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(in reference to Environmental Science, M.Sc. Program, TU)

Sunil Babu Khatry


© 2010. All rights reserved. This revised lecture note contains the vital information that is
the property of the instructor and institution. No part of the inside may be reproducible by
the unauthorized recipients in any versions without permission.
Table of Contents  Ground Surface Effects _______________ 14
 Trees Attenuation ___________________ 14
 Topography Effect ___________________ 14
1. Basic Properties of Sound ________ 1  Reflecting Surfaces and Noise Barriers ___ 14

3. Noise Measurements & Monitoring 15

1.1 Wave Characteristics of Sound / Noise
(Sound Physics - Acoustics) _____________ 1 3.1 Selection of Noise Descriptors _____ 16
1.1.1 Law of Superposition _____________ 1 3.2 Methods ______________________ 16
1.1.2 Diffraction ______________________ 2
3.3 Acoustic Weighting Networks _____ 16
1.1.3 Interference _____________________ 2
1.1.4 Inverse - Square Law ______________ 2
3.4 Measurement Objectives _________ 17
 General ___________________________ 17
1.1.5 Doppler Effect ___________________ 2
 OSHA Concept ______________________ 17
1.2 Sound Pressure __________________ 3 3.5 General Noise Inspection Data _____ 17
1.2.1 RMS Nature of Sound _____________ 3 3.5.1 General Information _____________ 17
3.5.2 Health Inspection Data ___________ 17
1.3 Sound Intensity__________________ 3
3.5.3 Machine and / or Process Data. ____ 18
1.4 Sound Wave ____________________ 4 3.5.4 Building Data ___________________ 18
1.4.1 Waveform ______________________ 4 3.5.5 Employer Data __________________ 18
3.5.6 Hearing Loss Data _______________ 18
1.5 Categories of Waves ______________ 5 3.5.7 Additional Information Requirement 19
1.6 Noise __________________________ 6  Preliminary Information ______________ 19
1.6.1 Types of Noise ___________________ 6  Work Analysis Information ____________ 19

1.7 Sound Pressure & Intensity ________ 7 3.6 Selection of Measurement Positions 20
3.6.1 Outdoor Measurement ___________ 20
1.8 Sound Pressure Level _____________ 7 3.6.2 Measurement around the Building _ 20
1.9 Sound Intensity Level _____________ 7 3.6.3 Measurements inside the Building __ 20
3.6.4 Measurement in Work Environments 20
1.10 Sound Pressure Level, Decibel
Approach ____________________________ 8 3.7 Instrumentation ________________ 20
1.10.1 Sound Addition & Subtraction _______ 9 3.7.1 Audiometry ____________________ 20
1.10.2 Other Units of Sound Pressure ______ 9 3.7.2 Noise Dosimeter ________________ 22
3.7.3 Sound Level Meter ______________ 25
1.11 Psycho - Acoustics (Sound & Human 3.7.4 Octave Band Analyzers ___________ 26
Ear Perception) ______________________ 12
3.8 Instrumental Performance (Effects of
1.12 Relationship between Indoor and
the Environment) _____________________ 27
Outdoor Levels ______________________ 12 3.8.1 Temperature ___________________ 27
2. 3.8.2 Humidity ______________________ 27
Sound Propagation Characteristic _ 12
3.8.3 Atmospheric Pressure ____________ 27
2.1 Geometrical Spreading __________ 13 3.8.4 Wind or Dust ___________________ 27
3.8.5 Magnetic Fields _________________ 28
2.2 Meteorological Parameters & Sound
Propagation _________________________ 13 4. Environmental Noise Sources _____ 28
2.2.1 Attenuation ____________________14 4.1 Transportation Noise ____________ 28
 Temperature Effect __________________14 4.1.1 Road Vehicles __________________ 28
 Distance Attenuation _________________14 4.1.2 Railway ________________________ 28
4.1.3 Aircraft ________________________28 7.5.1 Related Legislation ______________ 50

4.2 Industrial Noise ________________ 29 8. Health Effects of Noise __________ 53

4.3 Domestic Noise _________________ 30 8.1 Human Ear _____________________ 54
4.4 Construction and Other Activities __ 31 8.1.1 Hearing and Mechanism of Hearing
Loss 54
4.5 Parks & School Playing Fields ______ 31
8.1.2 Outer and Middle Ear Mechanism _ 54
4.6 Discotheque Noise ______________ 31 8.1.3 Cochlear Mechanism ____________ 54
5. Noise Analysis _________________ 31 8.1.4 Degrees of Hair Cell Injuries_______ 54

5.1 Equivalent Sound Pressure Level, (LAeq, 8.2 Noise - Induced Hearing Effect _____ 55
T) 31
8.3 Sensory Effects _________________ 56
5.2 Day - Night Average Sound Pressure
8.4 Interference with Speech
Level, (Ldn) __________________________ 32
Communication ______________________ 57
5.3 Sound Exposure Level, (SEL)_______ 32
8.5 Sleep Disturbance Effects _________ 59
5.4 Percentile Level, (L) _____________ 34
8.6 Psycho Physiological Effects _______ 59
5.5 Traffic Noise Index ______________ 34
8.7 Mental Health effects ____________ 60
5.6 Noise Pollution Level, (NPL) _______ 35
8.8 Performance Effects _____________ 60
5.7 Airport Noise Measurement ______ 35
8.9 Effects on Residential Behavior and
6. Noise Criteria (NC) Curves _______ 35 Annoyance __________________________ 60

7. Noise Control & Abatement Measures 9. Criteria for Continuous and

38 Intermittent Noise __________________ 61
7.1 Source Control _________________ 39 9.1 ISO 1999-1990 __________________ 61

7.2 Transmission Path Control ________ 42 9.2 Criteria for Impulse Noise _________ 62
7.2.1 Acoustic Barriers & Panels _________43 9.2.1 Control of noise exposure in
7.2.2 Mufflers and Silencers ____________45 workplaces. (Policy and guidance documents of
7.2.3 Absorbing Materials and Acoustic the International Labour Organization (ILO)): _ 62
Lining 45 9.2.2 Occupational Exposure Levels reported
7.2.4 Absorber _______________________46 and recommended by I-INCE ______________ 63
7.2.5 Damping _______________________46 9.2.3 Occupational Exposure Levels
7.2.6 Diffusion _______________________46 recommended by NIOSH __________________ 63
7.2.7 Anechoic Chamber _______________47 9.2.4 ACGIH Recommendation _________ 64

7.3 Receiver Control ________________ 47

7.3.1 Hearing Protectors _______________47

7.4 Traffic Noise Abatement _________ 49

7.4.1 Noise Barriers ___________________49
7.4.2 Land Use Planning Measures _______49
7.4.3 Alternatives to Noise barriers: _____49

7.5 Response of Noise Pollution Control in

Nepal through Legislation, Plan & Policies_ 49
Noise Pollution, 513 - Page 1

1. Basic Properties of Sound surface, or turbulent fluid flow. Sound

propagates in the form of longitudinal (as
Community noise (called environmental opposed to transverse) waves, involving a
noise, residential noise or domestic noise) is
defined as noise emitted from all sources
except noise at the industrial workplace.
Main sources of community noise include
road, rail and air traffic; industries;
construction and public work; and the
neighbourhood. The main indoor noise
sources are ventilation systems, radio /
television media, office machines, home
appliances and neighbours.
In contrast to many other environmental
problems, noise pollution continues to grow
and an increasing number of complaints
accompany it from people exposed to the
noise. The growth in noise pollution is
unsustainable because it involves direct, as
well as cumulative, adverse health effects. It succession of compressions and rarefactions
also adversely affects future generations, and in the elastic medium. When a sound wave
has socio-cultural, aesthetic and economic propagates in air, the oscillations in pressure
effects. are above and below the ambient
When noise levels change 3dB(A) or less, the atmospheric pressure. Sound being to show
change is considered barely perceptible to
human hearing in a field situation. A 5dB(A)
change in noise level is clearly noticeable. A
10dB(A) change in noise levels is perceived as
a doubling or halving of noise loudness, and a
20dB(A) change is considered a dramatic
change in loudness1.

1.1 Wave Characteristics of

Sound / Noise (Sound
Physics - Acoustics)
Noise is defined as "disagreeable or
undesired sound" or other disturbance.
Sound and noise constitute the same
phenomenon of atmospheric pressure
fluctuations about the mean atmospheric
pressure where the differentiation is quietly
subjective matters, i.e. sound to one person
literally be noise to others. Sound (or noise)

the wave characteristics like law of

superposition, diffraction, interferences,
inverse square law, etc.
is the result of pressure variations, or
oscillations, in an elastic medium (e.g., air, 1.1.1 Law of Superposition
water, solids), generated by a vibrating
 According to the law when two or more
sound waves may propagate in the same
Highway Traffic Noise Assessment Summary State of
space simultaneously, the resultant sound
Alaska Department of Transportation and Public pressure variation at any point being the
Facilities, October 2006 algebraic sum of the instantaneous
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 2

pressure variations of each component 1.1.3 Interference

wave. Two waveforms combine in a  When sound waves from two different
manner, which simply adds their sources at the same frequency strike one
respective amplitudes linearly at every another, pressure displacements occur
point in time. Thus, a complex spectrum that are the sum and the difference of the
can be built by mixing different Sine amplitude of the two waves.
Waves of various amplitudes. Fourier
 Where the crests of one set of waves
analysis is a reverse case of addition.
coincide with the crests of another set, the
 Successive approximations of a saw tooth amplitude is increased. This is called
wave by addition of harmonics with constructive interference (the lines
amplitude inversely proportional to the indicated by C on the diagram). Where the
harmonic number. crests of one set fall on the troughs of the
other, i.e. they are 180° out of phase, the
two will cancel one another and the
1.1.2 Diffraction resulting amplitude is decreased. This is
 Diffraction of sound wave is a phenomenon called destructive interference or
of sound wave movement around an object
whose dimensions are smaller than or
Diffraction Phenomenon

cancellation (the lines indicated by D on

the diagram). Beats and phasing are
examples of interference results. The dead
about equal to the wavelength. As a result spots occur when two waves of the same
of their capability of diffraction, low frequency and amplitude travel in opposite
frequency sounds are difficult to localize or directions. Interference also causes ground
contain in an environment effect in outdoor situations.

