Noise Pollution: What it is, Causes, Consequences and Examples

Noise or hearing pollution is the noise level that causes discomfort in living beings and impacts in a negative way both in health and in everyday life.

From the passing of trains and the sound of drills to concerts and nightclubs, uncontrolled noise generates noise pollution. As a result of this pollution, some people suffer consequences such as hearing loss, heart problems or impaired communication.

Due to the effects caused by noise pollution, it is necessary to take measures and precautions to avoid it. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to quantify the sound. Currently, sound intensity is quantified in dB or decibelsa logarithmic scale measure.

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), the limits to be taken into account to avoid noise pollution and its consequences are the following:

During the daythe noises above 55 dB They are considered noise pollution.
Overnightnoises above 45 dB are considered noise pollution, but It is recommended not to go above 30 dBIn specific places such as hospitals and clinics, it is recommended not to generate noise greater than 30 dB, so as not to interfere with the rest of patients and the concentration of doctors, doctors and surgeons. Prolonged exposure to noise above 70 dB can cause hearing loss. Above 85 dB, an exposure of more than one hour can cause greater hearing loss and other health problems in the person. A child should never be exposed to noises greater than 120 dB, while an adult should Avoid exposing yourself to noise above 140 dB.

Main causes of noise pollution

The movement of trains is a contributing factor to noise pollution.

Among all the possible causes of noise pollution, we highlight the following:

He vehicle and train traffic, especially high speed ones. The constant circulation of vehicles in urbanized areas and the use of horns also contribute to noise pollution. factories and industrial complexesdue to the noisy machinery used in them. works of cconstruction and demolition. For example, the banging of hammers, the use of drills, the dumping of construction pieces or the collapse of buildings are sources of noise that can cause discomfort. concerts. Concerts often reach 105 or 110 dB, which is close to the ear’s painful threshold. The effects are more pronounced if a concert is held at night and near homes. loud music in places of study, public transportation and neighborhoods. sports events. The shouting and cheering of spectators, the blowing of whistles and people shouting, together, can reach high decibel levels. Fireworkssince the sound of explosions can reach up to 120 dB, the maximum allowable threshold. Some events and parties with large crowds. If they are held near homes and there is a lot of noise, it can affect the well-being of people outside of said events and parties.

Consequences of noise pollution

Hearing loss is a common consequence in people exposed to noise pollution.

One of the most common consequences of noise pollution is Hearing loss. By exposing ourselves to noise above 70 dB for prolonged and constant periods, we are prone to hearing loss. In fact, noises greater than 105 dB can cause us deafness.

Another consequence of this type of pollution is Elevation of blood presure. we can suffer hypertensionincrease in palpitations and even Cardiac arrests. Furthermore, excess noise affects mental health, causing fatigue, anxiety and irritability.

Noise pollution too interferes with our sleep and the ability to sleep. Excess noise does not allow us to sleep comfortably, which reduces our rest, energy levels and ability to concentrate.

Wildlife reacts in different ways to noise pollution. For example, fireworks generate restlessness and discomfort in dogs. In general, loud and frequent noises interfere with living beings, causing disorientation, confusion and even forcing them to migrate.

Finally, an environment contaminated with noise makes communication between people difficult. In noisy places, people tend to talk louder, which contributes to more noise pollution.

Examples of noise pollution

When you are studying and there is someone nearby who has loud music or there are people talking loudly. Noise can distract a person and is considered noise pollution in designated environments such as libraries. If airplane traffic is not well regulated and they pass near several towns and cities when traveling at low altitude, the noise they generate is considered noise pollution. Noise produced by construction sites is a common example of noise pollution, and often interferes with people’s daily lives. In fact, excessive noise on construction sites can cause hearing loss in workers. Some nightclubs or concerts do not isolate sound well, interfering with the sleep of people who live nearby. Dogs barking or loud arguments They can make neighbors uncomfortable if people live in the same multi-story building. Urbanizing areas where there is animal fauna forces animals to alter their behavior, due to increasing noise pollution.

See also What is Pollution and Types of environmental pollution.


Berglund, Birgitta, Lindvall, Thomas, Schwela, Dietrich H & World Health Organization. Occupational and Environmental Health Team. (‎1999)‎. Guidelines for community noise. World Health Organization.

How to cite: Rhoton, Stephen (05/26/2023). “What is Noise Pollution”. In: Available in: https:///que-es-contaminacion-acustica/ Consulted:

Stephen graduated in 2017 in Biological Systems Engineering, and completed his master’s studies in Enabling Technologies for the Food and Bioprocess Industry in 2020. He studied both at EEAABB (Barcelona School of Agri-Food and Biosystems Engineering).