Noise is not inherently harmful to humans or environment. It is when noise becomes unusually loud and uncontrolled that it diminishes the quality of air and adversely affects the environment, public health and welfare.
Noise pollution is one of the environmental hazards affecting humans as well as climate. In most urban areas of the third or developing countries of the world especially Nigeria, there are lots of noise pollutants which include noise from exhaust cars, industrial as well as home generating plants. In advanced countries however, scientific experimentations like launching and re-launching of rockets, bombs and satellites sounds constitutes a major climate pollutant.
With a population of over 21 million people, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Lagos State Government continues to grapple with the incident of noise pollution in the state. The noise level in Lagos is a complete nuisance
The main sources of noise pollution in Lagos state are electricity generating plants, vehicular traffic noise engine and pressure horns, construction/industrial noise, machinery noise, noise from religious centres, institutions and household noise.
Electric energy occupies the top grade in energy hierarchy as it is in innumerable use in homes, industries, agriculture, and for transportation purpose. Nigeria’ electricity power situation has been on the decline in recent times with a corresponding upsurge in the use of electricity generating
Also, the increasing population growth in Lagos consequently increases vehicular traffic and engine noise which are major sources of noise pollution in most urban cities in Nigeria. In fact the traffic density in Lagos is alarming. The emissions of smoke from cars are of great concern to the changes in climate.
Another aspect of noise pollution that is a major source of concern in Lagos State are the activities of the various religious centres in the state.
Nigeria is a multi-religious society and is therefore prone to religious activities. These congregational worships are held in mosques, churches and other non-conventional areas like residential and workplaces, in day time and even throughout the night at any day of the week
Another cause of noise pollution is honking noise. Some people while honking, do not realize the inconveniences they cause others and themselves. There could be hearing difficulties, stress level may go high and also mental instability. Honking unnecessarily while driving or stationed in a place has become a trend these days and one can hear it very well at the traffic signals. Goods are advertised and sold in vehicle using loud speaker even in promoting goods and services, Loud speakers are used by transporters to invite intending travelers.
The effect of noise to human health varies;
Noise damages the ear and causes temporary or permanent noise induced hearing loss. Auditory effects may lead to temporary hearing loss or permanent hearing loss.
The temporary hearing loss is a physiological phenomenon, which is reversible. Temporary loss of hearing occurs when the ear is exposed for a short duration to excessive noise or when the ear is exposed to the noise at damaging intensities for sufficiently long period of time. Sudden noise is more harmful than continuous one. The hearing limit of noise in man is about 140 dB. Human ears feel fatigue if exposed to over 80 dB for more than half an hour. It causes temporary deafness if the loudness of the noise is 100dB. It is painful at 140dB. If the intensity and the duration of the noise is high then it leads to permanent loss of hearing. It is an irreversible loss of hearing and it is caused by either prolonged noise exposure of high intensity noise or it may be caused when the intensity of the noise is more than 140 dB. When a stage is reached at which hearing loss no longer returns to its original level, it is called noise induced hearing loss or permanent threshold shift.
Many people complain that noise makes them mentally ill. Doctors and scientists have now medically confirmed that noise disturbs the biological organisms and their respective functions of the humans. Fire crackers and other excessive and continuous explosives become physically painful giving rise to neurosis, mental illness, cardiovascular diseases, stomach ulcers and respiratory disorders reducing human life
Recently researches have concluded that short exposures to noise (in excess of about 100dB) leads to adverse effects on foetus, headache and dizziness, stomach problems and effects on eye sights to the extent that these at times become incurable.
Psychiatrists and psychologists have recently observed that noise has certain relation with physical health causing tension resulting in problems such as speech interference, annoyance, fatigue, sleep interference and emotional distress. Noise levels in industries causes interference in efficiency and communication and raises possibilities of accidents.
In summary, There is need to sensitize the members of the public about the dangers inherent as regards noise pollution especially those emanating from generating sets, religious houses and night clubs which occurs often in the metropolis
In 2014, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) sanctioned a lot of religious houses due to the menace of neighbourhood noise and refusal to comply to LASEPA’S directives on the regulation of noise
Traffic congestion in the state should be the worse in the entire country and noise from traffic or road noise as the case may be is quite a challenge. Not forgetting noise emanating from the various public address systems in the state and loud music from all manner of places
The aforementioned have become the primary sources of noise contamination and pollution in Lagos with the attendant hearing problems and health issues.
Recently LASEPA sealed off 30 buildings in Lagos state for noise, air and environmental pollution six days after its lawmakers debated the ‘Need for Regulation of Noise Pollution in Lagos State,’ an action that’s long overdue. Some of the facilities shut down in places like Ketu, Ikorodu, Ibeju-Lekki, Victoria Island and Surulere were churches, mosques, nightclubs and hotels. However there’s need for continuity for total adherence otherwise the situation will degenerate again.
Every resident has a right to have undisturbed sleep during the night and no organisation, religious or otherwise, has a right to take that away. But to blare loudspeakers, particularly at night, is a great nuisance to those living close to some religious institutions or relaxation centres.
Noise pollution has become a mainstay in our lives; we all experience it every other day, one way or the other. But after the torture the average Lagosian undergoes in the course of a typical working week of industrial pollution or is it the pollution that arises from traffic congestion…One would think the weekend will make up for the evils but that doesn’t happen.
Pray tell…How much noise can the ears of the average Lagosian absorb before all the noise the ears hear becomes silenced?
Do you experience noise pollution in your neighbourhood?