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Environment > Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is an increasing source of misery to many people in our society. Noise can be defined as unwanted sound. It is a source of irritation and stress for many people and can even damage our hearing if it is loud enough. Many of us are exposed to stressful levels of noise at home and at work. Noise nuisance can interfere with the individual's right to peace and quiet at home. Commonly four types of noise are recognised

  • Noise in the Street - Types of street noise include vehicle noise from repairs and alarms, loudspeakers and burglar alarms. Traffic noise, noise made by military forces, or from campaigning demonstrations is excluded.
  • Construction Site Noise - This covers building works, roadworks, demolition work and dredging.
  • Noise at Work
  • Transport Noise - Includes road traffic, aircraft and railway noise.

The local environmental health department is responsible for ensuring that noise levels are kept to a minimum and for dealing with complaints from members of the public.

Noise is one form of pollution on which the efforts of the individual can have a direct effect. Although the amount of noise made by any one person or household may seem negligible, it can make a real difference to the comfort of neighbours and even other members of the household. The following simple measures can be taken:

  • Site noisy household equipment (e.g. washing machines) away from partition walls.
  • When buying a new household appliance, ask how noisy it is. If people opt for quiet appliances, manufacturers will make them!
  • Perform noisy DIY jobs during normal waking hours.
  • Apologise to neighbours in advance for disturbance caused by DIY.
  • Keep the volume of TV, radio and music as low as possible, especially late at night. If you want to turn the volume up, use headphones (but be careful not to deafen yourself!).
  • If your dog barks when left alone, arrange to leave it with a friend.
  • If you have an old or faulty burglar alarm, replace it with one complying with British Standard BS 4737.
  • If you have a party, tell your neighbours in advance, and keep the noise to a minimum.