Noise Pollution and Impact on Children Health
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With rapid urbanization and life style changes, loud noise is omnipresent and has become a part of life. Indoor and outdoor environmental noise pollution have been documented as a serious health hazard with increasing adverse effects on fetus, infants, children, adolescents and adults. Noise induced hearing loss and non-auditory adverse effects due to noise pollution, are being increasingly diagnosed in all age groups including the fetus. Outdated motorized vehicles, machinery, increasing traffic, congested residential areas, crowded educational institutions and workplaces, unregulated commercial and industrial noise have become a source of noise pollution with long-term disability. Areas of noise pollution must be identified and corrective measures be taken. Toys, personal, domestic, commercial, industrial equipment should be within the safe sound intensity. Loudspeakers and vehicular horns should be banned except in emergencies. Nocturnal noise pollution must be avoided near residential areas as sleep disturbances have serious long-term health consequences. Pregnant women, fetus, newborns, infants and children are most susceptible to noise induced health hazards and should be given utmost protection. Educational institutions, workplaces, commercial and industrial areas should be regularly monitored for noise levels and protective ear muffs and plugs be used. Public be educated repeatedly regarding health hazards of noise. Traffic noise should be regulated to be within safe limits. Bus-stands, railway stations and airports should be moved away from residential areas. Houses should be sound proofed suitably. Long term studies should be conducted in pregnant women, newborn children and adults to have more data on hazards of noise pollution.
KeywordsEnvironment Noise pollution Hearing loss Health hazard
Hertz – frequency of sound waves
Decibel – unit of sound
Relative loudness of sound in air
Noise induced hearing loss
AlokG, AnantG and KJ: Literature search and drafted the manuscript; AlokG and SG: critically reviewed the manuscript. AlokG will act as guarantor for this paper.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
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