Regulating Dangerous Decibels

Meher Wan


Photo Credit: Acousticator (CCA-SA 4.0)

Noise pollution is a growing concern. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), long-term exposure to noise can cause a variety of health effects such as annoyance, sleep disturbance, and negative effects on the cardiovascular and metabolic system. It can also impair the cognitive abilities of children.

According to an estimate by EEA, Europe is observing approximately 48 thousand new cases of ischemic heart disease and 12000 cases of premature deaths per year. Besides, in Europe only, EEA estimates around 22 million people with chronic high annoyance and 6.5 million people with chronic high sleep disturbance. 

Prolonged exposure to more than 60-decibel noise may cause Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) which is irreversible. As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) report in 2007, approximately six per cent of the Indian population suffers from hearing loss. Noise pollution is an invisible peril and the public worldwide is not yet aware of the negative effects of long term noise exposure. According to a survey conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in 2011, the national capital of India had some of the noisiest roads with vehicular noise of more than 106 more on NOPR