Saturday, October 11, 2014

Why Drilling Noise Control Is So Important

By Jocelyn Davidson

Offshore drilling results in various issues that negatively affect marine life. Both drilling noise control and oil leak prevention are required in order to keep the marine ecosystem safe. Apart from the overt problems oil leaks result in, sonic pollution offers different yet equally damaging effects. When there is too much external noise in the ocean, marine life is unable to locate food, communicate with one another, and lose the abilities to navigate themselves. Whale beaching is one of these many problems that occur.

This issue has been quite well researched in recent past. On top of damage to marine life, it's found that human hearing is negatively affected by any type of sound pollution as well. Whether the loud sound is constant or syncopated, it will result in hearing loss over time. This accounts for noise from appliances at home, factory machines, and even music.

These hearing loss issues are not to be taken lightly. Though the hearing loss can be temporary as well as permanent, your ears will be exposed to damage whatever the case. When sound reaches 70 decibels, humans comprehend this as simply loud sound. However, 10 more decibels from this and the ears can get damaged. If this loud sound gets to 100 decibels, the ears will have permanent damage that is non-repairable.

Excessive or exposure to loud sound will influence cognitive function as well. Reading can become more difficult, as well as comprehension and problem solving. On top of cognitive impairment, loud sound can also be a large distraction, especially in the workplace. Unfortunately, children are also highly affected by excessive sound. Researchers have compared children who attended school in noisy areas to ones who learned in quiet settings, and found loud sound was negatively correlated.

Loud sound can also negatively affect the heart. Research shows that noise pollution can raise blood pressure due to constricted arteries and unstable blood flow. Your heart rate can also increase as well. Children are said to have higher heart rates when exposed to loud sound, and all these issues can lead to cardiovascular issues in their futures.

All this loud sound will also be damaging to a good night's sleep. When you are distracted from getting a relaxing sleep, you will end up very annoyed and sluggish in the morning. You'll lose energy and feel too fatigued to do anything productive, and you'll perform worse at work. This irritability can carry on to your social life as well. Since you're feeling annoyed, it's hard to be so accepting of others, and you can lose relationships.

An average of 50 to 60 decibels constitutes a noisy environment. When the loud sound reaches this level, you will not be able to properly communicate with one another, as hearing words clearly gets tough. It will result in many miscommunication problems.

The stress you experience due to all these noise pollution consequences can lead to mental health issues. Depending on the amount of stress, you can even develop aggressive tendencies. Other less extreme cases can still lead to some problems like headaches, anxiety or tension, and emotional issues.

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