Abstract Ref Number = APCP66
Noise pollution and impact on children health
Consultant Pediatrician Counselor, Mansarovar Polyclinic
Life-style changes and rapid urbanization have made loud sounds a part of life. Outdoor and indoor noise pollution are now a proven serious health hazard with increasing adverse effects on fetus, infants, children, adolescents and adults. Noise induced hearing loss and non-auditory adverse effects due to noise pollution, are being increasingly diagnosed in all age groups including the unborn baby. Old motorized vehicles, machinery, increasing traffic, congested residential areas, educational institutions and workplaces, unregulated commercial and industrial noise have become a source of noise pollution with long-term disability.
Areas of noise pollution must be identified, and corrective measures be taken. Toys, personal, domestic, commercial, industrial equipment should be within the safe sound intensity. Loudspeakers and vehicular horns should be banned except in emergencies. Nocturnal noise pollution must be avoided near residential areas as sleep disturbances have serious long-term health consequences Pregnant women, fetus, newborns, infants and children are most susceptible to noise induced health hazards and should be given utmost protection. Educational institutions, workplaces, commercial and industrial areas should be regularly monitored for noise levels and protective ear muffs and plugs be used. Public be educated repeatedly regarding serious health hazards of noise. Traffic noise should be regulated to be within safe limits.
Bus-stands, railway stations, airports should be moved away from residential areas. Houses and workplaces should be sound proofed suitably. Long term studies should be conducted in pregnant women, newborns children and adults to have more data on hazards of noise pollution.