 High frequency sound (short wavelength)

1.1.4 Inverse - Square Law
do not diffracted around most obstacles
but are absorbed or reflected thereby  The law elucidates that the mean - square
creating a sound shadow behind the object. sound pressure level varies inversely as the
But, low frequency sounds have square of the distance from the source. The
wavelengths that are much longer than general rule of thumb is that, under ideal
most objects and barriers, and therefore conditions (no reflecting surfaces or other
such waves pass around them undisturbed. background sound or interference), a sound
 When the wavelength is similar to the level drops 6 dB for every doubling of the
dimensions of the object (as with low distance from the source. If the two
frequencies and buildings, or mid-range distances in question are d1 and d2, then the
frequencies and the head), the wave decibel difference DD is:
diffracts around the object, using its edges ∆D = 10 log (d1/d2) = 20 log (d1/d2)
as a focal point from which to generate a
new wave front of the same frequency but 1.1.5 Doppler Effect
reduced intensity.
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 3

In sound, a change of wavelength occurs when atmospheric pressure) is called the sound
the source has a translation motion. pressure variation, whereas the effective
For sound waves propagating in a medium, pressure variation is 0.707. The oscillating
the velocity of the observer and of the source is variations in sound pressure (called the
relative to the medium in which the waves are waveform of the sound) propagate in the
transmitted. The total Doppler effect may form of a sound wave.
therefore result from motion of the source,  When the amplitude of the vibrating body
motion of the observer, or motion of the is greatest, its velocity is zero (that is, it
medium. The Doppler Effect is defined as “the has reached its outer limit of displacement
change in frequency of a wave that results and is shortly motionless before returning
from an object‟s changing position relative to in the opposite direction). If the velocity is
an observer” (Gundersen). It states that “when zero, so is the pressure it exerts on the
a sound is played, the precise sound that is medium (e.g. air) around it. Velocity (and
actually heard depends on if you are moving or therefore pressure) is greatest mid-way
not” (Doppler Effect for Sound). This means between the maximum displacement of the
that in order to hear exactly the sound that is vibrating body, and we can graph the
being played, you must stand still and try not resulting relationship between amplitude
to move. The second you move, the sound you and sound pressure in the following way:
hear and the sound that is played will no
longer are the same thing. For the both cases 1.2.1 RMS Nature of Sound
the same change of frequency for the same
speed of motion, provided this small compared Most sounds are not purely sinusoidal (purely
sine wave) vibrations. They vary in both
frequency and magnitude over time. The
RMS sound pressure is applied to quantify
their magnitude over a measurement time T.
The RMS sound pressure is obtained by
squaring the pressure (amplitude) at each
instant in time, summing the squared values
over the measurement time T, dividing by T
and taking the square root of the total, i.e.,

P rms  P2

1 T
 1
   
2 2
with the velocity of the waves. P t dt
 T 0 
1.2 Sound Pressure
 When a vibrating body moves in air, it 1.3 Sound Intensity
creates slight disturbances of the ambient  The sound intensity is the energy
atmospheric pressure. The amplitude of transmitted per unit time through a unit
these pressure variations (i.e., their area, thereby being a measure of the
maximum displacement from the ambient magnitude of a sound. The unit of
measurement is the erg per second per
square centimetre, or the watt per square
meter. The threshold of hearing lies at 10 -12
watts/m2, whereas the threshold of pain is
about 1 watt/m2. W
 The measurement of sound
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 4

intensity is its intensity level and is  Amplitude (A) : the maximum

measured logarithmically in decibels or minimum pressure.
because of the wide range of intensities
 Wavelength (λ) : the distance
 Sound intensity is proportional to the square
of the sound pressure, which, being easier to
measure is more commonly used as a basis
of sound measurement. Sound intensity in
free filed situations varies inversely as the
square of the distance from the sound

1.4 Sound Wave

 Sound is a mechanical energy from a
vibrating surface which spreads as spherical between successive troughs or crests.
or plane wave forms and is transmitted by a
cyclic series of compressions are rarefactions  Period (T) : the time lapse between
of the sound transmitting media. The sound successive peaks.
results in a sound pressure longitudinal  Frequency (f) : the number of
wave that alternatively rises to a maximum complete pressure variations or
level. cycles/second.
 Waves may be of two sorts, transverse and
longitudinal. While solids will transmit both Relationship:
kinds, liquids and gases will transmit only
longitudinal waves and the study of sound
waves is thus largely concerned with this P 
1  
type where the amplitude variations are in f f
the direction of propagation. Nevertheless,
as transverse waves are easier to display Based on energy transmittance
graphically in two dimensions, sound waves characteristics they are categorized as
electromagnetic and mechanical waves. An

electromagnetic wave is a wave, which is
capable of transmitting its energy through a
vacuum whereas a mechanical wave is not
capable of transmitting its energy through a

Press The speed of propagation (c) of sound in air is

343m/s, at 20oC and 1 atmosphere pressure.
P At other temperatures (not too different from
20oC), it may be calculated by using the
formula: C = 332 + 0.6T c. Sound / noise results
are usually shown as if they were for from periodic disturbances of the air at room
instance on an oscilloscope (transverse temperature are propagated in air at a speed
compression) and drops to a minimum level of approximately 340m/s. In water (1500m/s)
(rarefaction). On striking the ear, it may be and steel (5000m/s), the speed is much
heard as sound waves. greater.
 Sound pressure variation of a sine wave
showing the phase relationship between 1.4.1 Waveform
pressure and particle displacement.
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 5

 The pattern of sound pressure S variation,

usually displayed as a two-dimensional
graph of pressure or amplitude against time.
For periodic waveforms, a single cycle or
period defines the waveform (also called
sound pressure function), particularly when
represented digitally. The simplest
waveform is the sine wave, since it has only
one frequency associated with it. More
waveforms that are complex can be
constructed from sine waves of various
frequencies by the law of superposition.
Common waveforms used in sound synthesis
are the triangle wave, square wave, saw
tooth wave and pulse wave. These audio
waveforms are often termed fixed waveforms
because of their lack of variation, whereas
acoustic waveforms are constantly varying.
The waveform represents the behaviour of the
sound in the time domain, and since its shape
is indicative of the frequency content of the
sound, waveform is sometimes used
synonymously with timbre, although not all
contributing factors to timbre can be
understood simply in terms of the waveform.
Examples: sine wave saw tooth wave, square
wave, triangle wave at 100 Hz and pulse wave
with a 1:4 duty cycle

1.5 Categories of Waves

 On the basis of the direction of the
movement of the individual particles of the
medium relative to the direction, waves are
categorized as transverse waves,
longitudinal waves, and surface waves 2. A
transverse wave is a wave in which particles
of the medium move in a direction
perpendicular to the direction, which the
wave moves, i. e. they are characterized by
particle motion being perpendicular to wave
motion. A longitudinal wave is a wave in
which particles of the medium move in a
direction parallel to the direction, which the
wave moves, i.e. they are always
characterized by particle motion being
parallel to wave motion. A surface wave is a
wave in which particles of the medium
undergo a circular motion. They are neither
transverse nor longitudinal waves.
Henderson, T. The Nature of a Wave, 2004
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 6

1.6 Noise 1.6.1 Types of Noise

Noise may be classified as steady, non-steady
Noise can be defined as unwanted sound or
or impulsive, depending upon the temporal
sound in the wrong place at the wrong time.
variations in sound pressure level. All
Noise is undesirable because it interferes
sounds are categorized in three major
with speech and hearing, is intense enough
to damage hearing or is otherwise annoying.
The definition of noise as unwanted sound  Continuous sound (steady state)
implies that it has an adverse effect on  Intermittent sound
human beings and their environment,  Impulsive sound (impact)
including land structures, and domestic  A continuous sound is an uninterrupted
animals. It also disturbs natural wildlife and sound level that varies less than 5dBA
ecological systems. On the basis of acoustic during the period of observation. The noise
science, the sound level above 50dB (A) is
considered to be the noise. Under the basis of
various WHO reports, the observed sound
pressure levels are categorized according to
the following manner.
20 dB

Category Level, (dB

Uncomfortable > 100
Very high quality sound 80 - 99
Medium Sound 50 - 70
Silent sound 40 Duration T

Daily maximum permissible noise 45 - 55

level of longer duration and low density such as
that from construction, traffic, a household
fan etc. are the typical examples of


40 dB


continuous sound.
 A continuous noise, which occurs
intermittently and has duration of more
than several seconds but then is
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 7

interrupted for more than one second, is 1.8 Sound Pressure Level
intermittent noise, e.g., a dentist's drill.
 Sound pressure level measures the
 A noise consisting of one or more bursts of
magnitude of the sound. It is a relative the
sound energy having a very short
ratio between the actual sound pressure
duration, i.e., noise of short duration and
and a fixed reference pressure. This
high density such as explosions, sonic
reference pressure is usually that of the
booms, artillery fire, hammering noise, etc
threshold of hearing which has been
is impulsive noise. A more rigorous
internationally agreed upon as having the
classification of impulse sound would
value 0.0002 dynes/cm 2. Sound pressure
require a change of sound pressure of
level may be measured with a sound level
40dB(A) or more within 0.5 second with
meter weighted according to a specific
duration of less than one second.
frequency response pattern and termed as
sound level. Because the square of the
1.7 Sound Pressure & Intensity sound pressure is proportional to sound
 Sound intensity is a vector quantity and is intensity, SPL can be calculated in the
a measure of the rate at which work is same manner and is measured in decibels.
done on a conducting medium by an
advancing sound wave and thus the rate of P2
L p  10 log10 ;
power transmission through a surface P0

