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Noise Pollution Essay

5863 words - 24 pages

Noise Pollution


No one on earth can escape the sounds of noise- an unwanted, disturbing sound that causes a nuisance in the eye of the beholder. Noise is a disturbance to the human environment that is escalating at such a high rate that it will become a major threat to the quality of human lives. In the past thirty years, noise in all areas, especially in urban areas, have been increasing rapidly. There are numerous effects on the human environment due to the increase in noise pollution. In the following paper, the cause and effects of noise pollution will be presented in some detail. Slowly, insensibly, we seem to accept noise and the physiological and psychological ...view middle of the document...

This type of exposure to noise does not have to be as loud as a gun being fired; it can be as simple as a person shouting across the room. The type of hearing loss is any degree from partial to complete hearing loss. This loss, usually, is permanent and is not satisfactorily corrected by any devices such as, hearing aids. The loss is caused by the destruction of the delicate hair cells and their auditory nerve connections in the Organ of Corti, which is contained in the cochlea (Bugliarello, et al., 1976). Every exposure to loud noise destroys some cells, but prolonged exposure damages a larger amount of cells, and ultimately collapses the Organ of Corti, which causes deafness.

Most of society is now aware that noise can damage hearing. However, short of a threat that disaster would overtake the human race if nothing is done about noise, it is unlikely that many people today would become strongly motivated to do something about the problem. Yet, the evidence about the ill effects of noise does not allow for complacency or neglect. For instance, researchers working with children with hearing disorders are constantly reminded of the crucial importance of hearing to children. In the early years the child cannot learn to speak without special training if he has enough hearing loss to interfere effectively with the hearing of words in context (Bugliarello, et al., 1976). In this respect, there is a clear need for parents to protect their children’s hearing as they try to protect their eyesight. If no steps are taken to lessen the effects of noise, we may expect a significant percentage of future generations to have hearing damage. It would be difficult to predict the total outcome if total population would suffer hearing loss. Conceivably, the loss could even be detrimental to our survival if it were ever necessary for us to be able to hear high frequencies. Colavita has consistently been unable to find among university students in his classes any who could hear 20 kHz, although the classical results of Fletcher and Munson show 20 kHz as an audible frequency (Fletcher, 1953).

There are two types of hearing loss: conductive and sensorineural (see fig.1 for anatomy of the ear). In conductive deafness sound-pressure waves never reach the cochlea, most often as a consequence of a ruptured eardrum or a defect in the ossicles of the middle ear (Bugliarello, et al., 1976).

The three bones form a system of levers linked together, hammer pushing anvil, anvil-pushing stirrup. Working together, the bones amplify the force of sound vibrations. Taken together, the bones double, often treble the force of the vibrations reaching the eardrum (Bugliarello, et al., 1976).

Mitigation of potentially harmful amplification occurs via muscles of the middle ear. These muscles act as safety device protection the ear against excessive vibrations from very loud noises, very much like an automatic damper or volume control.

When jarring sounds with their...

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