Causes of Noise Pollution

When you live in an urban area you can never get away from noise. Traffic, radios, televisions, sirens from emergency vehicles, the noise of other people around just living, all add to the cacophony of sound that pollutes people’s lives. It may be a little quieter at night when most people are asleep but in most urban areas the sound of traffic is never stilled.

Some people live next door to factories or large stores which receive deliveries all through the night. Others live near to airports and are disturbed by the noise of night flights.

Inconsiderate people add to the enormity of urban noise by turning up their radios, televisions and entertainment equipment up as loud as they will go. Some people drive their neighbours to distraction by vacuuming or playing loud music, or having noisy parties late at night. The biggest cause of neighbour disputes in the United Kingdom is noise it far outpaces any other factor.

Then there are those inconsiderate people who drive on urban roads with their sound system playing as loud as it will go. They seem to be saying “I like my music, if you don’t like it, tough luck. I will impose my taste on everyone else”.

There can be nothing more annoying than when having found a nice place to sit on a beach or in a public park, some idiot family come and sit right next to your encampment, turn their radio up full blast and let their noisy children run riot and shout at one another.

Neighbour noise could be lessened if people and companies were more considerate about noise. If houses and other buildings were built with a view to lessening sounds coming from the building there would be less noise. If quieter vehicles were designed it might just lessen the constant hum of traffic. Some countries use quiet road surfaces and these have proved successful in abating noise pollution. Quieter airplanes, or quieter ways of operating them, need to be designed too.

If you move from an urban area to a rural area you hear sounds that you had forgotten. It is amazing how loud the buzzing of bees is when there is no traffic noise. The natural sound of birds singing is all the more sweet when it is not stifled by the uproar of noisy lorries, buses, and cars. The sound of sirens rarely invades the rural idyll. The sound of a car causes everyone to look out of their windows to see who is coming. Hearing your neighbours ceases to be an annoyance and becomes a welcome sound.

Some townies find the country noisy and there have been some spectacular court cases where townies have attempted, unsuccessfully, to sue farmers over natural noise such a cock crowing to welcome the dawn. There is, however a great difference between natural country noises and the constant unnatural and loud noise in urban areas. Noise causes stress in humans, because it interrupts their sleep and their peace. Like all pollution, noise pollution is caused by man’s uncaring attitude and, like all pollution it only requires a little thought to stop it.