Noise can be defined as a sound that is not agreeable with musical quality. Noise can also be described as an unwanted sound. Most of the noise is generated from almost all opencast and underground mining operations and from various fixed mobile and impulse sources.
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Noise pollution can be attributed to the increase of mechanization that results into the increase in the use of voluminous and complicated machinery and equipment. Other major sources of noise are produced from transportation.
Other good examples of noise include motor vehicles, airplanes, and trains, among others. Noise is rapidly becoming an increasing source of discomfort in mines, factories and other industries that produce excessive noise (Agarwal 2009).
Prolonged exposure of workers in noisy environments (>90 dBA) is harmful. This is because it can result into noise induced hearing loss and other effects that are not auditory but are related, in one way or another, to the hearing system.
For instance speech system can be interfered with when one is exposed to excessive noise. The other effects of noise are that it can affect a person’s sleep and reduce working efficiency. The high intensity of noise is what causes detrimental effects to a person.
In addition, the frequency of sound, duration of exposure, intermittence or continuation of sound, the age of a person and their health can affect the acuteness of the effects of noise pollution. It is essential to undertake noise surveys through environmental impact assessment. This will help in identifying the sources of noise. It will also help to quantify the exposure risk of workers (Tripathy Not Dated).
Sound is a form of energy that gives an auditory sensational hearing. Sound is transmitted by oscillation of atoms and molecules in matter. The intensity of sound depends upon the amplitude of the waves. Thus, higher than normal amplitudes are the ones responsible for noise pollution.
It is tricky to determine the level of noise that can be considered as causing noise pollution. However, sound that adversely affects wildlife and human activity can be considered as noise pollution. Sound that is capable of damaging physical structures can also be considered as noise pollution. However, the damage must also be on a repeated basis (What is what.com 2011).
Noise pollution is difficult to control. This is because noise is transient and localized. It usually is temporary and not inherently dangerous. It does not accumulate in our bodies or the environment. Also, the impacts of noise to human beings and animals are subjective. This is because the impact of less damaging sound is harder to determine. It is also difficult to disentangle offending noises from background noises (Wolf & Stanley 2011).
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) came up with regulations that aim at reducing noise levels so that people are not affected (Wang et al. 2005). The organization has implemented a rating system in which levels of noise in a work place are regulated.
Employers are therefore required to protect their employees against noise pollution through these regulations (Demand Media 2011). The organization has come up with a system that regulates the amount of time and the noise levels. Therefore, an employee must not be exposed to a sound equal to or exceeding 85 dB for more than 8 hours (United States Department of Labor 2011).
Agarwal, S. (2009). Noise Pollution. New Delhi, APH Publishing Corporation.
Demand media. (2011). OSHA Requirements for Noise. Web.
Tripathy, D. (n. d.). Noise Pollution. New Delhi: APH Publishing.
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United States Department of Labor. (2011). Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Web.
Wang et al. (2005). Advanced Air and Noise Pollution Control. Vol. 2. Totowa, Humana Press Inc.
What is what.com (2011). What is Noise Pollution? Web.
Wolf, S., & Stanley, N., 2011, Wolf and Stanley on Environmental Law. New York, Routledge.