Saturday, September 6, 2008


Our Magical Ear

Why worry about noise ?
Of all the pollution concerns:
–Air,water,land, and noise; noise pollution is the one that has the potential for the most damage to humans and wildlife.
–It is a hidden health hazard that impacts our physical, psychological and intellectual well being.
–Our ears never shut down, even while we are sleeping, so the input is constant.

Our ears aren’t there for decoration!
They are amazing neurotransmitters that gather and process sound, sending the input off to our brain where fascinating things happen.

Our brain processes the sound waves received via our ears and makes determinations that effect: speech, balance, and hearing.Excess stimulation from sound can overload our nervous system resulting in many negative health symptoms

Sound waves are collected by our ear canal and passed to the ear drum, which vibrates. The sound waves are then picked up by fluid in the inner ear and passed to the inner ear structures where the acoustic nerve connects to the brain.

Our ability to hear is one of our great senses that connects us with the world around us Without it, the world becomes a lonely, frightening place

Decibels measure the intensity of sound.Hearing loss can occur from a single exposure to a loud noise or from repeated exposures.The Environmental Protection Agency has set a standard of 70 db in a 24 hour period as safe

–Rustling leaves- 10db, Stereo - 90db
–Whisper - 30 db, Bagpipes - 90-110db
–Normal speech - 60 db, Power Saw - 100db
–Television - 70 db, Fire Cracker - 115-120db
–Traffic - 75-80 db, Rock concert -120db
–Blow dryer - 85 db, Gunshot/Train/Jet -150db
–Noisy hall - 85 db, Classroom - 85 db

Examples: hearing loss, digestive disorders, birth defects, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, fatigue, headaches, asthma, hypertension, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, altered immune system

Examples: depression, anger, aggression, anxiety, increased violence, alcohol and drug use, fatigue, increase in suicide, decreased social skills, personality disorders

Examples: decreased learning capacity, memory loss, poor language skills, decreased speech development, decreased academic performance, decreased cognitive ability


–Damage to health begins at 75 db.
–Hearing damage begins at 90 db and can be permanent with one exposure of 120 db or more.
–The average decibel levels exposed to 70-86 db; where damage to physical, psychological and communicative health begins


I am acutely aware of the impact of noise on my well being. The average Stereo generates 90db. It is important in any of our health arena’s that we make deliberate choices about how to protect ourselves.

How can we stop the constant bombardment to our ears and protect our over all health? Shhhhhh :)


It cannot be done!
– Even during sleep our ears are absorbing sound waves that are then processed by our brain.
–What we can do is seek practical ways to diminish the noise OR protect our ears from receiving too much damaging input, i.e. decibels


Respecting sounds and how they can impact your health involves knowing yourself. We all have different thresholds of what we can handle.
–What kinds of sounds stimulate you, soothe you, irritate you?
–Do you find you have ringing in your ears after certain sound exposures?
–Is there a family history of hearing loss?
How do you balance what you enjoy with what is healthy?
Controlling the noise in your life is not hopeless, but does require determination on your part to respect and alter the level of noise

Wear ear plugs in very loud places. Filtered ear plugs, such as Sonic II can be purchased in any music or gun shop. They reduce the damaging decibels, whereas foam plugs will muffle sound but still allow too high a decibel range to enter your ears.

Carpeting, pictures and plants will absorb sound.
Increase trees and shrubs around property.
Be aware of your surroundings and do whatever you can to reduce the noise level.
Find quiet time daily.
Limit your time in a noisy environment

Why bother?

  • Have you ever felt bashing somebody who has been incessantly honking behind despite no space to move your vehicle an inch?
  • Have you ever felt to mute honkers of all the vehicles around you when stuck in traffic ?
  • Do you leave home during peak traffic hours and arrive at work irritated and mad bcoz of all that internal noise on the way ?
  • Do you feel like smashing those loudspeakers blaring incessantly into the night on the heads of people who arranged that function in your colony ?
  • Have you ever wished you could twist and knot the silencers of those MTV(Motor Vehicles) rut-tut-ting around Bangalore and spoiling Peace and Calm?.
If you have ever felt like the above then 'NoHonking, Pleazzz' is for you! Continuous exposure to noise above 70db in Bangalore traffic- can lead to deafness.Think about it, 5-6 years down the line you could be partially or totally deaf and might have trouble hearing or you could never listen to all the beautiful music and sounds that you love?.

It matters to all of us, but we are just taking it all in our stride with a pinch of "Solpa adjust maadi attitude". Noise pollution in Bangalore can be brought down considerably if We all join hands together and work for peaceful, calm Bangalore.

This community project is committed to Cause 'No Honking Day' in Bangalore partnering with Bangalore Traffic Police, Citizens in Bangalore. Those who love to make environment, free from noise pollution in Bangalore, please let your interest be known @ []
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