Noise Pollution

Posted on 11 Feb 2022

Noise pollution is an environmental issue often overshadowed by other issues such as climate change and oil spills. Noise pollution is in most cases regarded as more of a minor environmental issue due to the fact that one cannot see the actual pollution taking place, and that it only affects the environment surrounding the noise source. Most people have experienced the effects of noise pollution whether it be a car alarm or the reverse hooter of a construction truck. The severity of noise pollution is often determined by the loudness of the noise, as well as the frequency at which it occurs. For most of us, the odd car alarm that goes off from time to time is an unpleasant experience that lasts momentarily however, if the same alarm kept going off at the same time, each day for a month, the level of unpleasantness would be unbearable. Contrary to the belief, the impact of noise pollution can have severe effects on the inhabitants of surrounding environments. Some of these effects are listed below:

 

  • Psychological issues – excessive noise can cause aggressive behavior, anxiety and impatience.
  • Effects on wildlife – noise pollution can cause disturbances amongst wildlife patterns.
  • Hearing problems – dangerously high noise levels can cause hearing loss.
  • Sleeping disorders – noise pollution can lead to sleep deprivation.
  • Physical issues – excessive noise can lead to physical issues such as headaches.

 

Many people reside in areas surrounding major potential noise sources such as factories and mines. The constant noise that these sources may potentially produce during their daily activities might lead to the above-mentioned issues. Noise assessments are done to determine the level of noise being produced by making use of a sound level meter which provides a reading given in decibels (dB). The area in which the noise is produced will determine the acceptable level of noise for that specific area. Each area will additionally have a day-time standard and a night-time standard. Mining companies make use of noise assessments to provide interested and affected parties with noise assessment reports to indicate whether or not they have been complying with national standards. Noise assessments are not limited to industrial areas as they can also be done in urban and sub-urban areas for any form of noise pollution. Noise assessments consist of two sessions, which comprise of a minimum of 10 minutes per session, where one is conducted any time during the day (06:00 – 22:00) and the other during the night-time (22:00 – 06:00). This is done in order to capture all forms of noise that are most likely to happen through a 24 hour day. A noise assessment can arise from a complaint that has been received or stipulated in an EMPr or as general duty of care.

 

ENVASS comprises of highly qualified noises specialists who are well equipped to conduct noise assessments for any source of noise pollution. For more information about these services contact ENVASS at info@envass.co.za.