Noise Pollution


Taylor Weatherwax

The constant rumble of traffic and people brings cities to life. But is it also making us sick? The ill-effects of noise pollution are now well documented, with cities declaring open war on the not-so-silent killer. According to the World Health Organization, noise pollution is the second-most significant environmental factor contributing to health problems, trailing only air pollution. Excessive noise contributes to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stress and depression. Humans are not the only ones suffering from excessive noise. Animals, particularly birds, have also fallen victim to the constant racket of urban life. The noises we hear, the sound of traffic for example, are familiar to us but could be interpreted as a threat by other animals. “It can be a problem for the well-being of animal populations and species,” he says. Adding greenery in urban areas could help, according to Pichard, both in a bid to protect biodiversity and reduce noise pollution.