Noise pollution in your neighborhood
Sound occurs when the complex system inside our ears picks up vibrations in the air, which our brains interpret as the birds chirping, clacking keys on a computer and roaring traffic. Our days are permeated with sound - it's inescapable. But when sound becomes bothersome, we call it noise. When noise in a particular area is constant and damaging, we refer to it as noise pollution.
If you're passing through an area with a good deal of noise pollution, such as a construction site, you might not mind this noise since it is a temporary disturbance that isn't likely to cause hearing loss, stress or other health issues. But if your home - which should be a bastion of peace, quiet and calm - is in an area with frequent or pervasive noise pollution, this could be dangerous to your health. Conditions brought on by noise pollution include insomnia, hearing loss and heart health issues. You can suffer noise-induced hearing loss by being exposed to noise above 85 decibels for a prolonged period of time. Additionally, noise between 120 and 140 decibels can actually cause the ear to feel pain.
Here are some common sources of noise pollution in neighborhoods:
Here are the approximate sound levels in decibels of various sources of noise pollution to give you an idea of the noise your ears are exposed to each day:
Protect against noise pollution
In the United States, issues of noise pollution are handled by local and state governments. If you've tried several things to protect your home from noise pollution to no avail, you might want to consider taking action at the local level as a first step. Most cities and states, such as many areas of Washington, have quiet hours, often between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., during which noise pollution is not permitted.
But as a homeowner who wants a peaceful and quiet neighborhood, if you haven't sought any solutions yet, you should know that there are several things that you can do to reduce your exposure to noise pollution from the neighborhood, as well as to protect others from noise pollution that you might produce. Here are some tips: