You might not think about noise as being pollution, but like air and water pollution, noise pollution can cause illness in humans and wildlife. Most loud noise throughout the world comes from types of transportation, like cars, trains, and planes. One car may not make a lot of noise, but think about a highway with thousands of cars moving along like a river of noise! Homes within 60 miles (100 km) of an airport are affected by the taxiing, takeoff, fly over, and landing noise of sometimes dozens of airplanes a day. People who live near railroad tracks can be startled by whistles and the rumbling of passing trains. Recreational vehicles, like ATVs, have increased noise pollution affecting people that live away from city traffic and seriously disturb wildlife. (Their role in trail erosion has also attracted national attention.) Other sources of noise include machines, power tools, office equipment, garden and lawn equipment, and even music.
Cave Noise and Sleeping Bats
Noise in a cave with hibernating bats can cause them to wake before there is food available (insects). This results in the bats using their fat reserves, which can cause them to starve to death before spring.
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Many towns and cities have noise rules and regulations and many things are being done to reduce the racket out there. Highway departments put up noise barriers between big highways and neighborhoods. These can be grassy hills, trees and other vegetation, or sometimes just a big, cement wall. Hopefully, over time, as more people use quiet hybrid cars, noise from traffic will go down. Hybrid cars are the first cars in 100 years that are actually lowering the noise pollution that cars make.Noise Can Make You Deaf
Noise pollution does not just hurt a person's hearing, though over time it can lead to permanent hearing loss. Noise can also add to stress, higher blood pressure, and even heart disease! It can make people mad and frustrated when they are woken from sleep or unable to concentrate. Noise near schools can affect children's ability to pay attention in class, learn new things, and concentrate on reading. Noise pollution can even frighten wildlife and interfere with their important behaviors like eating, mating, and migration.