TODAY -

The menace of noise pollution
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: August 01 2011 -



The Manipur Pollution Control Board has been making efforts to lessen pollution in this fast growing city of ours. However one dimension of pollution seems to be neglected comparatively speaking, and that is noise pollution. Most citizens are unaware that prolonged exposure to noise pollution can lead to deafness or hearing impairment.

To get a clearer picture of the menace of noise pollution let us get down to a few facts. Noise is measured by its loudness and the technical measuring unit is decibel (dB).

The quietness we get in a library is surprisingly measured at 30 dB. Perhaps the flipping of pages are responsible for that. The quietness in a garden, far from the madding crowd, is slightly higher.

It is not known how many decibles are registered by a nagging wife. But it is bound to make a few neighbours raise their eyebrows and plead for calm. However Rip Van Winkle left his wife and slept in quiet and solitude for twenty years.

On the other hand a pair of young lovers will of course, make sure that at least sound does not betray their presence.

City traffic, heard from inside a car is measured at 85 dB. A police whistle is measured above 90 dB. The level at which sustained exposure may result in hearing loss is between 90-95 dB.

What is of concern, particularly related to our children, is that even short term exposure to excessive loudness can cause permanent damage.

The death of hearing tissue begins with exposure to sound levels of 180 dB. Studies have also revealed exposure to 90 dB should be a maximum of 8 hours a day, for 92 dB, 6 hours, 95 dB 4 hours, 97 dB, 3 hours, 100 dB, 2 hours, 102 dB, 1.5 hours, 105 dB, 1 hour, 110 dB, 30 minutes.

Given these facts and figures, let us apply ourselves to what sort of noise pollution we are exposed to on a daily basis in Imphal.

Traffic noise touches 85 dB, as stated earlier, truck traffic and whistles record 90 dB, motorcycles register 100 dB, air horns 120 dB, pneumatic drills 125 dB and jet engines and gun blasts at 140 dB.

Apart from the last two mentioned the other sounds are commonly heard in Imphal on a daily basis. And let us not forget the level at which sustained exposure may result in hearing loss is 85-95 dB.

The biggest sources of noise pollution in Imphal, during day hours, are traffic, whistles, drills and air horns. And yet we are oblivious to the damage they cause to us.

Some of the damages caused by noise pollution is impaired speech reception, hypertension and psychological disorders. All this adding to the worries created by an uncertain law and order situation.

It is the duty of the Manipur Pollution Control Board to make the people aware that noise pollution is a grave problem and that it actually causes sickness.

Further, it must devise means to reduce noise pollution. Surely they cannot plead innocence because it is their business to know of these things. They are being paid on the assumption that they are aware of their duties.





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