normal to the intensity vector. It is

expressed as watts per square metre
(W/m2). In a free-field environment (no L p  20 log10
reflected sound waves & well away from Pref
any sound sources), the sound intensity is Lp = 20log10Prms – 20log10Pref.
related to the root mean square acoustic
After substituting the internationally agreed
value of reference pressure level of [20µPa =
where ρc is the density 2*10-5Nm-2]. The minimum acoustic pressure
of air (kg/m 3), and c is audible to the young human ear judged to be
the speed of sound in good health, and unsullied by too much
(m/sec). The quantity, ρc exposure to excessively loud sound, is
is called the "acoustic impedance" and is approximately 20 x 10 -6Pa or 2 x 10-10
equal to 414 Ns/m³ at 20 oC and one atmosphere [since 1 atm. = 101.3 x 10 3Pa],
atmosphere, P is rms sound pressure level in
pa and I is the acoustic intensity in watts per Lp = 20log10Prms + 94dB
square meter.
 The rate at which energy transmitted by
1.9 Sound Intensity Level
sound waves is called the sound power (W)  The rate at which energy is transmitted by
and mathematically is obtained by sound waves is called the sound power (W)
integrating the sound measured in watts. The average sound
intensity over an power per unit area normal to the
imaginary surface direction of propagation of a sound wave is
surrounding a source termed the acoustic or sound intensity (I).
in the specified frequency band. So, the sound intensity level is defined as
 For a sound producing uniformly spherical
waves (radiating equally in all directions)
in a non dissipative medium, the intensity Substituting an internationally agreed
becomes, W = 4πr2I. Literally, I is reference intensity (Wo) of 10-12Wm-2 in the
equivalent to P2, i.e. P2 = [W/4πr2] W/m2. above equation,
The sound pressure level at doubling the
LI =10log10I + 120dB
distance from a point source decreases by
6dB. LP  LW  10 log 2r
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 8

= hearing at 1000Hz. So, the sound pressure

P2 level indicates how much greater the
L p  10 log10 2
P = measured sound is than this threshold of
W / 4r0 2 hearing. Sound pressure levels cannot be
10 log10
W0 added or averaged arithmetically
W because they are measured on a
10 log 10  10 log10 4r 2
W0 logarithmic scale.
Sound pressure level (SPL) is the
logarithmic ratio of the sound pressure to a
= LW - 20 log r – 11, where, LW: sound power reference pressure (20µpa). The sound
level in dB for 10-12W. Similarly, for non pressure is converted to sound pressure level,
point sources, the reduction is 3dB for which is measured in decibel. The equation
doubling of distance. i.e, for sound pressure level is as follows:
The table below can be used to find the
correction for distance such as in the case of
LP  LW  10 log r  8
M distances quoted in noise measurement
LW specifications, assuming ideal conditions. Take
where, M
= Sound power per meter . the given distance on the left-hand column
and find the correction in the vertical column
under the distance for which the correction is
desired. Add the correction to the given level
1.10 Sound Pressure Level, to find the corrected level.
Decibel Approach
Table of sound levels L (loudness) and
Because the square of the sound pressure is
corresponding sound pressure and sound
proportional to sound intensity, SPL can be intensity
calculated in the same manner and is Sound
Sound Sound
measured in decibels (dB). The decibel is 1/10 Pressur
Sources Pressur Sound
th of Bel. e
Examples ep Intensity I
Sound power doesn't provide practical units with
N/m2 = W/m2
for sound or noise measurement due to it's distance Pa
tremendous range and the human ear doesn't Jet aircraft, 50
140 200 100
m away
respond linearly to increase in sound
Threshold of 130 63.2 10
pressure. The human responses are pain
essentially logarithmic. The sound pressure Threshold of 120 20 1
level is a measure of the air vibrations that discomfort
Chainsaw, 1 m 110 6.3 0.1
make up sound. All sound pressures are
referenced to a standard pressure that Disco, 1 m from 100 2 0.01
corresponds roughly to the threshold of speaker
Diesel truck, 10 90 0.63 0.001
m away
Kerbside of 80 0.2 0.0001
busy road, 5 m
70 0.063 0.00001
distance 1 m
Conversational 60 0.02 0.000001
speech, 1 m
50 0.0063 0.0000001
Average home

40 0.002 0.00000001
Quiet library

Quiet bedroom 30 0.00063 0.000000001

at night
Background in 20 0.0002 0.0000000001
TV studio
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 9

Rustling leaves 10 0.000063 0.00000000001 40dB sound pressure level. The number of
in the distance
sones to a phon was chosen so that a doubling
Threshold of 0 0.00002 0.000000000001
hearing of the number of sones sounds to human ear
like a doubling of the loudness, that also
A decibel (dB) is a unit of measurement, corresponds to increasing the sound pressure
which indicates the relative amplitude of a level by 10dB or increasing the sound pressure
sound (pitch & loudness). The zero on the by a factor 3.16
decibel scale is based on the lowest sound
level that healthy, unimpaired human ear
can detect. Sound levels in decibels are
calculated on a logarithmic basis. An
increase of 10dB represents a ten-fold
increase in acoustic energy, while 20dB is
100 times more intense and 30dB is 1000
times more intense, etc.

1.10.1 Sound Addition & Subtraction

Two SPL measurements in decibels may be
combined with the aid of the following chart.
The difference in decibels between the two
readings is found on the upper scale, and the
corresponding correction appears opposite it
on the lower scale. This correction is added to
the higher SPL to give the combined
measurement. Multiple readings may be
combined by repeating this process. For
example, equal SPL readings (0 on top scale)
produce a 3.0 increase when combined. A 5 dB
difference (say between 60 and 65 dB)
produces a 1.2 dB increase (66.2 dB for the
same example). A 10 dB difference requires a
0.4 dB correction, and so on.

Subtraction of sound pressure level can be

made for the calculation of sound due to
specific activities or machine operation at
certain background sound pressure level,
where background noise must be subtracted
from total noise to obtain the sound produced
by a machine alone. The method used is
similar to that described in the addition of

1.10.2 Other Units of Sound Pressure

For perceived loudness (N) a unit is prescribed
as sone such that loudness is a subjective
measure of the sound pressure. It is also the
frequency based unit. At a frequency of 1kHz,
one phone is defined to be equal to 1dB of
sound pressure level LP above the nominal
threshold of hearing (20μPa = 2 * 10 -5Pa). One
sone is equivalent to 40 phons which is defined
as the loudness level N L of a 1kHz tone at
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 10

Corrected Distance (ft)

Distance 3 5 10 15 20 25 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
3 0 - 4.4 -10.5 -14.0 -16.5 -18.0 -20.0 -22.5 -24.4 -26.0 -27.4 -28.5 -29.5 -30.5
5 4.4 0 - 6.0 - 9.5 -12.0 -14.0 -15.6 -18.1 -20.0 -21.6 -22.9 -24.1 -25.1 -26.0
10 10.5 6.0 0 - 3.5 - 6.0 - 8.0 - 9.5 -12.0 -14.0 -15.6 -16.9 -18.1 -19.1 -20.0
15 14.0 9.5 3.5 0 - 2.5 - 4.4 - 6.0 - 8.5 -10.5 -12.0 -13.4 -14.5 -15.6 -16.5
20 16.5 12.0 6.0 2.5 0 - 1.9 - 3.5 - 6.0 - 8.0 - 9.5 -10.9 -12.0 -13.1 -14.0
25 18.0 14.0 8.0 4.4 1.9 0 - 1.6 - 4.1 - 6.0 - 7.6 - 8.9 -10.1 -11.1 -12.0
30 20.0 15.6 9.5 6.0 3.5 1.6 0 - 2.5 - 4.4 - 6.0 - 7.4 - 8.5 - 9.5 -10.5
40 22.5 18.1 12.0 8.5 6.0 4.1 2.5 0 - 1.9 - 3.5 - 4.9 - 6.0 - 7.0 - 8.0
50 24.4 20.0 14.0 10.5 8.0 6.0 4.4 1.9 0 - 1.6 - 2.9 - 4.1 - 5.1 - 6.0
60 26.0 21.6 15.6 12.0 9.5 7.6 6.0 3.5 1.6 0 - 1.3 - 2.5 - 3.5 - 4.4
70 27.4 22.9 16.9 13.4 10.9 8.9 7.4 4.9 2.9 1.3 0 - 1.2 - 2.2 - 3.1
80 28.5 24.1 18.1 14.5 12.0 10.1 8.5 6.0 4.1 2.5 1.2 0 - 1.0 - 1.9
90 29.5 25.1 19.1 15.6 13.1 11.1 9.5 7.0 5.1 3.5 2.2 1.0 0 - 0.9
100 30.5 26.0 20.0 16.5 14.0 12.0 10.5 8.0 6.0 4.4 3.1 1.9 0.9 0
Decibel corrections for variations in distance from source. An example: a sound source of 60 dB is measured at
50 feet; if the measurement were at 15 feet, the level would be 60 + 10.5 = 70.5 dB under ideal conditions.


