Noise per se is not harmful; in fact, it is common in places where there are crowds and each person present wants to be noticed or heard. In the market, noise is to be expected since every merchant wants to attract the buyer's attention. In sports arenas, where supporters cheer and shout their moral support for their favorite team or player. You can even add the noise of jeers hurled by hecklers and sore fans. In schools, especially when the teacher is not around to rap their sticks on the table and impose authority for them to keep their voices down. You're not supposed to complain about noise if you stay in these places for some time.
Noise becomes irritating if you're in the comfort of your home and an endless drone of low flying airplanes will pass overhead. It causes your blood pressure to rise since the occurrence can shake your walls and rattle you window panes. On top of that, you have read so many incidents about how accidents can happen; that by some stroke of misfortune any one of these planes may accidentally use your roof as landing pads.
Noise becomes a form of pollution if you're living in the city and the traffic could bring a lot of cars honking simultaneously as their way of trying to protest the long hours they have been waiting in queue. Add the multitudes of pedestrians who'd rather walk than wait it out in the city traffic, most of them talking simultaneously, enough to create a din. Noise in the city can disrupt your sleep, invade your privacy when you find it hard to carry on with a simple conversation or create an unpleasant atmosphere for work done at home.
If you live in the suburbs, you might think that noise pollution can't touch you here since the neighborhood are mostly residential properties and only a few cars pass by. That's possible, if your neighbors are aware that the use of lawn mowers and leaf blowers is capable of making intrusive and disruptive noise that can get into your nerves.
Even the workplace can be vulnerable to noise if the office interior was not properly equipped with sound proofing materials or acoustics. Factories and its factory lines with the constant whirring sounds can deafen your ear if you get a daily dose of it as a worker.
Noise pollution is an environmental issue if it is invasive and disruptive causing negative effects on health and productivity.
Remedies for Noise Pollution
Homes located in areas near airports, factories and cities adapt their homes against noise by adding noise barrier and sound absorption materials such as barrier walls, acoustical foam, custom sound enclosures, pipe wrap, acoustical doors, windows and ceiling tiles as well as double paned windows.
Offices use a "white noise" machine which helps cover up unwanted and intrusive noises to diminish the sounds that can disrupt the work in an area. The machine produces a casual and non-directional sound that comes off as harmonious enough to cover whatever unwanted noise is spreading through in the work place.
Trivia: A Unique Type of Noise Pollution
In the Philippines, people love to while away their time by singing along with their karaoke or videoke machines. It is quite common among the neighborhood in slum areas to set the decibels of their machines at several notches over and above than that of their neighbor's. Imagine a place where houses with but single pieces of ply-woods to separate them, will have people singing at the top of their voices using microphones and accompanied by blaring sound machines with high powered speakers to boot.
Imagine these people finding themselves uplifted from their slum origins through the hard work of their overseas relative and are now residing in quiet residential neighborhoods. The more reason they have to enjoy life and sing to their heart's content and the neighbors have no recourse but to put ear plugs in their ears.