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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Regular exposure to noise pollution increases the risk of heart disease

Noise pollution is an often-overlooked source of environmental stress that can raise your risk of serious health conditions, including strokes and heart disease. Noise pollution can result from automobiles – cars, buses and planes – public areas like schools and even within the home.

The World Health Organization suggests that noise pollution is the "most prevalent irreversible occupational hazard." They estimate 120 million people worldwide are affected by the side effects brought on by noise pollution.

Speaking about the importance of sleep hygiene, Padma Shri Awardee Dr. A Marthanda Pillai – National President and Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement said," Recent studies are increasingly establishing a strong association between chronic exposure to increased environmental noise levels (traffic noise, noise from low-flying airplanes, loud music) and an increased risk of developing heart disease. This effect is due to stress-related dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, leading to increases in hypertension and subsequent heart disease

A lack of sleep, caused by the traffic noise, can also affect the immune system and metabolism. In many cases, people in the city may not realize their sleep patterns are being thrown off by noise pollution.

The ambient noise standard for residential areas is 55 decibel during the day and 45 decibel at night.

• Permissible noise in industrial area is 75 dB in daytime and 70 dB in nighttime.
• Permissible noise in commercial area is 65 dB in daytime and 55 dB in nighttime.
• Permissible sound in residential area is 55 dB in daytime and 45 dB in nighttime.
• Permissible sound in silence zone is 50 dB in daytime and 40 dB in nighttime.
• Day time shall mean from 6am to 10 pm and nighttime shall mean from 10 pm to 6am.
• Silence zone are areas up to 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions and courts.
• One can complain to the authorities if the noise levels exceed more than 10dB than the allowable limit.
• High noise levels lead to stress related dis-regulation of the autonomic system leading to high Blood Pressure and Heart Disease.

It is strongly recommended that each one of us do our bit to reduce the noise pollution we create. Patients at a high risk of heart attacks must stay away from very crowded places and should maintain caution during Diwali, not be present in areas.

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