Relative Response, dB

- 20 B&C

- 45

20 100 500 2000 10000

Frequency, Hz

Response characteristics of the three basic ANSI weighting characteristics (networks)

Sone 1 2 4 8 16 32 24
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 11

Phon 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Sound Presure, Loudness,
Sound Source Level, dB
(Pa) sone
reference to
Threshold of pain 100 134 ~ 676
Hearing damage during short term
20 120 ~ 250
Jet, 100m distant 6 - 200 110 - 140 ~ 125 - 1024
Jack Hammmer 1m distance /
2 100 ~ 60
Hearing damage during long term
6 * 10-1 90 ~ 32
Major road, 10m distance 2 * 10-1 - 2 * 10-1 80 – 90 ~ 16 - 32
Passenger car, 10mdistance 2 * 10-2 - 2 * 10-1 60 – 80 ~ 4 - 16
TV set at home level, 1m distance 2 * 10-2 60 ~4
Normal talking, 1m distance 2 * 10-3 - 2 * 10-2 40 - 60 ~1-4
Very calm room 2 * 10-4 - 6 * 10-4 20 – 30 ~ 0.15 - 0.4
Leaves' noise, calm breathing 6 * 10-5 10 ~ 0.02
Auditory threshold at 2kHz 2 * 10-5 0 0

Sones dBA Sones dBA

0.2 21.5 1.8 34.8
0.3 22.5 1.9 35.3
0.4 23.5 2.0 35.8
0.5 24.4 2.1 36.4
0.6 25.3 2.2 37.0
0.7 26.3 2.3 37.5
0.8 27.2 2.4 38.0
0.9 28.2 2.5 38.4
1.0 29.2 2.6 38.8
1.1 30.2 2.7 39.3
1.2 31.1 2.8 39.8
1.3 32.0 2.9 40.2
1.4 33.0 3.0 40.6
1.5 33.5 3.1 41.1
1.6 33.9 3.2 41.5
1.7 34.4 3.3 42.0
dBA = 33.22 × log (sones) + 28 with a possible accuracy of ± 2 dBA
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 12

conditions, as well as an approximate

1.11 Psycho - Acoustics
(Sound & Human Ear
Fig. 6.2: Comparison of Sound, Indoor /
Perception) Outdoor
Sound can be also defined as the pressure
variation that the human ear can detect.
The response of the human ear to sound /
noise depends on both the sound frequency
and the sound pressure level. The sounds of
a single frequency are pure tones. Most
environmental sounds consist of a large
number of frequencies. Generally, human
ears are less sensitive to low frequencies
(<250Hz) than mid frequency (500 – 1kHz).
The lowest frequency sound that can be
detected by human ear is at about 20Hz and
the highest for a young person, is up to
18kHz. With age, the ear is most receptive
to sounds between 500Hz and 4kHz of which
500Hz to 2kHz is the frequency range of
speech. The sound frequency less than 15Hz national average sound level reduction.
are not audible as they be felt as vibration Sample measurements of outdoor and indoor
only and commonly known as infrasonic, and noise levels during 24-hour periods are
is not considered damaging at levels below depicted in Figure 6.2. Despite the sound
120dB. Old listeners cannot hear the lower level reduction of buildings, indoor levels are
frequency sound greater than 15Hz and less often comparable to or higher than levels
than 20Hz. Sound characterized by measured outside. Thus, indoor levels often
frequencies in excess of 20kHz is called are influenced primarily by internal noise
ultrasound and is not considered damaging sources such as appliances, radio and
at levels below 105dB. television, heating and ventilating
equipment, and people. However, many
1.12 Relationship between outdoor noises may still annoy people in
Indoor and Outdoor their homes more than indoor noises do.
Indeed, people sometimes turn on indoor
Levels sources to mask the noise coming from
The contribution of outdoor noise to indoor outdoors.
noise levels is usually small. That pan of a
sound level within a building caused by an
outdoor source obviously depends on the Table: Typical Sound Level Reductions of
source's intensity and the sound level Buildings
reduction afforded by the building. Windows
Climates Windows Closed
Although the sound level reduction Opened
provided by different buildings differs Warm Climate 12dB 24dB
greatly, dwellings can be categorized into Cold Climate 17dB 27dB
two broad classes-- those built in warm
climates and those built in cold climates. 2. Sound Propagation
Further, the sound level reduction of a
building is largely determined by whether
its windows are open or closed. Table 6.2
 Sound travels through air in waves with
shows typical sound level reductions for
the characteristics of frequency and
these categories of buildings and window
wavelength. If a sound is created at a
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 13

point, a system of spherical waves by the degree of humidity and the

propagates from that a point outward frequency of the sound. It is of particular
through the air at certain speed. importance in a closed space, such as a
Geometric attenuation of sound has been concert hall, where the geometrical
taken place as the wave spreads; the spreading is almost eliminated. Here it
height of the wave or the intensity of becomes desirable from the musical and
sound at any given point diminishes due to speech intelligibility points of view to
the spreading amount of energy. The point introduce sound absorbing material or
source propagation of sound wave follows resonator devices at the walls or ceiling to
the inverse square law. This is applicable reduce the prolongation of a given sound,
to the sound waves emissions from aircraft i.e. to control the reverberation of the
and from a single vehicle. sound.
 When there is a continuous stream of
noise sources, line-source propagation 2.2 Meteorological
occurs. The propagation is no longer Parameters & Sound
characterized by a spherical or Propagation
hemispherical spreading of sound. The
Noise level is attenuated due to rain, mist,
reinforcement by the line of point sources
fog or snow, e.g., 0.5dB /km reduction in
makes the propagation field either a
cylindrical shaped or half-cylindrical
Warm air
2.1 Geometrical Spreading
For the geometrical spreading of sound from
a coherent source - an attenuation of 6dB
per doubling of distance for spherical
expansion from a point source, 3dB per Cool air
doubling of distance for cylindrical
expansion from an infinite line sources and
parallel loss free propagation from an Night Time [Bending of sound waves
infinite area source3. For sources of finite towards ground]
Cool air
size, there is a near field where the above is
approximately true and a far filed where the
expansion is spherical. In community noise,
however, incoherent sources are often more
important and the treatment of geometrical
spreading from incoherent sources has been
extended in recent years to cope with
Warm air
multivehicle problems, particularly road
traffic and railway noise.

 As the disturbance spreads geometrically Day time [ Bending away of sound wave]
its effect will decrease with its distance
from the sound source but the diminution
fog. The variable temperature or wind
in sound intensity will also be affected by
the damping of the sound waves by the speed gradients can result in large
transmitting medium. This effect may variations in noise levels at distances
arise in the atmosphere and is influenced greater than 100m from a noise source.
When upwind of the source or when the
A. Lara Saenz, R.W.B. Stephens, Noise Pollution, temperature decreases with height, the
Effects and Control, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, sound waves are refracted away from the
New York, Brisbane, Toronto, Singapore, 1986
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 14

ground, resulting in decreased sound  Distance Attenuation

levels. The opposite occurs when The extent of geometrical spreading of sound
downwind or when there is a temperature pressure depends on the type of source and
inversion. the existence of nearby boundaries.
Doubling of the distance gives 3dBreduction
The effects of temperature inversions are for a line source or 6dB for a point source.
negligible for short distances but may
exceed 10dB at distances over 800m.  Ground Surface Effects
Typically, meteorological attenuations Acoustically soft ground surfaces (grass,
range over ± 6dB up to a frequency at cultivated land, gravel) absorb sound energy
0.5kHz and ± 10dB above 0.5kHz. and reduce the received sound levels.
Acoustically hard surfaces (concrete, water)
2.2.1 Attenuation reflect sound waves and absorb little sound
 The sound pressure level from a non- energy. The extent of the sound attenuation
directive (diffuse) source is attenuated from acoustically soft surfaces varies with
(reduced) by geometrical spreading and frequency and the heights of the noise
environmental conditions between the source to the recipients. The attenuations
source and receptor. When sound travels range from 0 to more than 20dB per 100m.
through a medium, its intensity However, grass gives high attenuation
diminishes with distance. In idealized values at low frequencies (0.3 to 1kHz)
materials, the spreading of the wave only where noise control is usually difficult.
reduces sound pressure (signal amplitude).
Natural materials, however, all produce  Trees Attenuation
an effect, which further weakens the The little sound reduction is provided by
sound. This weakening results from thin belts of trees. A wide (>50m) and dense
scattering and absorption. Scattering is with foliage down to ground level is required
the reflection of the sound in directions for significant sound absorption. A reduction
other than its original direction of of about 0.1dB/m thickness may be achieved.
propagation. Absorption is the conversion
of the sound energy to other forms of  Topography Effect
energy. The combined effect of scattering This varies with the closeness of the sound
and absorption is called attenuation. The waves to the ground surface; all ground
amplitude change of a decaying plane attenuation may be lost across a valley.
wave can be expressed as. In this
expression Ao is the amplitude of the  Reflecting Surfaces and Noise
propagating wave at some location. The
amplitude A is the reduced amplitude
after the wave has travelled a distance Z The sound level near a hard smooth vertical
from that initial location. The  is the surface (building façade) is the result of both
attenuation coefficient. The term e is direct and reflected sound waves.
Napier's constant, which is equal to Immediately at the surface the combined
approximately 2.71828. effects give an increased sound level of 6dB,
reducing to about 3dB within about 1m of
the surface. The effect of the vertical surface
 Temperature
decreases as the measuring point is moved
away and become negligible than about 10m.
Sound speed increase with temperature in Practical attenuations from noise barriers
air. For moderate temperature differences, seldom exceed 10 to 15dB.
this increase may be taken to be roughly
0.6m/s for each degree centigrade rise.
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 15

4 the room or enclosure

Sound Field Characteristic containing the source.
 A region in space where 3. Noise Measurements &
Free field
sound may propagate free
from any form of obstruction.
 The near field of a source is For noise measurements & monitoring
the region close to a source purpose, the emphasis should be given in
where the sound pressure and selection of appropriate noise descriptors
acoustic particle velocity are after that only it becomes easiness for the
not in phase. data volume will be known.
 The sound field does not
decrease by 6 dB each time Most commonly, environmental sounds are
the distance from the source described in terms of an average level that
Near field
is increased (as it does in the has the same acoustical energy as the
far field). summation of all the time varying events,
 The near field is limited to a which is energy equivalent sound / noise
distance from the source descriptor called as equivalent sound
equal to about a wavelength pressure level (Leq). The most common
of sound or equal to three averaging period is either hour, twelve
times the largest dimension hours or twenty-four hours. The selected
of the sound source measuring instruments should generate
(whichever is the larger) the output data within ± 1dB range.
 Far field of a source begins
where the near field ends and Various computer models are used to
extends to infinity. Note that predict environmental noise levels from
the transition from near to sources (roadways, airports, etc). The
far field is gradual in the accuracy of the predicted models depends
transition region. upon the distance between the receptors
 In the far field, the direct and the source. Close to the noise source,
Far field the models are accurate to with about plus
field radiated by most
machinery sources will decay or minus 1 to 2 dB.
at the rate of 6 dB each time
the distance from the source Since the sensitivity to noise increases
is doubled. during the evening and at night because
 For line sources such as excessive noise interferes with the ability
traffic noise, the decay rate to sleep. So, twenty four hour descriptors
varies between 3 and 4dB. have been developed that incorporate
artificial noise penalties added to quiet-
 The direct field of a sound
time noise events.
source is defined as that part
of the sound field, which has  Community Noise Equivalent Level
field not suffered any reflection (CNEL): It is a measure of the exposure of
from any room surfaces or the cumulative noise exposure in a
obstacles. community, with a 5dB penalty added to
 The reverberant field of a evening (7:00pm ~ 10:00pm).
Reverbera source is the sound field
nt field radiated by a source, which  Day / Night Average Sound Pressure Level
has experienced at least one (Ldn): It measures the average day – night
reflection from a boundary of average sound pressure level with 10dB

ISO 12001
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 16

night time penalty for (20:00hrs ~  Noise zoning (area monitoring): A noise
07:00hrs). map or zoning based on collected
timeframe noise data.
3.1 Selection of Noise
 HLPP: In order to conduct HLPP, the
Descriptors audiometric tests should be undertaken
• Traffic Noise: Equivalent Sound Pressure that covers baseline audiogram,
Level (Leq); Percentile Level (L min, L90, L50, monitoring audiogram, retest audiogram,
L10, Lmax); Traffic Noise Index (TNI) & Day confirmation audiogram followed by exit
Night Average (Ldn). audiogram.

