Sound, is a form of energy that travels as a wave which the human ear can detect. When that wave hits a barrier such as a sheet of normal glass, that barrier vibrates and causes the air on the other side of the glass to also vibrate. This is how sound is transmitted through your bedroom window from your neighbor’s doghouse.
Sound has two properties: frequency and loudness. When the frequency level is high, we hear the sound to be high-pitched, and when the frequency level is low, we hear it to be low-pitched.
Loudness is determined by pressure. Higher pressure produces louder sound. The decibel scale is the measurement used in determining the degree of loudness.
Noise, is sound that is especially loud or harsh or undesired. A Simple Simon’s definition is noise is sound that is heard at a time and place where it is not wanted.
In general, however, it is loudness that greatly determines whether sound is sound or noise.
It has been confirmed that noise causes hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and other heart ailments, sleep disturbance, and psychological disturbances. The stress that noise induces has also been attributed as the direct cause of accidents in the workplace, aggressive behavior and other anti-social behaviors. The elderly, sick, and poor and those who have no means of moving to a quieter neighbourhood are among those greatly affected by noise.
Worldwide there is concerted action to check the uncontrolled and widespread proliferation of noise. There are now laws that set guidelines as well as penalties for their violation. These laws and guidelines govern machines, animals, and humans alike.
Private individuals and groups, not governments alone, are also active in anti-noise efforts. Noise Watch Australia which aims to reduce “unwanted noise” and its effect on communities is one of these private groups.
Basically though, in Australia, noise control is a shared responsibility of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), local councils and police. The EPA oversees noise from factories, vehicles and big outdoor music events, while councils and police handle domestic premises and entertainment venues. The Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations 2008 of Victoria prohibits the use during specified hours of motor vehicles, lawn mowers, power tools, domestic air conditioners, record players and musical instruments.
The Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) handles certain types of noise Melbourne City Council’s 2006-09 also handles noise issues.
There is also the Health Act 1958 of Victoria which provides that a nuisance includes any noise which is or is liable to be dangerous to health or noxious, annoying or injurious to personal comfort. Victoria’s Environment Protection Act 1970 governs the use of lawnmowers, power tools, musical instruments, barking dogs, loud and constant arguments.
Victoria’s Public Health and Well being Act 2008 provides that any noise dangerous to health is considered a nuisance.
Amidst worldwide and intensive efforts to neutralize or curb noise pollution, the evil that is noise pollution is still very much here and is proving to be, like the multi-headed hydra, difficult to slay. Yes, they are still there and everywhere in small and big helpings.
The sonic boom of jet engines is as startling, if not more startling, as ever. If you live near the freeway, you cannot ignore the roar of traffic vehicles. Your long-time neighbour’s lawn mower, his car, his dog are not yours to silence lest you incur his ire and forever lose his friendship.
Hapless oppressed victims of noise pollution, what should they do? What should you do?
Experts advise that the best means for residents to combat noise pollution is to install soundproofing in their home. This is a sound and practical advice coming from the realization that a noise-free environment is an illusion in a highly urbanized city like Melbourne. Where can you find a place to build a house that is perfectly free from noise? You may situate it far from the airport or the train station, maybe even the freeway. But there still are the football field, the sports gym, the pub, your neighbour’s car, his lawnmower, and dog.
MAVEN Noiseproofing Solutions continues to help improve the lives of scores of Melbourne homeowners by providing the technology that liberates them from the annoyance and oppression of intolerable noise that a modern city brings.