Effects of noise pollution are; economic loss, biodiversity decline, and human health problems like; high blood-pressure, cardiovascular disease, and hearing loss. They can be categorized into effects on environment, economy and human health respectively, which are listed in a brief outline below.
This article discusses the effects of noise pollution, as follows;
-Effects of Noise Pollution on the Environment and Ecosystem
Effects of noise pollution the environment and ecosystem are mainly concerned with the disruption of organic activities, thereby altering the way biotic and abiotic components interact. This ultimately leads to loss of biodiversity, as organisms develop counterproductive adaptive behaviors or are forced to migrate from their natural habitat to less-noisy environments.
Biodiversity decline can also be described as an effect of noise pollution on animals.
1). Biodiversity Decline (as one of the Effects of Noise Pollution)
One of the ways in which noise pollution affects the ecosystem is by reducing biodiversity of plants and animals in both terrestrial and aquatic biomes.
Noise pollution affects biodiversity adversely, especially in areas like urban and sub-urban terrain, where local species are in close proximity to human settlements and activities. In fact, studies have shown a correlation between urbanization and regional loss of biodiversity, stating that anthropogenic noise pollution is a huge threat to the continuity of animal and plant populations in any given area .
Effects of noise pollution on wildlife include decline in ecologic efficiency through interference with communication, feeding, mating, areal distribution and hibernating activities, among others.
While plants may not be directly sensitive to sound stimuli, their close relationship with animals implies that any unfavorable change in animal behaviors and species richness could result in unfavorable diversity for the plants as well.
In general, the degree of impact on local species varies directly with the level of severity and consistency of noise in an area.
For example, terrestrial organisms in patches of forest close to busy highways, will likely be impacted by traffic noise more than organisms whose habitat is in close proximity with a mine site (where activities and industrial noise last for some hours daily).
The extent of impact on biodiversity also depends on the causes and sources of noise pollution involved.
Noise and light pollution impact the biosphere in an intrusive or disruptive way that may be mild or severe depending on various factors. These stressors alter the natural equilibrium to which most organisms have adapted.
-Effects of Noise Pollution on the Economy
The main effect of noise pollution on the economy is a loss of productivity and profitability, which is usually a ripple effect of the negative impact which noise pollution has on public health and on the wellbeing of workers.
2). Economic Loss
Noise pollution has significant socioeconomic effects, one of which is loss of economic productivity and profitability.
It must be noted that the relationship between economy and noise pollution is somewhat a cause-effect relationship; because economic activities tend to generate noise, which in turn affects the efficiency of these activities and productivity of the economy.
Causes of noise pollution in economics range from overcrowding in business areas, to the use of heavy machines in mining, processing, manufacturing, and transport of goods and services, among others.
The effect of noise in the industrial sector is felt most acutely by workers in the form of occupational noise. This noise can have detrimental effects on worker-health and wellbeing, so that the output of these workers tends to decrease with further exposure to noise.
Studies show that the direct correlation between occupational exposure and hearing defects has socioeconomic implications .
From another perspective, noise pollution can reduce the economic viability of businesses in affected areas, by hindering effective communication, and causing potential customers to seek less-disturbing alternatives.
Property within noise-polluted areas may also lose a good portion of their economic value to the disadvantageous condition of their location .
-Effects of Noise Pollution on Human Health
Effects of noise pollution on human health are; high blood-pressure, cardiovascular disease, and hearing loss.
3). High Blood-Pressure (as one of the Effects of Noise Pollution)
One of the effects of noise pollution on human health is high blood pressure.
Noise pollution causes high blood pressure by triggering a stress response that leads to the release of noradrenaline, adrenaline and cortisol, with higher heart rates, arterial blood flow, and vasoconstriction . These changes result in the blood pressure being much higher than average, and can be detrimental if it occurs on a regular and prolonged basis.
High blood pressure from noise pollution is a significant health challenge that spurs other health issues like cardiovascular ailment and severe hypertension (a state of continuous high blood pressure) .
Occupational noise, aircraft and highway-automobile noise are all forms of noise pollution that can trigger hypertensive stress-responses in exposed individuals, while exacerbating the incidence and symptoms of other ailments like diabetes and hearing loss.
4). Cardiovascular Disease
The cardiovascular effects of noise pollution are generally negative, and are closely linked to high blood pressure and hypertension, which often act as precursors and triggers of these effects.
A noisy environment can cause serious health issues like cardiovascular disease and cognitive impairment, by exerting excessive stress on the bodies sensory components and mechanisms.
The body’s endocrine and autonomic systems are affected by noise in such a manner that usually results in changes in glucose and lipid mechanisms, as well as arterial dilation (so that inflammation may occur) . These changes combine to alter the cardiovascular conditions of the body, most times with harmful consequences.
5). Hearing Loss (as one of the Effects of Noise Pollution)
The two main effects of noise on hearing are temporary and permanent hearing-loss, respectively. These are medically referred to as Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS) and Permanent Threshold Shift (PTS) in auditory capacity .
Hearing loss from noise pollution is called noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) or noise-induced auditory defect.
Noises that cause hearing loss are usually of high intensity, exceeding 65 dB. The severity and duration of auditory impairment depend on the intensity of noise reaching the ears of the individual; so that 70 dB may be slower to cause damage while over 100 dB may do more-rapid harm.
Workers in close proximity to heavy machinery for prolonged periods are especially exposed to this health risk, as well as people within close range of heavy shelling for prolonged periods in conflict-engulfed regions.
Negative effects of noise apart from hearing loss include psychological stress and hypertension, which have been mentioned in earlier sections of this articles.
The effects of noise pollution are;
1. Biodiversity Decline
2. Economic Loss
3. High Blood-Pressure
4. Cardiovascular Disease
5. Hearing Loss
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