Vehicles zooming past city roads including silence zones like hospitals, schools, colleges and residential areas producing high decibel sound with their horns might be routine scenes for passersby but many are unaware that increasing noise pollution might be a major cause factor of high blood pressure, stress and anxiety cases.
Data collected by regional office of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) recently revealed even the silence zones are devoid of silence in the Sangam city due to high level of noise pollution.
Noise pollution near silence zones, comprising some of the prominent buildings including Allahabad high court, districtcCourt (Kutchery), Allahabad University, two prominent district hospitals among others, has been found to be 12 to 15% above the permissible limit of maximum 50 decibels during daytime. Even in night hours the noise is over 10% the permissible limit of 40 Decibel (db) in these areas.
The data collected from the area around Allahabad high court shows noise pollution at 56 db while maximum permissible limit in any silence zone is 50 db. The residents living in this area have a difficult night with noise pollution at 44 to 48 db.
The Tej Bahadur Sapru (Beli) Hospital is the worst affected by the unwanted and annoying sound as in day time (6 am to 10 pm), pollution level here increases to 76 decibels, which is 22 db more than the normal, according to data collected in 2013. In night hours the noise level is 55 db, 37.5% more than the optimum level.
The Allahabad University is also not far behind as traffic, regular movement of trucks, buses, and other high-speed vehicles leads to high level of noise pollution in this are. Similarly, the data collected in 2013 show that Sarojini Naidu Children’s Hospital recorded pollution of 62 db during day and 50 in night hours, which were 12 and 10 db, respectively, above the permissible limit.
Regional officer, UPPCB, Mohd Siqandar said noise pollution might lead to several hazards leading to hearing impairment, high blood pressure and added that implementation agencies need to take stringent action to curb the rising pollution level.
Health hazards due to noise pollution
Dr VB Singh, posted in a government hospital said, “Noise pollution increases the risk of decrease in working efficiency due to rise in blood pressure, stress, headache, anxiety and annoyance. Further cardiovascular impact is another harmful effect of constant exposure to moderate to high noise pollution.”
He added, noise-pollution should be taken as an emergency call by the patients suffering from cardiovascular disease. “Research shows that constant annoying sound disturbs sleep thus directly affecting working efficiency. Other health problems like anxiety, irritation and behavioral changes aggravating other diseases follows it.”