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Echo Barrier Blog

Was that a question we heard?

Posted by Tom Peary on May 24, 2020 10:40:44 AM | Acoustic Barriers|Noise Reduction

Only a few years ago if you needed the answer to something you’d probably grab the yellow pages and call an expert. These days, everyone goes straight to google if they need a quick answer. That’s why, at Echo Barrier, we need to make sure that our website has all of the answers. Here, we look at the most frequently asked questions about noise. What is noise pollution?

Noise pollution is generally defined as regular exposure to elevated sound levels that may lead to adverse effects in humans or other living organisms.  Noise pollution is considered to be any noise that is excessive, annoying, irritating and harmful.

What decibel level is considered as noise pollution? Sound is measured by a unit known as decibels. It measures the level of noise for everything, no matter the size. A harmful level of noise is considered at anything 85 dB and over. Sound exposure can be compared to exposure to the sun. This is because it depends on how long you are exposed for and whether you are wearing protection. You should be making sure you are wearing earplugs or earmuffs whenever you are going to experience loud noise for a long period of time.

What’s an acceptable noise level for a residential area? In England there are laws which set the permitted noise levels between 11pm and 7am. However, councils can handle complaints of nuisance caused by noise made at any time of the day, regardless of whether it is night or day. Environmental noise is measured using A-weighted decibels. If the underlying level of noise, also known as background noise, is no more than 24dBA then the limit is 34dBA. But if the background noise is more than 24dBA, then the limit is 10 dBA above the background noise level.

What are the main causes of noise pollution? Although it may seem simple, its rather difficult to pin point a cause of noise pollution as almost everything attributes to noise pollution. When a noise that you usually wouldn’t be bothered by starts to disturb you, then it becomes noise pollution. For example, a neighbours’ dog barking in the middle of the night. When this becomes so excessive that you can no longer sleep through it, then it is noise pollution. Some of the more common culprits are the construction industry, traffic and music events.

How noisy is 60 decibels? To give you some perspective of what noise levels equate to, here are some examples. Humans begin hearing at 0 dB. When your partner is snoring lightly or whispering, that reaches a level of 30 dB. Your every day conversations? That equals 50dB. And your daily alarm clock ringing reaches 60 dB. WHO recommend people expose themselves to a limit of no more than 85 dB for 8 hours a day, as anything higher or for any longer then becomes detrimental to your health.

How is noise harmful? Noise can have negative effects on you if you are tolerating an excessive amount or for too long. Of course, the obvious effects of noise are that it can affect your hearing. This could be permanent hearing loss or temporary hearing impairment. It also causes cardiovascular issues, such as high blood pressure and heart related problems. Along with these, it can also affect you in other ways, such as stress or insomnia.

How can we prevent noise pollution? Preventing noise pollution is easier than it sounds. Little things like turning the volume down when you’re listening to music aloud, using earplugs and using other noise control solutions all count. Along with these we should be environmentally friendly. In industry, using noise reduction barriers such as the award winning Echo Barrier is a great way of reducing building noise and being a good neighbour.

How can I reduce noise at work? There are a range of products that can assist with reducing your noise level at work. That’s where we can help. We have a range of noise mitigation products that reduce noise pollution and the negative effects of noise on the environment and workers. Our range of products are perfectly suited to help your noisy work site.

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