The Other Pollution

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Amidst your day you will come across a variety of unfortunate pollution at any given time. It seems to be everywhere although it is good to know that more and more people are recognizing and attempting to reverse it. There is, however, the other pollution that many people may be unaware of. It is noise pollution and even though it may not seem like an environmental issue, it very well may be.

Noise pollution can alter a person’s otherwise rational decisions or even affect their behavior. When people are not firing on all cylinders there is more of a chance they will forego important eco-friendly practices such as recycling, re-using, and more. They essentially give up and simply try to get through the day without even realizing their mind has closed due to their stressful, noisy environment. Open your ears to the sounds around you and take action to avoid any that may be creating an unhealthy toll.

What is it?

Noise pollution can manifest in a variety of ways. It can be the background sound of a television or traffic to a constant slamming of apartment doors or even a simple water drip. It all depends on how sensitive you may be. However, in addition to noise volume it is often the persistence of the noise that can affect an individual beyond his or her ears. It is kind of similar to an air conditioner humming out its cool air and when it stops only then do you realize how invasive it was.

An Earful

Ironically, noise is a silent infiltrator inasmuch that people rarely link certain health challenges to it. Below is some info that supports the seriousness of its effects.

  • The British Medical Bulletin (2003) links non-auditory effects of noise to insomnia, impaired learning and cognitive performance, heart disease and psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression.
  • In a March 2007 issue of the Southern Medical Journal, Lisa Goines, RN, and Louis Hagler, MD, call noise pollution a “modern plague.” Citing several studies, these researchers found that a variety of noise pollution sources can affect blood pressure, heart rate, cause vasoconstriction, impair task performance, increase errors, enhance anxiety, mood disorders and “overall emotional stability”.
  • National Park Service senior scientist and sound specialist Kurt Fristrup, PhD, says that there is a loss of quiet, “literally a loss of awareness.” Most people have no idea how important quiet is to their lives.

Got Quiet?

Getting back to quiet will enable you to meditate on thoughts such as cleaning up the environment or becoming a green activist. It is essential to be able to think and when noise pollution is present it can thwart important outcomes. Make a concerted effort to find your own silence every day. The less people embrace silence the less they will be willing to listen to their inner voice.

Be aware of your surroundings. Shut off or mute that blaring television, soundproof your windows, demand that your landlord do something about your noisy neighbor. Whatever it takes, choose your noise accordingly and do not succumb to the other pollution.

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