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Noise Pollution | Definition, Examples, Effects and its Causes

Sound that is unwanted and undesirable or can disrupts one’s quality of life is called as Noise. When there is lot of ‘noise’ in the environment, it is termed as Noise Pollution. The intensity of noise is meaured in decibels (dB).

Sources of Noise Pollution

Vehicle engines, air horns, audio video systems, trains, low flying aircrafts, factory machines, sirens, motors, drillers and crushers, compressor machines, crackers, explosives, modern supersonic transports are the common sources of noise pollution.

The threshold of pain is about 120 db. World Health Organization has proposed that noise must be recognized as a major threat to human well-being. This is applicable for all living organisms.

Effect of Noise Pollution

  • According to the USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) there are direct links between noise and health.
  • Heart disease, high blood pressure, stress related illness, sleep disruption, hearing loss (deafness), and productivity loss are the problems related to noise pollution.
  • Increased stress and tension, nervousness, irritability, anxiety, depression and panic attacks.
  • Peptic ulcer, severe head ache, memory loss.
  • Marine animals are affected by noise pollution from offshore activities and port activities.
  • Fire crackers frighten animals. Birds are often affected by increased air traffic.


  • Planting trees in and around noise sources is an effective solution for noise pollution as plants are known to absorb noise and bring down sound levels.
  • Regular servicing and tuning of automobile engines can effectively reduce noise pollution by vehicles and machinery.
  • Workers should be provided with ear plugs and earmuffs at work sites that generate high noise levels.
  • Lubrication of machinery and regular servicing minimizes noise levels.
  • Regulations should be imposed to restrict the usage of loudspeakers in crowded areas and public places.

Legal Protection

Article 48-A and Article 51-A of the Constitution of India, Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000, and Tamil Nadu State Environment Policy 2017 are some of the legal relief from noise pollution.

According to Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, the permissible limit of noise in areas categorized as commercial is 65 decibels (dB) during day and 55 dB during night.