The invisible threat of noise pollution

Noise pollution is not just unpleasant; it can actually cause very serious health issues and prevent you from carrying on with your normal routine. If you’re putting up with noise read on to see why should act now to put a stop to it.

AeroplaneSleep deprivation

Noise that keeps you up at night will lead to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation brings with it a host of issues and can be very dangerous. Your body needs good quality sleep to stay in good health. When you’re sleep deprived you’re more likely to catch viruses and infections.

A sleep deprived brain can also lead to anxiety and mood swings. If you’re already stressed by the noise that’s keeping you up at night you’ll be less able to deal with it and less able to think rationally about a solution.


If you’re tired during the day you’ll be less able to concentrate leading to loss of productivity at work and at home. Poor concentration and slowed reaction make it more dangerous to drive a car or operate heavy machinery.

Loss of productivity directly due to noise

Noise at your place of work directly effects productivity. Noise can be both distracting and has been found to impair cognitive function. Ordinary noise such as that of a very busy office can significantly lower our abilities to work out problems and produce work.

Hearing loss

Prolonged exposure to noise can cause hearing loss. The Health Service Executive provide exposure limits as a guideline to the amount of noise we can be exposed to in the workplace:

  • lower exposure action values:
    • daily or weekly exposure of 80 dB;
    • peak sound pressure of 135 dB;
  • upper exposure action values:
    • daily or weekly exposure of 85 dB;
    • peak sound pressure of 137 dB (

In general people will find noise of 70dB to be annoyingly loud. This equates to noise from a vacuum cleaner or a fast car passing you. 80dB is twice as loud as 70dB and 90dB is 4 times as loud. A food blender, dishwasher, freight train passing or noise of traffic while travelling on the road are each between 80 to 88dB.

Consistent exposure to noise levels of 85dB can cause you to lose your hearing.

Difficulty communicating

We’ve mentioned that noise lowers your cognitive powers and that this effects your ability to problem solve. Anyone exposed to excessive noise levels or exposed to noise for a long period of time may find it more difficult to communicate as well with indecision and stuttering just some of the side effects of exposure to noise.

So, don’t put up with. If you feel noise in your workplace is effecting your mental or physical well-being ask for an assessment.

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