Noise pollution is one of the emerging threats to health in modern era. The ill effects of acute and chronic exposure to loud noise are well known to doctors and scientists but the ordinary citizen in India is largely ignorant about it. Our country is known for many festivals and the enthusiasm of the celebration mood makes us forget about the slow poison of noise pollution. We not only harm our health but also many pregnant women, aged persons and children get permanently damaged.

The WHO ( World Health Organisation) describes the impact of noise pollution as;

Annoyance, stress, high blood pressure, sleep loss, inability to concentrate, inability to learn, heart attacks, strokes, loss of productivity, etc. Fetuses and newborns are most affected and may lose hearing!

Decibels (dB)

A decibel is a unit for expressing the intensity of sound on a scale from zero (for the average least perceptible sound) to about 130 for the average pain level.  Even small values in dB levels mean large difference in terms of sound pressure.  For example the sound pressure at 120 dB is a hundred times more than at 80 dB.  An increase of just 3 dB means there is doubling in sound pressure.

EP Act 1986 and the Rules on Noise 1989 and
Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000

Under this Act the following rules have been framed:

1. Noise is a pollutant

2. Maximum Decibel levels permitted as per Rules are as follows:

Area                        Day time              Night time
6 A.M. to 9 P.M.      9 P.M. to 6 A.M.  –> Under Noise Rules 1989
6 A.M. to 10 P.M.   10 P.M. to 6 A.M.  –> Under Noise Pollution Rules 2000
a) Industrial                   75dB                       70dB

b) Commercial                65dB                       55dB

c) Residential                 55dB                       45dB

d) Silence Zone              50dB                       40dB

Silence Zone upto 100 meters around hospitals, educational institutions, Courts etc. Loudspeakers, vehicular horns are not allowed in Silence Zone at all.

3. Anyone violating the Act and Rules is liable for severe punishment; fine upto Rs.1,00,000/- and/or imprisonment upto 5 years.

4. If the institutions are found to be violating the Act, the Head of the Institution would be liable for punishment, even Government Institutions are not spared from this prosecution.  Ideal decibel levels at home would be 45dB during the day and 35dB during the night (in the bedroom).  Usual decibel levels due to Radio and TV are 40 to 50, louder volumes could produce 60-65 dB or more; kitchen grinders 60-70dB, office typewriters 55 to 60dB, vehicular engines and horns 80—85 dB, roadside drilling machines 90-100 dB, aircraft noise 110-120 dB, loudspeakers 90-100 dB, could reach upto 100-120 dB during the festivals, loud noise firecrackers produce sound levels upto 110-120 dB (which are enough to permanently damage the eardrums).

According to the Noise Pollution (Regulations and Control) Rules 2000,
A LOUDSPEAKER OR A PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM SHALL NOT BE USED AT NIGHT BETWEEN 10 P.M. TP 6 A.M. EXCEPT IN CLOSED PREMISES FOR COMMUNICATION WITHIN, for example AUDITORIA, CONFERENCE ROOMS, COMMUNITY HALLS AND BANQUET HALLS. FOR COMPLAINTS TO BE MADE THE NOISE LEVEL EXCEEDS THE AMBIENT NOISE STANDARDS BY 10 db OR MORE. COMPLAINTS CAN BE MADE TO AUTHOORITY. THE AUTHORITY SHALL ACT ON THE COMPLAINT AND TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE VIOLATOR IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THESE RULES AND ANY OTHER LAW IN FORCE.

Association of Medical Consultants Mumbai, is an organization of over 6000 postgraduate doctors from all over Mumbai. The association is making great efforts to educate public at large about the menace of NOISE POLLUTION.  Many members of the AMC from Ghatkopar area have come forward to additionally give their services for those suffering from hearing loss.