Loud About Silence – How Does Noise Hurt Us? – Health

When asked about the dangers to harm people, we rarely mention noise. But it turns out that the problem is greater than our awareness of it. According to the World Health Organization, noise is one of the most serious environmental threats to health in Europe. So how do we protect ourselves from something we know very little about?

The noise followed us

Noise is any sound that is unwanted, unpleasant, and annoying to the listener in a particular situation. Although largely a subjective concept, its harmful effects on health are indisputable. To live comfortably, we must learn to manage it. However, the first step is to understand the scale of the problem. On April 25 we will celebrate World Noise Awareness Day. So it is a good opportunity to take a closer look at this phenomenon.

Negative influences

Excessive noise can lead to sleep disturbance, irritability, high blood pressure, heart disease and even heart attacks. It also badly affects children’s health and cognitive development. We feel nervous, tense and hypersensitive due to the noise. Not only does it affect our health and well-being, it also affects relationships with others and professional activity. According to the World Health Organization, it is the second most important environmental cause of ill health.

A lot of decibels

Gentle sounds on the ear are in the range of up to 40 decibels. To rest properly and recover properly, we must sleep at a volume level of less than 30 dB at night. In contrast, in classrooms where children study, it should be less than 35 dB to ensure effective learning and work for the teacher. Meanwhile, according to the “Poland in decibels” report issued by the Association “Rest of Silence” in cooperation with the St. Gobain Group, it is the school that can “compete” with concerts or sporting events. During lunch at the canteen, the authors of the report recorded a sound at 85.6 decibels, and it was no more quiet (84.2 dB) in the aisle during a break between lessons. The researchers also examined the amount of decibels that accompany us in everyday situations. For example: 72.1 decibels were measured inside a car traveling on the highway at 140 km / h, while the sound of the Warsaw subway was entering the station 80 dB. The aim of the report’s authors was to draw public attention to the universality of this phenomenon. “Komfort Ciszy” is trying to educate beneficiaries about the impact of noise on our health for a long time through social media and its blog, providing advice on how to increase acoustic comfort in apartments, schools and offices. The work of the association is aimed primarily at raising the awareness of Poles, without which we will not solve a problem that causes long-term negative consequences.

The problem is complex because it affects nearly every area of ​​our life. Improving the surface condition of roads, railways and tramways, using road noise barriers or upgrading vehicles and machinery are just a few of the activities we can help reduce noise in urban space. And there is still a long way to go to compensate for the negative effects of noise in our lives.

Link to the “Poland in decibels” report:


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