heavy sound-producing machinery in enclosed areas.




1) How noise can affect communication?

Everyday communication is affected by all sorts of background noise, whether it’s the sound of traffic or a chatty co-worker.

While a certain amount of noise can be helpful in masking distractions and helping us to focus, too much noise can make it difficult to concentrate and process information.

In fact, studies have shown that exposure to high levels of noise can actually impede cognitive development in children.

Furthermore, noise can also affect our ability to communicate effectively.

For example, if we are trying to have a conversation in a loud environment, we may have to raise our voices in order to be heard, which can lead to misunderstandings and frustration.

In other cases, the presence of background noise can make it more difficult to pick up on nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language.

So next time you find yourself struggling to communicate in a noisy setting, remember that you’re not alone—noise can be a major barrier to effective communication.


2) what is a noise barrier?

A noise barrier is a wall or other structure that is designed to block out unwanted noise.

Noise barriers are commonly used to protect residential areas from the sound of traffic or industrial activity.

They can also be used to improve the acoustic environment of a room or outdoor space.

Noise barriers are typically made from materials that are good at absorbing sound, such as concrete, brick, etc.

In some cases, they may also be coated with a special noise-absorbing material.


3) Are noise walls effective?

When it comes to noise pollution, we’ve all had moments where we wished there was a way to block out the sound.

Fortunately, there is a solution: noise walls.

Noise walls are specially designed barriers that reflect or absorb sound waves, reducing the noise that reaches our ears.

While they are commonly used along highways to reduce traffic noise, they can also be used in other settings, such as near industrial plants or loud construction sites.

In addition to reducing noise levels, noise walls can also improve air quality by blocking dust and other airborne particles.

With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that noise walls have become an increasingly popular way to fight noise pollution.


4) Do buildings block noise?

It depends on the type of building and the materials it is made of.

For example, a brick wall will block more noise than a wooden fence.

Also, a single-story building will block less noise than a multistory building.

Sound waves travel through the air and bounce off of surfaces.

If the sound waves are absorbed by the surface, they will be blocked.

If the sound waves are reflected by the surface, they will be amplified.

Buildings can also help to reduce noise pollution by absorbing or deflecting sound waves.

In general, thicker walls and heavier materials are better at blocking noise.

However, even thin walls can make a difference if they are designed specifically to block noise.



Noise pollution is given less importance than air and water pollution, but that doesn’t mean this type of pollution should be neglected.

It can cause severe health issues to humans and animals and can be very damaging to the environment.

People and government should join hands on an emergency basis to control noise pollution.

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