Sound is one of the environmental influences on all living organisms, including humans. Machines, propagating systems, and transport systems are easily argued to be the grassroots sources of loud sounds (Morillas 214). In nature, loud sounds are rare, and the noise is relatively weak and short-lived. The combination of sound stimuli gives animals and humans the time necessary to assess their character and form a response. But high-power noises affect the hearing aid and nerve centers (Black). Noise surrounds us everywhere: at home, on the street, and at school, but few people know how noise affects the human body. Compared to other various surroundings, noise pollution is mainly concentrated in urban areas. Noise that causes pollution in urban areas comes from different sources, including transport systems, construction activities, poor urban planning, industrialization, and various social events. Indeed, noise pollution has to allot of effects on humans. The effects of noise pollution are still being studied, but the issue has been identified as a significant concern for public health and safety.
Revisiting Current Policies and Ordinances
The levels of noise in the urban parts of Los Angeles have been a major concern for a substantial period of time, mostly due to the rapid industrial development of the city and the subsequent increase in the number of manufacturing organizations, which have been producing quite significant noise as a result of their performance (Offenhuber et al. 609). However, the problem of noisy neighborhoods in LA is not limited to the presence of companies that fail to control the extent of noise that their machinery produces.
People lived surrounded by noise for their entire existence, but natural sounds can hardly be called an irritating factor. One of the root causes of noise pollution is the noise from transport (Brown). It has a negative impact on a person around the clock, and it is especially felt at night when the body requires rest. My friend said about this, “the noise from cars and equipment is a big problem, but there is no getting away from it.” A person who constantly falls under the influence of sounds may have a mental health disorder and insomnia. My aunt explained, “I started having trouble sleeping as soon as I moved to the city.” Therefore, sound pollution is a problem that people should take seriously.
Another reason for the noise is loud parties at night. Even though it is illegal, it does not stop teenagers. The noise interferes with the residents of neighboring houses; moreover, small children wake up because of the noise (Howard). My sister notes, “when I put my child to bed, I’m afraid that he will wake up because someone has started a party.” Moreover, loud noises at night and insomnia reduce concentration and cause headaches. My uncle believes that “if I could somehow isolate myself from the noise, then my work would proceed much better, and I would not suffer from headaches.” Therefore, noise significantly affects our physical condition.
Industrialization is also among the main causes of sound pollution in an urban setup and, more specifically, in Los Angeles. Industries produce a lot of noise that is even considered pollution of noise due to the relentless use of big machines in the industries (Bilaşco 214). The sound is too much that even the workers in those industries are forced to find means of preventing the loud noises from harming them. These sounds emanating from these industries affect the people in Los Angeles in various ways. My friend notes, “the area around industries is out of bound to him because of his hearing problems.” Industries produce the loudest noise compared to other sources of noise pollution (Smith). However, most of the industries are located away from the human population. Most people I have interacted with believing that “industries in Los Angeles should be even moved further.” These industries hinder the growth of the city to some extent, even due to their location. Indeed, noises from the industries should be avoided at all costs.
The poor urban planning of the city contributes significantly to noise pollution. This occurs in different ways, including big families being forced to share a small space, not enough parking lots, congested houses, and proximity between residential and industrial buildings (Anees 10). This factor does not produce a lot of noise considered to others, but then it is almost impossible for someone to avoid the noise pollution caused by poor urban planning. My parent believes that “if we had grown in a rural-urban setup, we would be better health-wise.” This is because they have tried as much as they could, but nothing has worked. Therefore, we are forced to live with this noise pollution. My brother says, “my hearing process is compromised due to the noise pollution.” The noise pollution due to this factor leads to hearing problems. Clearly, living with this kind of noise pollution seems normal, but it causes a lot of harm.