• Industrial Noise: Equivalent Sound

Pressure Level (Leq); Day Night Average
(Ldn); Sound Exposure Level (SEL) – TWA;
Maximum Sound Pressure Level (L max);
Median Sound Pressure Level (L 50);
Background Sound Pressure Level (L 90).

• Aircraft Noise: Noise Number Index (NNI)

& Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF);
Equivalent Sound Pressure Level (Leq).

• Community Noise: Equivalent Sound

Pressure Level (Leq); Percentile Level
(Lmin, L90, L50, L10, L5,Lmax); Day Night
Average (Ldn); Community Noise
Equivalent Level (CNEL).
• Shipboard Noise: Equivalent Sound
Pressure Level (Leq); Median Sound
Pressure Level (L50)
• Impulsive Noise: Maximum Sound
Pressure Level (Lmax).

3.2 Methods 3.3 Acoustic Weighting

 Grab sampling (shortterm area monitoring Networks
or spot measurement): by sound level  The human ear is not equally sensitive
meter. to sound at different frequencies.
Acoustic weighting networks are
 Full day monitoring (for industrial
electronic filtering circuits built into the
workers): Applicable for personal as well
meter to attenuate certain frequencies.
as area monitoring through dosimeter
They permit the sound level meter to
(attaching dosimeter on a worker to assess
respond more to some frequencies than
the full working day exposure to noise).
to other with a prejudice something like
The appropriate exchange rate should be
that of the human ear. The acoustical
standards have established A, B and C
 Frequency characteristic analysis: Sound weighting characteristics. These
frequency spectral analysis should be networks weight the contributions of the
applicable for specified noise source. different frequencies to the overall sound
level, so that sound pressure levels are
reduced or increased as a function of
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 17

frequency before being combined  Verification that a given worker is or is

together to give an overall level. not exposed to a noise level above the legal
 The A - weighting is most commonly limits (compliance);
used and is intended to approximate the  Prediction of the individual risk of hearing
frequency response of our hearing loss
system. It weights lower frequencies as
Note: If the objective is only compliance,
less important than mid-and higher-
more measurements are made if the exposure
frequency sounds. C - Weighting is
is around the OEL than when the exposure
common and is a nearly flat frequency
level is below or even above the OEL.
response with extreme high and low
frequencies attenuated. The main
difference among them is that very low 3.5 General Noise Inspection
frequencies are filtered quite severely by Data
the A network, moderately by the B
network and hardly at all by the C 3.5.1 General Information
network. The general information of the location are
to be collected including the height from the
3.4 Measurement Objectives ground, distance from the reference point
The type and the strategy of (road, river, walls, or other retaining
measurement will depend strongly on the structures), major noise sources, physical
objectives of the survey. observed conditions, weather condition. The
general view is enclosed in the photograph
 General too as well as in the sketch map.
 Investigating complaints
 Assessing the number of persons 3.5.2 Health Inspection Data
exposed. In addition to collect the general
 Regulation compliance. information, the health status of the
 Land use planning and environmental employee is collected as in the following
impact assessments. manner:
 Evaluation of remedial measures.
 Calibration validation of predictions.  Distance from the employee to the
 Research surveys. primary noise source(s);
 Trend monitoring.  Need for the employee to be present or in
Note: The sampling procedure, measurement close proximity to the noise field;
location, type of measurements and the  Employee exposure time pattern;
choice of equipment should be accord with  Existence of any known employee
the objective of the measurements. auditory problems (e.g., ear infections,
ringing in the ears, or trouble with
hearing after the work shift);
 OSHA Concept
 Employee's opinion of the practicality of
Different objectives can be pursed for the potential noise controls (considering
occupational survey systems. In order to machine operation), where relevant;
examine the different type of noise exposure,  Hearing protection provided and any
it is necessary to precede systematic, taking problems with its use or acceptance.
into consideration four activity related (Octave band levels and/or dBC and
factors: the principal task, job period, dBA data may aid in the evaluation of
activity location & work nature. hearing protectors.); and
 Determination of the noise emission of a  Time since the last audiometric
given machine or ensemble of machines; examination and frequency of such
 Identification, characterization and examinations.
ranking of noise sources;
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 18

3.5.3 Machine and / or Process  Employee's exposure level;

Population workers exposure brief
 Type of machine, and a brief description
of it and/or the process, including
identifying numbers, sketches, and
photographs whenever possible;
 Condition of the machine (e.g., age and
maintenance status);
 Machine operation (e.g., speed, cycle
times, parts/minute, and materials
 Apparent existing noise and/or vibration
 Source(s) and characteristics of the noise
(e.g., fan noise--discrete and broad band
components, continuous or
noncontinuous). (Octave band analyzers,
real time analyzers, and narrow band
analyzers may be useful in determining
sources of noise); and
 Practical engineering and/or
administrative controls and estimated
costs of such controls

3.5.4 Building Data

 Size and shape of the room;
 Layout of equipment, work stations and
break areas;
 Surface materials (e.g., ceiling/steel;
walls/cinderblock; floor/concrete);
 Existing acoustical treatment;
 Potential acoustical treatment;
 Noise from other sources (spill-over
noise); and
 Presence of barriers or enclosures.

3.5.5 Employer Data

 What has been done to control the noise
 Frequency and duration of employee's
(e.g., have consultants been used, is plant
noise monitored, and are controls
 Length of employment;
 Explanation of any follow-up measures
 What is planned for the future?
taken; and
 Are administrative controls utilized?
 Duration of audiometric testing
How are they enforced?

3.5.6 Hearing Loss Data

Document the following when hearing loss is
used to support a citation:

 The amount of the threshold shift and

date it was recorded;
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 19

3.5.7 Additional Information  Worker's environment

Requirement  Noise type exposure (including
identification of rare acoustic events)
 Preliminary Information  Probability exposure to intense short
For general ambient monitoring assessment duration noises
purpose the secondary information like,
major noise sources (traffic, horns, activity Noise Type
related noise, etc.), geographical position,
When conducting the noise surveys it is
general weather conditions should be
important to establish the characteristic of
the noise sources depending or in
Following completion of the initial tour, it is depending upon the environment under
advisable to obtain agreement with consideration. Prior knowledge of the
managers and employees that the conditions character of the noise being assessed is
encountered are normal/average for a day‟s
activity. This should form the basis for Information, Strategic Exposure Assessment
discussion in establishing the working
system seen during the tour and an analysis
of the working patterns; in particular, in
relation to those operators who have been
previously identified as being included as
subjects of the measurements for the noise
assessment. The information gathered can
be used for a variety of purposes such as:
 Area characteristics (noise hot or cold
 Individual noise sources and their
character identification;
 Identifying of mechanized contributions
& population persons exposure;
 Study plan formulation details
(measurements protocol);
 Assessment status (individual,
representativeness, group assessment);
 Choice of the instrumentation to be used

 Work Analysis Information

The characteristics of the different
exposures should find out to identify those
factors responsible for any variations in the
noise exposure.

 Situation of the operators (fixed post,

critical when selecting the most
mobile post inside fixed zone, no fixed
appropriate measuring instrumentation.
post, etc.);
However, noise can be characterized by the
 Nature of the tasks carried out by each following components:
worker (or group of workers), and the
 Breakdown of the assigned tasks;
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 20

 Steady-Continuous: Cotton/textile mills 3.6.2 Measurement around the

where there is little variation in Building
perceived level.
When the influence of noise from external
 Non-steady fluctuating: Wood working sources on a building is considered, the
mill (particleboard process), where the measurement positions shall be selected 1
level rises sharply when boards are to 2m apart from the façade of the building
being cut; concrete block machines. and 1.2 to 1.5 m above each floor level of
 Impulsive and impact: Drop forge, interest. In the measurements of A-
hammer mill, power press shop. weighted sound pressure level in front of
 Broadband: Constant energy content in the window of the building, the
all frequencies (e.g. bottling plant) measurement position shall be 1m from the
 Narrow band: Energy confined to window on its center line.
discrete frequency
3.6.3 Measurements inside the
 Tonal: Discrete low or high frequency
 Sudden bursts: High energy and short
duration When the A - weighted sound pressure level
is measured inside the building, the
 Infra sound: Sound at frequencies below
measurement positions shall be selected 1.2
20 Hz.
to 1.5m above the floor, and at least 1m from
 Ultra sound: Sound at frequencies above the reflecting surfaces such as walls.
20,000 Hz.
3.6.4 Measurement in Work
3.6 Selection of Measurement When the noise in a work environment such
Positions as a factory and office is measured, the
Unless otherwise specified, the measurement positions shall be selected at
measurement positions shall be selected as the approximate positions of the worker‟s
follows: ears. If the positions of the workers cannot
be specified, the measurements shall be
3.6.1 Outdoor Measurement carried out at some representative positions
on line where they move, 1.2 to 1.5m above
For the general ambient noise, select the floor.
measurement positions shall, whenever
possible, at least 3.5m from any reflecting
3.7 Instrumentation
structure such as building and 1.2 to 1.5m
above the ground. When measurements are Several sound measuring instruments
carried out on a street, measurement include noise dosimeters, sound level
positions shall be selected on the edge of meters, and octave-band analyzers. The uses
the sidewalk towards the carriageway in and limitations of each kind of instrument
the case where the sidewalk is provided, are discussed below
and on the edge of the carriageway in the
case where there is no sidewalk at a height 3.7.1 Audiometry
1.2 to 1.5m above the ground for both  Audiometric tests shall be pure tone, air
cases. If the influences of noise from conduction, hearing threshold
specific sources (e.g., factories, recreation examinations, with test frequencies
facilities, etc) are investigated, the including 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000,
measurements shall be carried out at the 6000 and 8000 Hz, and shall be taken
positions under consideration. separately for the right and left ears.
 Audiometric tests shall be performed by
an audiologist, or by an occupational
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 21

