What is Noise and how can you combat it?

What is Noise?

The word "noise" means any "unwanted sound". Environmental Noise, for example, is the noise in an outdoor environment caused by transport (e.g. motor vehicles, aircraft, and trains), industry (e.g. machines) and recreational activities (e.g. music). Music is particularly subjective; if you like the music, it is appropriate to call it "sound"; if you do not like the music, then you would call it "noise". The laws and limits governing Environmental Noise differ from country to country. At the very least, noise may be annoying or displeasing or may disrupt the activity or balance of human or animal life, increasing levels of aggression, hypertension, and stress. In the extreme, excessive levels or periods of noise can have long-term negative health effects such as hearing loss, tinnitus, sleep disturbances, a rise in blood pressure, an increase in stress and vasoconstriction, and an increased incidence of coronary artery disease. In animals, noise can increase the risk of death by altering predator or prey detection and avoidance, interfering with reproduction and navigation, and contributing to a permanent loss of hearing.

How to combat noise?

Various cures are available to combat Environmental Noise; Roadway noise can be reduced by the use of noise barriers, limitation of vehicle speeds, alteration of roadway surface texture, limitation of heavy vehicles, use of traffic controls that smooth vehicle flow to reduce braking and acceleration, and tyre design. Aircraft noise can be reduced by using quieter jet engines, altering flight paths and considering the time of day to benefit residents near airports. Industrial noise is addressed by redesign of industrial equipment, shock mounted assemblies and physical barriers in the workplace.