Fighting Noise Pollution

Although living in a big city is exciting for many, it presents many downsides. One of these downsides is noise pollution, which is the “spread of unwanted sounds into the environment” [1]. According to The World Health Organization noise pollution occurs when a sound level is higher than 65 dB. In fact, a sound level becomes dangerous to the human ear at 75dB and even painful when above 120 dB [2]. However, sound levels are difficult to control; sound is everywhere, and we are constantly exposed to it. Sadly, being exposed to powerful sounds for years at a time can cause long-term damage to hearing [3].


Studies show that urban noise pollution is due to two main causes. The first instance is man-made; which is attributed to traffic, airplanes, construction sites, and city nightlife [2]. The second instance is due to the environment. E.g. noises caused by animals, thunderstorms, winds, etc [1]. The poor urban planning of major cities is a major factor in high noise levels and pollution. E.g. in highly developed countries, houses are frequently built near highways and industrial buildings; exposing the residents of such properties to noise pollution [1].

There are many causes of urban noise pollution

–   Man-made: traffic, airplanes, construction site, and nightlife.

–   Environment: This is the noise caused by nature, such as thunderstorms.

Urban noise pollution can be caused because of poor urban planning. For example, in developed countries, houses are built near highways and industrial buildings [5].


The main impact of noise pollution is hearing loss. Although some may exhibit hypertension, tinnitus, gastritis, and heart attacks [2].

Mental health is also impacted by constantly elevated sound levels. Some people exhibit memory and attention trouble, reading skill, sleep disturbance, and stress. Noise pollution can even cause permanent hearing problems if children are constantly exposed [1].

Furthermore, it also impacts the environment. For example, animals use sounds to navigate and communicate with each other. Therefore, increased sounds make it difficult for them to accomplish such important tasks. This ultimately impacts their survival [4].


         To prevent such negative impacts from transpiring, the government can protect certain areas, for example, by creating regulations to establish preventive and corrective measures in city parks or countryside parks. There is also a need for better urban planning and separate industrial and residential zones [2].

         On the individual level, people can avoid loud situations. For example, turn down the volume of audio equipment, and wear noise-canceling earplugs if exposed to loud external noises [3].  

         Noise pollution will continue to grow because of constant economic growth. Preparing measures to counter such noise pollution growth is a good start to protect the population’s health and well-being.


[1]  Millar, Helen. What Are the Health Effects of Noise Pollution? 22 Dec. 2020,

[2] Iberdrola. “NOISE POLLUTION.” Iberdrola, 22 Apr. 2021,,is%20painful%20above%20120%20dB.

[3] “Noise Pollution.” EHEP, 13 May 2015,

[4]  Stanley, Morgan. “Noise Pollution.” National Geographic,

 [5] “Causes and Effects of Noise Pollution on Humans and Animals – Conserve Energy Future.” Conserve Energy Future, 27 July 2022,

By Alicia Harvey

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