Every day, we suffer from different kinds of situations wherein our health can be at risk. From the time we step out of our homes to go to work in the morning, the pollution that envelopes the city increases the risk of lung disease, which can contribute to premature deaths. The problems in urban locations also include noise pollution, which many of us may not be aware of.
The Dangers of Noise Pollution
Noises coming from the freeway traffic, a construction site, a nearby airport, a train station, or your neighbor’s blaring music put us at risk of some serious health conditions.
An experiment in the 1970s by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency recommended noise exposure limit to about 55 decibels on a 24-hour period. The noise was more dangerous at night, because such level of noise may make it difficult for some people to have a restful sleep.
In a separate study by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, loss of hearing may result from “long or repeated exposure to sound at or above 85 decibels.” Sound beyond this limit can increase the risk of hearing impairment, which is why this is not a safe standard for the public. The study proponents recommend an occupational standard for public exposure that will prevent damage to hearing.
How does noise affect the over-all health condition of an individual?
Noise is considered an environmental pollutant. The Noise Control Act of 1972 established a national policy to promote an environment for all Americans to be free from any form of noise that can jeopardize their health. This, however, was not given enough financial backing, as efforts in reducing public noise exposure have not been given too much attention.
Constant noise exposure, especially at high levels, may contribute to the following conditions:
- Cardiovascular disturbances
- Mental health disturbances
- Hearing impairment
- Impaired task performance
- Sleep disturbances
- Negative social behavior and annoyance reactions
Sound-Proofing Your Home and Office
Imagine the quality of life you may experience if you are consistently at dangerous levels of noise exposure. It can put so much stress on an individual to the point that concentrating on your work would be next to impossible.
It may not be possible to always have a noise-free environment, but you can reduce the noise level in our homes or in the office by using sound-proof windows. It can help to somehow mute unnecessary sound, which can make us feel more comfortable and relaxed to finish tasks on time. It will also give you that restful sleep that you may miss for so long.
The cost for this type of window may be 3 to 4 times more than traditional fixtures. However, if you focus on the quality of life that you will experience with sound-proof windows, the extra expenditure may be worth it.
The psychological effects of noise exposure cannot be denied, some of which include mood changes, nervousness, nausea, headache, and decrease in performance. You may not realize how noise is responsible for mental health conditions, but scientific evidence proves that constant exposure to high levels of noise can intensify the development of latent mental disorders such as hysteria, neurosis and psychosis.
We don’t need to deal with the noise every single day and let our health be affected. Steps in reducing noise in our lives should become a priority to protect our health.