hearing conservationist certified by the  For each worker in a HLPP, a baseline

Council for Accreditation in audiogram shall be obtained prior to
Occupational Hearing Conservation employment or within 30 days of
(CAOHC) working under the supervision enrollment in the HLPP.
of an audiologist or physician.  Because the baseline audiogram is
 Audiometric tests shall be conducted intended to be the best estimate of the
with audiometers that meet the worker's hearing before any exposure to
specifications of, and are maintained potentially harmful noise, the worker shall
and used in accordance with the not be exposed to workplace noise for a
American National Standard minimum of 14 hours before the baseline
Specifications for Audiometers, ANSI audiometric test. The required quiet
S3.6-1995 [ANSI 1995]. Audiometers period shall not be substituted by the use
shall be given an annual comprehensive of hearing protectors.
calibration, a bimonthly acoustic
calibration check, and a daily functional b. Monitoring Audiogram, Retest
check whenever the audiometers are Audiogram, and Significant
used. The date of the last annual Threshold Shift
calibration shall be recorded on each
 On an annual basis, each worker's hearing
worker's audiogram.
thresholds shall be monitored by an
 Audiometric tests shall be conducted in audiometric test, which shall be conducted
a room where ambient noise levels during the worker's normal work shift. For
conform to all requirements of the the purpose of this section, the audiogram
American National Standard Institute from this test is called the monitoring
Maximum Permissible Ambient Noise audiogram.
Levels for Audiometric Test Rooms,
 At the completion of this test, the worker's
ANSI S3.1-1991 [ANSI 1991b], when
monitoring audiogram shall be examined
measured by instruments conforming to
immediately to determine whether it
the American National Standard
indicates any threshold shift (higher
Specification for Sound Level Meters,
threshold) in either ear that equals or
ANSI S1.4-1983 and S1.4A-1985, Type 1
exceeds 15 dB at 500, 1000, 2000, 3000,
[ANSI 1983; ANSI 1985] and the
4000 or 6000 Hz as evidenced by a
American National Standard
comparison of that audiogram with the
Specification for Octave-Band and
worker's baseline audiogram.
Fractional-Octave-Band Analog and
Digital Filters, ANSI S1.11-1986 [ANSI  If the monitoring audiogram indicates a
1986]. For permanent, on-site testing hearing threshold shift, a retest shall be
facilities, ambient noise levels shall be conducted immediately, following re-
checked at least annually. For mobile instruction of the worker and refitting of
testing facilities, ambient noise levels the earphones.
shall be tested daily, or each time the  If the retest audiogram shows a shift of 15
facility is moved, whichever is more dB or more at the same frequency in the
often. Ambient noise levels shall be same ear as in the monitoring audiogram,
recorded on the worker's audiogram or the worker shall be considered to have met
made otherwise accessible to the the significant threshold shift criterion for
professional reviewer of the audiograms. the purpose of this section and shall be
given a confirmation audiometric test
within 30 days. This confirmation test
shall be conducted under the same
Steps in Audiometric Analysis
conditions as in a baseline audiometric
Method test.
a. Baseline Audiogram
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 22

c. Confirmation Audiogram and Fellow measures and stores the sound levels during
- Up Action an exposure period and computes the
readout as the percent dose or TWA. With a
 If the worker's confirmation audiogram dosimeter, a microphone is attached to the
shows a shift of 15 dB or more at the same employee's clothing and the exposure
frequency in the same ear as in the measurement is simply read at the end of
previous retest audiogram, the worker's the desired time. A reader may be used to
audiograms and other appropriate records read-out the dosimeter's measurements.
shall be reviewed by an audiologist or a
physician. b. Personal Noise Monitoring
 If this review confirms that the significant
It measures noise levels in those locations
threshold shift is persistent, the
in which the employee travels from an
significant threshold shift shall be
employee‟s worn dosimeter. A sound level
recorded in the worker's medical record,
meter can also be positioned within the
and the confirmation audiogram shall be
immediate vicinity of the exposed worker to
used for the calculation of any subsequent
obtain an individual exposure estimate.
significant threshold shift in future years.
Such procedures are generally referred to
 A worker whose significant threshold shift as "personal" noise monitoring.
is of any etiology other than noise, as
determined in this review, shall be c. Area Monitoring
referred to the worker's physician. If the
probable etiology is of occupational noise Area monitoring can be used to estimate
exposure, the employer shall take noise exposure when the noise levels are
appropriate action to protect the worker relatively constant and employees are not
from additional hearing loss due to mobile. In workplaces where employees
occupational noise exposure. Examples of move about in different areas or where the
appropriate action include, but are not noise intensity tends to fluctuate over time,
limited to, re-instruction and refitting of noise exposure is generally more accurately
hearing protectors, additional training of estimated by the personal monitoring
the worker on hearing loss prevention, and approach.
reassignment of the worker to a quieter
work area. d. Specifications

d. Exit Audiogram Many dosimeters available today can

provide an output in dose or TWA using
 An exit audiogram shall be obtained for a various exchange rates (e.g., 3, 4, and 5
worker who is leaving employment or is dB), 8-hr criterion levels (e.g., 80, 84, 85,
permanently rotated out of an and 90 dBA), and sound measurement
occupational noise exposure at or above 82 ranges (e.g., 80 to 130dBA). The choice of
dBA, 8-hour TWA. The audiometric test FAST or SLOW meter response on the
shall be conducted following a minimum of dosimeter does not affect the computed
14 hours of quiet. noise dose or TWA when the 3-dB exchange
rate is used, but it will when other
3.7.2 Noise Dosimeter exchange rates are used [Earshen 1986].
a. Introduction ANSI [1996a] specifies that the microphone
be located on the midtop of the worker's
A dosimeter is like a sound level meter more exposed shoulder and that it be
except that it stores intermittent or varying oriented approximately parallel to the
sound level measurements and integrates plane of this shoulder.
these measurements over time, providing an
average noise exposure reading for a given The noise dosimeters used shall meet the
period, such as an 8-hour workday. It American National Standards Institute
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 23

(ANSI) Standard S1.25-1978, and time - intensity trade off. So, the
"Specifications for Personal Noise exchange rate is the increase or decrease in
Dosimeters," which set performance and decibels corresponding to twice (or half) the
accuracy tolerances. For OSHA use, the noise dose. This means that the sound level
dosimeter must have a 5 - dB exchange of 90 dB produces twice the noise dose that
rate, use a 90 - dBA criterion level, be set 85 dB produces (assuming that duration is
at slow response, and use either an 80 - held constant). The OSHA exchange rate is
dBA or 90 - dBA threshold gate, or a 5 dB. The exchange rate used by different
dosimeter that has both capabilities, organizations is different.
whichever is appropriate for the
evaluation.  Occupational Health and Safety
Association, OSHA exchange rate: 5dB
e. Dosimeter Calculation  US Department of Navy exchange rate:
The noise dose provided by dosimeters can
be used to calculate both the continuous  US Department of the Army and the
equivalent A-weighted sound level (L A) and Department of the Air Force exchange
the 8 - hour TWA for the time period rate: 3-dB.
sampled, using the following formulas  Instrument used by the National
Institute for Occupational Safety and
D Health (NIOSH) and the Environmental
LA  16.61 log10  90
12.5t Protection Agency (EPA), as well as most
foreign governments also use a 3-dB
exchange rate ACGIH Physical Agents
TWA  16.61 log10  90 Threshold Limit Values (TLV)
Committee recently revised its noise
TLV to also use the 3-dB exchange rate.
 The hypothetical exposure situations
LA : the continuous equivalent A- shown in table illustrate the relationship
weighted sound level in decibels for between criterion level, threshold, and
the time period sampled exchange rate and show the importance
of using a dosimeter with an 80-dBA
D : dosimeter readout in percent noise threshold to characterize an employee's
dose noise exposure. For example, an
instrument with a 90-dBA threshold will
t : the sampling time in hours
not capture any noise below that level,
TWA : the 8-hour time-weighted average in and will thus give readout of 0% even if
decibels, dBA the employee being measured is actually
being exposed to 89 dBA for 8 hours (i.e.,
f Exchange Rate to 87% of the allowable noise dose over
any 8-hour period).
The time / intensity relationship is referred
as the exchange rate. Sometimes it is also
referred as doubling rate, trading ratio,
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 24

Dosimeter Readout, In Percent of Measured Dose

Dosimeter with Dosimeter with

Exposure conditions threshold set at threshold set at
90 dBA 80 dBA

90 dBA for 8 hours 100.0% 100.0%

89 dBA for 8 hours 0.0% 87.0%
85 dBA for 8 hours 0.0% 50.0%
80 dBA for 8 hours 0.0% 25.0%
79 dBA for 8 hours 0.0% 0.0%
90 dBA for 4 hours plus 80 dBA for 4 hours 50.0% 62.5%
90 dBA for 7 hours plus 89 dBA for 1 hour 87.5% 98.4%
100 dBA for 2 hours plus 89 dBA for 6 hours 100.0% 165.3%
* Assumes 5-dB exchange rate, 90-dBA PEL, ideal threshold activation, and continuous sound
Conversion from Percent Noise Exposure or Dose To 8-Hour Time-Weighted Average Sound Level

Dose or percent TWA (dBA) Dose or percent TWA (dBA)

