Industrial plants are known for being loud, acoustically-harsh environments. The combination of high ceilings, reflective surfaces and heavy machinery din creates an environment for reverberation and noise. Such conditions can decrease productivity and increase health and safety hazards.
From neighbors and traffic to trains and pets, noise is a part of our everyday lives. But there are serious repercussions when it comes to daily exposure to high noise levels. It’s important to stay aware of how noise can affect you—both physically and emotionally—and learn how you can protect yourself from noise pollution.
The world is getting louder. Scientists define "noise" as unwanted sound, and the level of background din from human activities has been doubling roughly every three decades, beating population growth. Road traffic in the United States has tripled over the last 30 years. By 2032, the number of passenger flights is expected to be nearly double the 2011 figure—at peak hours, planes are even audible overhead 70 percent of the time in the remote backcountry of Yosemite National Park.
What do hypertension, sleep disorders, cardiovascular disease, impaired cognition and being annoyed have in common?
All are possible outcomes of too much noise around us.
Hearing loss and ailments such as the ringing ears of tinnitus aren’t the only things we should worry about. Evidence of the non-auditory effects of noise on health is growing.
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in partnership with Imperial College London and King's College London have found that long-term exposure to moderately loud or very loud traffic sounds during the daytime — the kind you'd experience after months to years of city dwelling — contributed to the risk of a shorter life expectancy.