Noise disturbance : sources, causes, effects and control

Sound is a vibration that propagates as a mechanical wave of pressure and displacement, through some medium (i.e. air or water). Sound refers to only those vibrations with frequencies that are within the range of hearing for humans.


Noise is basically any unwanted. It is measured in dB units.

Characteristics of Noise

  • Sound pressure
  • Frequency
  • Duration
  • Time of the day
  • Location
  • Intermittency

Kinds of Noise

  • Continuous
  • Variable or Intermittent
  • Impulse or Impact
  • Kinds of noise which affect analysis
  • Chemical Noise
  • Instrumental Noise

Instrumental Noise

  • Thermal Noise
  • Flicker Noise
  • Shot Noise
  • Environmental Noise

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution refers to a type of energy pollution in which distracting, irritating or damaging sounds are freely audible. In this type of pollution contaminants are not physical particles, but waves which interfere with the naturally occurring waves of a similar type in the same environment.

Sources of Noise Pollution

  • Household Sources
  • Social Events
  • Commercial and Industrial activities
  • Transportation

Household Sources

  • Food Mixer
  • Grinder
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Washing machine and Dryer
  • Air Conditioner  Cooler
  • TV
  • iPods and Earphones
  • Loud speaker

Social Events

  • Places of worship
  • Discos
  • Parties
  • Markets where people sell goods with loudspeaker.
  • When these events are not often, they can be termed as nuisance rather than noise pollution.

Commercial and Industrial Activities

  • Printing Presses
  • Manufacturing Industries
  • Construction Sites

Sources of Construction Noise

  • Pneumatic Hammers
  • Air Compressors
  • Bulldozers
  • Loaders
  • Dump Trucks
  • Pavement breakers

Sources of Industry Noise

  • Fans
  • Motors
  • Compressors mounted outside
  • This interior noise sources have significant impacts on industrial workers, among whom noise induced hearing loss is unfortunately common.


  • Road Traffic Noise
  • Aircraft Noise
  • Noise from Rail Roads

Causes of Noise Pollution

  • Poor Urban Planning
  • Sounds from Motor Vehicles
  • Sounds from Musical Instruments
  • Car Alarms
  • Office Equipment
  • Factory Machinery
  • Construction Work
  • Barking Animals
  • Appliances
  • Audio Instruments
  • Loud Speakers
  • Noise Created by People

Effects of Noise Pollution

  • Effects on Humans
  • Effects on Animals
  • Effects on Environment (Vegetation, property)

Effects on Humans

  • Hearing Impairment
  • Interference with Spoken Communication
  • Decrease in Efficiency
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Cardiovascular Disturbances
  • Disturbance in Mental Health
  • Impaired Task Performance
  • Negative Social Behavior and Annoyance reactions
  • Abnormal Fetus
  • Temporary or permanent deafness

Diseases caused by noise pollution

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Attack Cancer Asthma
  • Coughing, wheezing
  • Deafness Annoyance Stress Anxiety
  • Reduced lung development
  • Bronchitis
  • Insomnia
  • Arteriosus Sclerosis

Effects on Animals

  • Damages Nervous system
  • Altering Prey/predator detection
  • Creates problems in Navigation
  • They become Dangerous and Attacking
  • Raise Metabolism
  • Reduction of useable Habitat
  • Death of Certain Species
  • Genetic and Evolutionary Problems
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Chronic Stress
  • Panic and Escape Behavior
  • Abandonment of Offspring
  • Injury
  • Loudness of Interspecies Communication

Effects on Environment

  • Breakage of Earth Barrier
  • Poor Quality of Crops
  • Damages Buildings, bridge sand Monuments
  • Weakens the Edifice of Building

Control of Noise Pollution

  • Control at Source
  • Control in the Transmission Path
  • Using Protective Equipment

Control at Source

  • Reducing the Noise Levels from sectors
  • Maintenance of Automobiles
  • Use of Economic instruments
  • Control over Vibrations
  • Low Voice Speaking
  • Prohibition on Usage of loudspeakers
  • Selection of Machinery
  • Maintenance of Machines

Control in Transmission path:

  • Installation of Barriers
  • Installation of panels and enclosures
  • Green belt development

Using Protection Equipment

  • Job Rotation
  • Exposure Reduction
  • Hearing Protection
  • Protection at the Receiver End

More Noise Control Techniques

  • Sound insulation
  • Sound Absorption
  • Vibration Damping
  • Vibration Isolation
  • Urban Planning
  • Public Education and Awareness


To protect healthy life, there is urgent need to come up with enforceable law on Noise Pollution in each state.

Reviewed by:
Dr. Muhammad Tahir Ph.D. (PU)
Post Doctorate
American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA

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