18Environmental Noise Pollution

Sharad Gokhale

Civil Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati, India

18.1 Introduction

Environmental noise is the sound that is heard in the ambient.1 Louder and intermittent noise annoys and can have adverse effects on humans, and, therefore, noise pollution has come to the forefront of the environment‐related problems. Several human‐made sources of noise exist in the environment. Noise has local scale impacts because it is an energy generated, transmitted, and lost in a short time within a small spatial scale (Allen et al., 2009; Weber, 2009). It is considered to be not threatening because it has not caused any catastrophic hazards as yet unlike a few well‐known air pollution disasters around the world that have induced. It, being an energy, does not leave a residual effect behind. But its health hazards upon longer and regular exposure are well understood. Humans who are regularly exposed for a long time to higher noise are often at health risks. Its immediate effects are temporary and annoying but could be stress causing and upon longer exposure could be physiologically and psychologically damaging (Schwela et al., 2005).

Several countries have, from time to time, enforced regulatory limits on the noise in ambient environments to which people are exposed and also on the noise originated from various sources such as equipment and vehicles at manufacturing stages. There is an emerging trend, due to growing concern, ...

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