50 85.0 90 89.2
55 85.7 95 89.6
60 86.3 100 90.0
65 86.9 105 90.4
70 87.4 110 90.7
75 87.9 115 91.1
80 88.4 120 91.3
85 88.8 125 91.6
Assumes 5-dB exchange rate and 90-dBA PEL.
Source: 29 CFR 1910.95.
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 25

3.7.3 Sound Level Meter noise exposure over a workday. If noise

levels fluctuate, the amount of time noise
The sound level meter is the basic
remains at each of the various measured
measuring instrument for intensity of
levels must be determined.
sound at a given moment, indeed noise
exposures. It consists of a microphone, a a. Frequency Weighting Networks
frequency selective amplifier, and an
indicator. At a minimum, it measures The responses of the sound level meter are
modified with frequency - weighting
sound level in dB SPL. An integrating
networks that represent some responses of
function may be included to automate the
the human ear. The A-scale, which
calculation of the TWA or the noise dose.
approximates the ears response to
Since sound level meters provide a moderate - level sounds, is commonly used
measure of sound intensity at only one in measuring noise to evaluate its effect on
point in time, it is generally necessary to humans and has been incorporated in many
take a number of measurements at occupational noise standards.
different times during the day to estimate
Relative Response of Sound Level Meter Weighting Networks*

Meters that are set to integrate or average sound do not use either the FAST or SLOW time constant; they will sample many times each
second. For a more detailed description of exponential time weighting, refer to Yeager and March [1991].

b. Exponential Time Weighting response compared with the FAST

response. A rapidly fluctuating sound
A sound level meters response is generally generally yields higher maximum SPLs
based on either a FAST or SLOW when measured with a FAST response.
exponential averaging. FAST corresponds The choice of meter response depends on
to a 125-millisecond (ms) time constant; the type of noise being measured, the
SLOW corresponds to a 1-s time constant. intended use of the measurements, and
The meter dynamics are such that the the specifications of any applicable
meter will reach 63% of the final steady- standard. For typical occupational noise
state reading within one time constant. measurements, NIOSH recommends that
The meter indicator reflects the average the meter response on a sound level meter
SPL measured by the meter during the be set at SLOW.*
period selected. In most industrial
settings, the meter fluctuates less when c. Microphones for Sound Level
measurements are made with the SLOW Meters
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 26

The correct use of the microphone is b. For practical purposes, this procedure
extremely important in obtaining accurate should be followed for all sound level
measurements. Microphones come in measurements:
many types and sizes. A microphone is
typically designed for use in a particular  The microphone should be in the
environment across a specific range of monitored employee's hearing zone.
SPLs and frequencies. In addition, OSHA defines the hearing zone as a
microphones differ in their directionality. sphere with a two-foot diameter
For example, some are intended to be surrounding the head. Considerations
pointed directly at the sound; and others of practicality and safety will dictate
are designed to measure sound from a the actual microphone placement at
"grazing" angle of incidence. Thus users each survey location.
should follow the sound level meter  When noise levels at an employee's two
manufacturer‟s instructions regarding the ears are different, the higher level must
type and size of microphone and its be sampled for compliance
orientation toward a sound. Also, care determinations.
should be taken to avoid shielding the Note: Sound level readings in a non - reverberant
microphone by persons or objects [ANSI environment should be taken in accordance with
1996a]. When measuring a diffuse sound the manufacturer's instructions.
field, the person conducting the
measurement should hold the microphone 3.7.4 Octave Band Analyzers
as far from his or her body as practical 5. a. Introduction
d. Specifications Octave band analyzers are sound level
meters that has an octave or one - third
All sound level meters used shall meet
octave band filter attached or integrated
ANSI Standard S1.4-1971 (R1976) or
into the instruments. The assigned filters
S1.4-1983, "Specifications for Sound Level
are used to analyze the frequency content
Meters," which set performance and
of the noise. They are used to find out the
accuracy tolerances.
overall frequency content of noise in the
monitored area. Indeed they are also used
e. Purpose of Use
for the calibration of audiometers and to
a. Sound level meters are used for the determine the suitability of various types of
following purposes: noise control.

 To spot - check noise dosimeter  They also can be used to select hearing
performance; protectors because they can measure the
 To determine an employee's noise dose amount of attenuation offered by the
whenever a noise dosimeter is protectors in the octave-bands responsible
unavailable or inappropriate; for most of the sound energy in a given
 To identify and evaluate individual noise situation.
sources for abatement purposes;  Octave - band analyzers segment noise
 To aid in the determination of the into its component parts. The octave-band
feasibility of engineering controls for filter sets provide filters with the
individual noise sources for abatement following center frequencies: 31.5; 63;
purposes; and 125; 250; 500; 1,000; 2,000; 4,000; 8,000;
and 16,000 Hz.
 To evaluate hearing protectors.
 The special signature of a given noise can
be obtained by taking sound level meter
readings at each of these settings
(assuming that the noise is fairly constant
over time). The results may indicate those
Earshen 1986
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 27

octave-bands that contain the majority of diaphragm. If excessive moisture or rain is

the total radiated sound power. a problem in a given exposure situation, the
Assistant Regional Administrator (ARA) for
b. Calibration
Technical Support should be consulted.
In normal operation, calibration of the
instrument usually requires only checking. 3.8.3 Atmospheric Pressure
Prior to and immediately after taking  Both atmospheric pressure and
measurements, it is a good practice to temperature affect the output of sound
check, using a calibrator, the ability of the level calibrators; atmospheric pressure is
sound level instrument to correctly the more important of these two factors.
measure sound levels. As long as the sound When checking an acoustical calibrator,
level readout is within 0.2 dB of the known always apply the corrections for
source, it is suggested that no adjustments atmospheric pressure that are specified
to the calibration pot be made. If large in the manufacturer's instruction
fluctuations in the sound level occur (more manual.
than 1 dB) then either the calibrator or the  In general, if the altitude of the
instrument may have a problem. measurement site is less than 10,000
feet above sea level, no pressure
3.8 Instrumental Performance correction is needed. If the
(Effects of the measurement site is at an altitude
higher than 10,000 feet, or if the site is
Environment) being maintained at greater-than-
Temperature, humidity, atmospheric ambient pressure (e.g., in underwater
pressure, wind, and dust can all affect the tunnel construction), use the following
performance of noise-measuring equation to correct the instrument
instruments and their readings. Magnetic Air Pressure Correction reading:
fields can also affect the performance of  460  t 0.5 30 
instruments. Each of these factors is C  10 log ( ) ( ) 
 528 B 
discussed below.
3.8.1 Temperature
Sound - measuring equipment should C = correction, in decibels, to be added to
perform within design specifications over or subtracted from the measured
an ambient temperature range of -20°F to sound level
140°F ( - 29°C to 60°C). If the temperature
at the measurement site is outside this t = temperature in degrees Fahrenheit
range, refer to the manufacturer's
B = barometric pressure in inches of
specifications to determine if the sound
level meter or dosimeter is capable of
performing properly. Sound-measuring 3.8.4 Wind or Dust
instruments should not be stored in
automobiles during hot or cold weather Wind or dust blowing across the
because this may cause warm-up drift, microphone of the dosimeter or sound level
moisture condensation, and weakened meter produces turbulence, which may
batteries, all of which can affect instrument cause a positive error in the measurement.
performance. A windscreen should be used for all outdoor
measurements and whenever there is
3.8.2 Humidity significant air movement or dust inside a
building (e.g. when cooling fans are in use
OSHA noise instruments will perform
or wind is gusting through open windows).
accurately as long as moisture does not
condense or deposit on the microphone
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 28

3.8.5 Magnetic Fields noise, cooling fan noise, aerodynamic noise,

and intake noise, tire noise, honking horn
Certain equipment and operations, such as
noise and loose metallic parts vibration
heat sealers, induction furnaces,
noise. In general, road-contact noise
generators, transformers, electromagnets,
exceeds engine noise at speeds higher than
arc welding, and radio transmitters
60 km/h. The exhaust noise constitutes the
generate electromagnetic fields that can
predominant source for normal operation
induce current in the electronic circuitry of
below 55km per hour for automobiles.
sound level meters and noise dosimeters
Diesel trucks are 8 to 10dB noisier than
and cause erratic readings. If sound level
gasoline - powered ones. The two stoke
meters or dosimeters must be used near
motorcycles exhibit more high frequency
such devices or operations, the extent of the
spectra energy content.
field's interference should be determined by
consulting the manufacturer's instructions. 4.1.2 Railway
Railway noise depends primarily on the
4. Environmental Noise Sources speed of the train, but variations are
present depending upon the type of
One of the many by-products of our engine, wagons, and rails and their
modern, industrialized society is the noise foundations, as well as the roughness of
produced by technology, and the adverse wheels and rails. Small radius curves in
effects of excessive noise on individuals are the track, such as may occur for urban
well documented. The various trains, can lead to very high levels of high-
environmental laws, policies and frequency sound referred to as wheel
regulations deal with various types of noise squeal. Noise can be generated in stations
sources. The various sources of noise can because of running engines, whistles and
affect a community. loudspeakers, and in marshaling yards
 Transportation noise because of shunting operations. The
 Domestic noise introduction of high-speed trains has
 Industrial noise (other than motor created special noise problems with
vehicles) sudden, but not impulsive, rises in noise.
 Construction and other non-domestic At speeds greater than 250 km/h, the
noise. proportion of high-frequency sound energy
Note: It should be noted that equal values of L Aeq,T increases and the sound can be perceived
for different sources do not always imply the same as similar to that of over flying jet
expected effect. aircraft.

