Health Hazards of Noise Pollution

quiet day, silence

What is noise pollution? Noise pollution is defined as an “unwanted or disturbing sound.” It can include any sounds from traffic and construction sites to residential noise (like neighbors) and social noise (from firecrackers or concerts). The EPA notes that many people do not think that noise pollution is harmful as air or water pollution, but this can be a deadly mistake.

The Effects of Noise Pollution

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports at least one million healthy life years are lost every year from traffic-related noise in Western Europe alone. This is partially because we process noise subconsciously, so we may be unaware of how noise contributes to serious health problems like hearing loss and stress. Noise pollution can lead to depression, headaches, insomnia, low productivity, mood swings and high blood pressure. Over time these symptoms can lead to potentially lethal health problems like heart disease.

Prevention of Noise Pollution

Listed below are some Mindful tips for reducing noise pollution.

  1. Reduce your noise. The first step to peace is taking stock of how much noise you contribute. For instance, be conscious of the noise you have programmed in your life like alarms, loud music, and ringtones. Consider reducing your noisy incidents by reprogramming or limiting your use of these distracting sounds.
  2. Reduce noise in your workplace. Controlling noise in the office can be a challenge, especially in cubicle environments, but it’s important for the health of workers. Some suggestions for reducing noise include: educating your coworkers about the dangers of noise pollution, modifying equipment so it’s quieter, making sure people use headphones, or consider using earplugs.
  3. Reduce noise in your home. Consider turning your home into a quiet sanctuary. Set a daily hour in which everyone in your home will try to be quiet and refrain from using noisy gadgets like the TV. Everyone will benefit from the stress-reducing quiet time.
  4. Reduce noise around your home. If you are plagued with excessive noise from neighbors consider planting tall trees, hedges, or shrubs. Experts explain that these plants can help muffle the sounds of noisy neighbors. For instance, the sound of wind rustling through the trees and the twittering of birds making their homes in these plants can help with noise.

Bonus. Noise is everywhere, but there are places in our community where quietness prevails. Consider visiting the library, museums, galleries, or your religious center for peace and quiet.