Noise pollution, also known as environmental noise, is the propagation of potentially “damaging” sound through the environment. The effects of noise pollution tended to be seen as a nuisance rather than an environmental problem for decades. However, recent research into the effects of sound on human health are rather alarming. Research has also shown that exposure to loud sounds can cause hypertension (high blood pressure), higher stress and may affect sleep cycles. It may also cause hearing loss and tinnitus. Moreover, noise pollution is also associated with the decline of cognitive capacity.
What are the Effects of Noise Pollution
In humans, the effects of noise pollution are:
- High blood pressure
- Hearing loss
- May affect the circadian rhythm (sleep cycles)
- Impair cognitive functions
- Irritability, high stress.
In animals, the effects of noise pollution are:
- Noise pollution increases the risk of death by altering prey-predator behaviour (avoidance or detection)
- May interfere with navigation
- Also affects the reproductive behaviour
- Risk of hearing loss
- Unusual animal behaviour – some studies indicate that certain species of whales beached themselves after exposure to sonar.
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