Saturday, 6 October 2018




The rapid and much degradation of environment is the result of our over indulgence. This can be seen in poisoned air, polluted water, mountains of garbage and waste, deafening noise and smoke-belching vehicles all around. Much of the wholesomeness of the environment has been destroyed during the post four-five decades resulting in dangerous imbalance in nature and ecology. Our current concern about environment and its increasing pollution, though belated, is welcome. Pollution has many dimensions and faces and noise pollution is one of them. But public awareness, about the dangers of noise pollution, is still insufficient and therefore nothing substantially has been done against noise pollution. The knowledge among people about noise as a dangerous pollutant is miserably low end poor. 

Noise pollution is as dangerous and widespread as the atmospheric or water pollution. Studies have proved that constant exposure to loud noise resulted in many mental disorders, and physical ailments. Our sensitive ears cannot shut out noise either when we are awake or when we are asleep and so there is a continuous onslaught of noise on our ears in cities, towns and places where industries are located. It is because of this pollution that we have lost much of our sensitivity to finer, softer and subtle sounds. In other words we have been suffering from hard of hearing. The relative loudness of a sound is measured in decibels. The lowest audible sound is one decibel. Sounds up to approximately 70 decibels are tolerable but louder sounds become harmful in proportion to their upward increase on the scale. Decibel levels of 90 are a threat to ears and beyond that may cause permanent deafness to a person exposed to it for long periods. 

The ubiquity of loud and constant noise produced by traffic, machines, hi-fi music systems, factories, public address systems, aero planes, railway engines etc. in towns and cities has turned life very uncomfortable and intolerable. Consequently people living in cities and towns do not know what are real peace, proper rest, and deep sleep. Even during night there is a hell of noise emanating from factories, sirens, trains and their engines and zooming aero planes in the skies. This noise may not arouse us from our sleep but it certainly affects us adversely in many ways. It affects our working both at the level of quality and quantity. 

Noise may sometimes go unnoticed but if certainly produces profound psychological changes in the body and mind. Frequent exposure to loud noise causes decreased flow of blood in the small vessels, dilation of pupils, tensing of muscles, digestive upsets, nervousness, irritation and anxiety. It also lowers the working efficiency especially in works requiring concentration, accuracy and speed. The most glaring affect of noise can be seen in the form of gradual loss of hearing resulting into deafness. 

It is really sad that very few people are aware of the fact that noise is a great pollutant. It is all around us. There is traffic noise, household noise, construction and industrial noise, the noise of rock and pop music, noise coming from religious places on loudspeakers, noise of marriage, religious and political processions, rallies, and above in the sky there is noise of the aero planes and helicopters, and yet we are fondly unaware of its harmful presence and effects. This dangerous pollutant disturbs our sleep and peace, causes irritation and annoyance, interrupts our flow of thoughts and affects our mental and physical health. 

With the passage of time and increased industrial activities and urbanization, noise is becoming all pervasive and distracting. Even villages are now no more immune from this nuisance and pollutant. 

We are now living virtually in the Babel of noises and leading a life sans sanity, sans peace and mental equipoise. Many of our quarrels, acts of irrationality, traffic accidents, crimes, mental upsets etc. are the direct result of this kind of living. The city dwellers are in great danger of gradually becoming hard of hearing and ultimately deaf, if it is not noticed and cured time. The conclusion more public awareness about the dangers of this pollutant and stricter implementation of the noise control laws. Only the increased public awareness can properly deal with the menace which is growing louder and more dangerous every day. A new concept suggests that planting of trees can also reduce the menace to some extent. Then why not to go green as much as possible? 



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