Construction activities in urban areas are constant, and they lead to noise pollution. People are daily putting up new infrastructures, and these activities contribute to the noise pollution in cities (Bilaşco 219). Compared to other causes of noise pollution, construction activities are less disturbing since the construction of a certain infrastructure takes a certain period of time. There is no other construction there, and therefore no noise pollution caused. However, when there is a construction activity, a lot of noise is produced by this activity. My friend said, “constructions happening in city always have many negative impacts.” Constructions often lead to a traffic of cars leading to more noise in the surrounding. However, we have to adapt to survive with construction activities taking place. My colleague narrates to me, “constructions in the city has affected me a lot and in a negative way.” Construction has made him get late to his business late and feel uncomfortable. When there is no control of traffic, construction can lead to a lot of delays.
Noise from air traffic in a city setup is also enough to cause noise pollution. Transport through the air is most common in the cities, and therefore a lot of noise is produced (Di 120). The noise pollution may not be as much as the pollution due to other factors, but it is significant. My friend who lives near the airport notes,” it is not easy to live in such an area.” The noise from the air traffic is very disturbing. In the city, airplanes are constantly landing and taking off; hence there is no time the place silence. My brother once noted,” living beside an airport must be very uncomfortable.” The discomfort is due to the noise caused by the airplanes. Air traffic causes a lot of noise that cannot be neglected.
Despite multiple attempts to improve the situation with noise management in the urban setting of Los Angeles, the city still remains polluted by noise to a significant extent (Offenhuber et al. 610). As a result, the quality of life within the Los Angeles urban context has been decreasing. The described issue has also been affecting the city and its residents economically due to ted op in property values as a direct effect of noise pollution (Offenhuber et al. 612). Therefore, a solution to the observed concern must be proposed. The inefficiency of the current regulations regarding noise management, particularly the Los Angeles Noise Ordinance, is quite glaring. Specifically, the current standards for controlling the levels of noise within the urban setting have been quite relaxed, which has allowed noisy neighborhoods to be quite careless about the extent of noise that they produce (Offenhuber et al. 610).
By revisiting the current standards for noise control, particularly by introducing measurable criteria for assessing the noise levels and setting strict repercussions for exceeding the established noise standards, LA authorities will be able to address the current noise concern and, therefore, improve the quality of local residents’ lives. The specified standards will have to concern not only privately owned houses within LA neighborhoods but also companies-owned facilities that produce excessive noise, as well as the well-developed transportation infrastructure, which also produces significant noise. Specifically, organizations utilizing noisy equipment will have to be introduced to the opportunities of purchasing the devices that would muffle the sound produced in the course of their performance (Offenhuber et al. 617). The proposed solution is expected to lead to a series of improvements in the current LA urban setting and reduce the level of noise within a range of neighborhoods. Although minimizing the noise levels to zero will be virtually impossible due to the specifics of the LA urban setting, particularly the presence of multiple industrial organizations, the proposed approach will still lead to significant improvements in managing the current concerns regarding the minimization of noise pollution.
Revisiting the current standards for noise ordinance should be considered the most sensible solution to the current noise concern in the La setting since addressing the core of the problem, namely, the poorly developed infrastructure and the presence of multiple industrial organizations, does not seem economically and financially feasible. Namely, removing the specified noise factors from the city context would imply a rapid economic deterioration, which is why setting more rigid standards for noise pollution management and the prevention of noise pollution should be seen as the most sustainable and effective decision to make. The changes in the current ordinance standards, along with the introduction of effective tools for noise measurement and the enhancement of control over the subject matter, will allow resolving the issue eventually.
In conclusion, people cannot notice that they are exposed to noise, which leads to negative consequences. The effects of noise pollution are still being studied, but the issue has been identified as a significant concern for public health and safety. Noise pollution comes from different sources, including transport systems, construction activities, poor urban planning, industrialization, and various social events. Industries produce the loudest noise compared to other sources of noise pollution. Noise pollution causes many physical, mental, and physiological disorders. Indeed, noise pollution is a key issue that needs to be addressed with an immediate effect.
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Black, John. Personal interview. 23.08.2021.
Brown, Rosy. Personal interview. 21.08.2021.
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Howard, Jessika. Personal interview. 24.09.2021
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Smith, Helen. Interview. 25.09.2021.