What is noise pollution, health effects and what to do

Noise pollution is characterized by excessive and unwanted noise, capable of causing damage to human health, physical or psychological, such as hearing problems or stress, for example, which can manifest in the short and long term.

The size of cities and unsustainable growth has contributed to the increase in noise pollution in the urban environment, which is mainly due to the noise emitted by means of transport.

Sources of noise pollution

The increasing population increase that occurs in large cities, contributes to the concentration of different types of sources of noise pollution. Transport, such as vehicles and trains, airports, noise from industry or public works, or loud music from a neighbor's house are examples of sources of noise pollution that can have health consequences.

Health consequences

Noise pollution can have health consequences and can cause:

  • Hearing disorders or even hearing loss, which results from exposure to high sound levels, over several years, being more common in people working in the industry;
  • Changes in blood pressure;
  • Changes in heart and respiratory rhythm;
  • Increased muscle tension;
  • Stress, irritability, insomnia and tiredness;
  • Decreased ability to concentrate.

The most serious health consequences usually occur when exposure to moderate noise levels, because they cause symptoms slowly and progressively. In addition, other symptoms may also appear over time, such as increased blood pressure, paralysis of the stomach and intestines, poor skin irrigation and even sexual impotence.

It is also important to note that noise pollution and auditory stress are one of the causes of the highest incidence of illnesses at work, having also verified that certain noises release exciting substances in the brain, making people unable to endure silence.

How to prevent and control noise pollution

Some of the measures that have been adopted to reduce the impact of noise pollution are the installation of acoustic barriers on major roads, to mitigate the propagation of noise produced by vehicles, reinforcement of the insulation of buildings most exposed to noise, improvement of windows, organization of construction of buildings due to noise and encouraging the manufacture and use of machines, engines, equipment and devices with a lower noise intensity to be used in industry, vehicles in general, civil construction or housewares.