How Noise Pollution Affects Your Health

| 4/21/2011 10:38:40 AM

We live in a world full of noises, from the soft hum of the refrigerator to the distant roar of traffic whizzing down a nearby highway. In our modern world, it’s easy to become accustomed to the noises around us—so much so that we may not notice the constant sounds that surround us. But whether or not you’re aware of these noises, they have an effect on your health. Turns out, continual exposure to noise can kill.

noise pollution 
Too much noise in your life? All that noise pollution could be affecting your health. Photo By Anne Bowerman/Courtesy Flickr.

Sound far fetched? Using findings from the World Health Organization and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Rome, a recent report by New Scientist discovered that chronic exposure to noise pollution is a stress factor that can cause high blood pressure and contribute to heart attacks and even heart disease. On the milder end of the side effects scale, constant exposure to noise can disrupt sleep, cause memory problems and impair cognitive function, leading to difficulties concentrating and problem solving.

Life doesn’t have to be one uninterrupted stream of racket. You may not be able to avoid noise pollution outside the home, but with a few simple fixes, you can turn your home into a quiet haven. Start by controlling sources of noise in your home. Put a limit on the amount of time the TV can be turned on. Need new appliances? Invest in efficient, quieter models. Filling your home with soft, cushy materials—throw pillows, drapes, upholstered furniture and plush rugs and carpeting—can also help absorb sound.

For many more simple fixes on making your home a silent retreat, check out the article “The Sound of Silence: How to Reduce Home Noise.”

9/9/2014 12:26:23 PM

Solutions for noise pollution are becoming a more pressing need in our increasingly noisy world. I have found acoustic filters to be a simpler fix than many of the noise-cancelling headphones on the market:

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