Since the industrial revolution, there has been a growing type of pollution that is often not thought of but is being combated by some out there. This pollution is not waste pollution or toxic pollution, but rather sound pollution. Sound pollution is the act of having large, disruptive amounts of sound that can accumulate and begin to cause stress, hypertension and other medical conditions in people. The sound can be disruptive and interrupt sleeping cycles, making it difficult for people to go about their day to day lives. Having people move to a quiet place as a solution is not always feasible. Quiet places are becoming fewer and fewer, and not everyone can afford to live or find work in the rural area. Apart from that, the area that is becoming unoccupied is becoming much smaller as cities and suburbs spread further and further in every direction. While sound pollution may not have reached the countryside yet, one day it may be a prominent aspect.
In order to combat this sound pollution, there are a series of movements that have been developed and continue to be developed. This act is called noise barriers.
All this is is the act of reducing sound pollution, whether that be indoors or outside. These plans of actions are being employed in areas where sound pollution is high. Or at least, they are trying to be often. Often with the current technologies there is not enough to completely prevent the sound, or there may not be enough space to build something to block out the sound.
The places most affected by sound pollution are highways, or other areas of loud traffic such as main roads, tollways and freeways. Another area are construction sites, although these are not areas that will cause sound pollution for too long, as after the building is complete, the construction crew will move along. They can, however, be damaging for those months or years the construction crew is there. Another place is the airport or near low air flight paths. This is not an exhaustive list.
In order to combat these sounds, a few ways have been developed. These include sound insulation, where a large barricade is placed around an area to prevent sound from traveling. One other development is vibration isolation. This is the act of interrupting a vibration to prevent it from becoming a sound. One other way is sound absorption. In this way, material is used that lets sound soak in, which then converts it to another form of energy, hence preventing sound.
While all these are good developments, some of them are not feasible to do at this time, due to either money or space concerns. There also needs to be more research into how effective these methods are at preventing sound. In the meantime, individuals wishing to prevent sound pollution can ensure that the sound they make within their own home is not loud enough to be heard outside.