Too much noise is a kind of pollution. It can cause problems for both humans and wildlife. Transportation, like cars, trains and planes cause most of the loud noise in the world. There are so many cars driving together on the highways of the world that they may as well be the called the hubbub highway or the ear-splitting Interstate! People who have houses within 60 miles of an airport hear dozens of airplanes roaring off into the sky or landing every day. Homes near railroad tracks hear sudden shrill whistles and the rumbling of passing trains day and night. Their windows can rattle and their doors slam with the vibration of passing trains. Even away from highways and city traffic there are recreational vehicles, like ATVs, with large engines driven off roads and disturbing wildlife and people. ATVs also can do serious erosion on trails and dirt roads. Machines, power tools, office equipment, garden and lawn equipment and even music all contribute to noise pollution.
Noise pollution can lead to permanent hearing loss, add to stress, higher blood pressure and even heart disease. People get mad when they are woken up in the middle of the night. They get frustrated when there is too much noise for them to concentrate at work. Noise outside of schools can distract children from learning, reading and concentrating. Noise can frighten wildlife and disrupt their eating, mating and migration. It can waken hibernating bats when there is no food available (insects) so that they starve to death.
Many towns and cities have made new regulations to try and reduce noise pollution. They put up noise barriers, like trees, grassy mounds and even just walls between big highways and towns. More people using quiet hybrid cars may reduce traffic noise over time. The first cars made in 100 years that are actually lower noise pollution are hybrids.
Ask your parents to make your next car a hybrid. They will save on gas too!
(Included in PDF)
1. Name six sources of noise pollution near you:
2. Who else is affected by noice pollution other than humans and how?
3. Name five ways that noise pollution affects people:
4. Name two ways that towns have tried to reduce noicse pollution:
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Amsel, Sheri. "Pollution (Noise)" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2021. January 16, 2021
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