4.1 Transportation Noise 4.1.3 Aircraft

Transportation noise is the main source of  Aircraft operations generate substantial
environmental noise pollution, including noise near both commercial and military
road traffic, rail traffic and air traffic. As a airports. Aircraft takeoffs are known to
general rule, larger and heavier vehicles produce intense noise, including vibration
emit more noise than smaller and lighter and rattle. The landings produce
vehicles. Exceptions would include: substantial noise in long low-altitude
helicopters and 2- and 3-wheeled road flight corridors. The noise is produced by
vehicles. the landing gear and automatic power
regulation, and when reverse thrust is
4.1.1 Road Vehicles applied, all for safety reasons. The main
The noise of road vehicles (heavy vehicles, mechanism of noise generation in the
light vehicles, two wheelers, three early turbojet-powered aircraft was the
wheelers, etc) is mainly generated from the turbulence created by the jet exhaust
engine and from frictional contact between mixing with the surrounding air.
the vehicle and the ground and air. The
major types of vehicular noises are exhaust
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 29

 In general, larger and heavier aircraft the air in front of the aircraft is
produce more noise than lighter aircraft. undisturbed, and the sudden impulse at
Multi-bladed turbo-prop engines can the leading edge creates a region of
produce relatively high levels of tonal overpressure higher than atmospheric
noise. The sound pressure level from pressure. This overpressure region
aircraft is, typically, predicted from the travels outward with the speed of sound
number of aircraft, the types of airplanes, that creates a conically shaped bow wave.
their flight paths, the proportions of A tail wave is produced by the tail of the
takeoffs and landings and the aircraft and is associated with a region
atmospheric conditions. Severe noise where the pressure is lower than the
problems may arise at airports hosting atmospheric pressure due to the sideways
many helicopters or smaller aircraft used trailing of air behind the aircraft. An
for private business, flying training and aircraft in supersonic flight trails a sonic
leisure purposes. Special noise problems boom that can be heard up to 50 km on
may also arise inside airplanes because of either side of its ground track, depending
vibration. The noise emission from future upon the flight altitude and the size of
super jets is unknown. the aircraft (Warren 1972). A sonic boom
 A sonic boom consists of two types of can be heard as a loud double-boom
shock wave (discontinuities existence) in sound. At high intensity it can damage
the air, generated by an aircraft when it property.
flies at a speed slightly greater than the
local speed of sound. At supersonic speed,

combustion engines, etc. The mechanisms

Tail wave
Bow wave

Sonic boom hearing

Sonic boom hearing


of noise generation depend on the
particularly noisy operations and types of
4.2 Industrial Noise equipments [crushing, riveting, blasting
Industrial machinery and processes are (quarries and mines), shake out (foundries),
composed of various noise sources such as punch presses, drop forges, drilling, lathes,
rotors, stators, gears, fans, vibrating pneumatic equipment (jack hammers,
panels, turbulent fluid flow, impact chipping hammers, etc), tumbling barrels,
processes, electrical machines, internal plasma jets, cutting torches, sandblasting,
electric furnaces, boiler making, machine
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 30

tools for forming, dividing and metal Plastic Industries, BID Molding 97
cutting, such as punching, pressing and Nebico Biscuit, BID Grinding 100 - 104
shearing lathes, milling machines and
Balaju Yantra Shala,
grinders as well as textile machines and BID
Cutting 104
print machines, pumps and compressors,
Bottlers Nepal, BID Filling 96
drive units, hand guided machines, self
propelled working machines, in plant Nepal Feed Industries,
Grinning 90 -95
conveying systems and transport vehicles].
Him Plastic, BID Cutting 100 - 103
 Air jets: widely used , for example, for
cleaning, drying power tools and steam Eastern Textile, Birgunj Loom 102
valves can generate sound levels of Birgunj Sugar Mill,
Turbine 105
about 105dB. Birgunj

 Workers in a cigarette factory in Brazil Hulas Steel, Bara Galvanizing 94

involved in compressed air cleaning
were exposed to sound level equivalent Mechanized industry creates serious noise
to 92dB for 8 hours. problems. It is responsible for intense noise
 In the wood working industry the sound indoor as well as outdoors. This noise is due
level of saws can be as high as 106dB. to machinery of all kinds and often
 Average sound level range between 92 increases with the power of the machines.
dB and 96dB in industries such as The noise may contain predominantly low
foundries, shipyards, breweries, or high frequencies, tonal components, be
weaving factories, paper and saw mills. impulsive or have unpleasant and
The recorded peak values were between disruptive temporal sound patterns.
117dB to 136dB. Rotating and reciprocating machines
generate sound that includes tonal
 In most developing countries, industrial
components; and air-moving equipment
noise levels are higher than those in the
tends also to generate noise with a wide
developed countries.
frequency range.
Industrial Noise Level in Nepal
Ref.: Occupational Dafety & Health Project HMG /
Nepal, 2000/2001 & 2001/2002  The high sound pressure levels are
caused by components or gas flows that
Industry Activity
move at high speed (for example, fans,
steam pressure relief valves), or by
Balaju Aluminum, BID Spinning 90 - 98
operations involving mechanical
Reliable Plastic, BID Molding 99 - 112 impacts (for example, stamping,
riveting, road breaking). Machinery
Sound Pressure Levels in manufacturing should preferably be silenced at the
Industries, Singapore, 1993 source.

4.3 Domestic Noise

 Noise from domestic premises includes
mechanical devices noise (heat pumps,
ventilation system, lawn movers, and
vacuum cleaners), music and party
noise, band and drum practice, trail
bikes, revving motor vehicles,
hammering, and other non-mechanical
construction noise. When it interferes
with the enjoyment of an area by any
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 31

person living in or otherwise using it, to be higher. At a distance of 100ft from an

the noise becomes environmental harm. elementary school used by 100 students,
 Some types of indoor concerts and average and maximum noise levels of 60
discotheques can produce extremely and 75dB respectively, can be expected. At
high sound pressure levels. Associated organized events such as high school
noise problems outdoors result from football games with large crowds and public
customers arriving and leaving. address systems, the noise generation is
Outdoor concerts, fireworks and various often significantly higher. As with service
types of festivals can also produce commercial uses, the noise generation of
intense noise. The general problem of parks and school playing fields is variable.
access to festivals and leisure activity
sites often adds to road traffic noise 4.6 Discotheque Noise
problems. Severe hearing impairment
Mainly, 6discotheque noise is night
may also arise from intense sound
occurrence problem, and has arisen
produced as music in headphones or
largely through the advancing of the audio
from children‟s toys.
equipment industry. This development
has meant that large dance – hall bands of
4.4 Construction and Other live music and the accompanying size of
Activities hall are no longer necessary. The type,
size and location of the hall has changed
 Building construction and excavation
for whole musical equipment is easily
work can cause considerable noise
transportable and only three to six players
emissions. A variety of sounds come
or just a disc- jockey is required. It is
from cranes, cement mixers, welding,
evident with sound peak levels which can
hammering, boring and other work
reach 120dB(A) and halls with inadequate
processes. Construction equipment is
acoustic insulation that a local noise
often poorly silenced and maintained,
problem is created. Particularly, the
and building operations are sometimes
heavy low frequency beat will penetrate
carried out without considering the
deeply into the environment.
environmental noise consequences.
Street services such as garbage disposal
and street cleaning can also cause 5. Noise Analysis
considerable disturbance if carried out
at sensitive times of day. Ventilation 5.1 Equivalent Sound
and air conditioning plants and ducts, Pressure Level, (LAeq, T)
heat pumps, plumbing systems, and
lifts (elevators), for example, can Equivalent sound pressure level is the
compromise the internal acoustical logarithmic average steady state noise
environment and upset nearby level in a stated time period. According to
residents. the equal energy principle, the effect of
combination of noise events is related to
the combined sound energy of those
4.5 Parks & School Playing
events. So, the measure sums up the total
Fields energy over same time period. Equivalent
Noise generated by several planned parks continuous sound pressure level is gaining
and schools on the age and number of widespread acceptance as a scale for the
people utilizing the respective facility at a
given time, and the type of activities they
are engaged in school playing field Edt. Sanez, A. Lara & Stephens, R. W. B., Noise
activities tend to generate more noise than Pollution, SCOPE, John Willey & Sons, Ltd.,
those of neighbourhood parks, as the 1986
intensity of school playground usage tends
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 32

measurement of long - term noise continuous sounds such as road traffic

exposure. It has been adopted for the noise, industrial noises, ventilation
measurement of both community noise system noise, environmental noise as well
exposure and hearing damage risk, i.e. as aircraft and railway noise.
LAeq,T should be used to measure


1 a1/10 a2/10 an/10 

 10 log  10  ... 10
(Aeq,T ) 10  n (10 )


L(Aeq, T) : Equivalent A - weighted sound pressure level for total time period T.

N : Total no of readings

a1 : Sound pressure level at first time interval

5.2 Day - Night Average Sound Pressure Level, (Ldn)

Day - night average sound pressure level (DNL) is the 24 hours average sound level, in
decibels, for the period from midnight to midnight, obtained after addition of 10dB to sound
levels in the nighttime from midnight to 7am and from 10pm to midnight. The nighttime
penalty is based on the fact that many studies have shown that people are much more
disturbed by noise at nighttime than at any time (Chanlet, 1973). This desicaptor is used for
impact assessment, noise zoning as well as in criteria development.


L / 10 (L  10) / 10
L dn  10 log 10 [0.625 ( 10 d )  0.375 (10 n ]
dB (A)


Ld: Average Leq for the daytime (07.00 - 22.00hrs)

Ln: Average Leq for the nighttime (22.00 - 7.00hrs)

event under consideration is known as

5.3 Sound Exposure Level,
sound exposure level. This measure is
(SEL) applied for airport, railway and industrial
The value of A - weighted sound pressure noise measures. The sound exposure level
level of a steady state sound of one second shall be obtained from n values of A -
duration which has the same A - weighted weighted sound pressure level sampled
sound energy as that of a discrete noise
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 33

during the measurement period by following equation:

T 1 Lai/10 

SEL  10 log 10   10 
 To n  Where,

T : ∆T.n(∆T is interval of sampling in second, N= 1/n)

To : 1 second

The relationship between the A – weighted sound exposure and the A – weighted equivalent
continuous sound level, Leq,T is

Where, T is expose time interval (=8hrs)

A noise exposure level normalized to a nominal 8-hour working day may be calculated from
EA,8h by using following equation:

 Daily Personal Noise Exposure Level (L EP,d):

The daily personal noise exposure of a worker is expressed in dB(A) by using the following


T: Daily duration of a worker‟s exposure to noise (hours)

T0: 8hours

P0: 20µpa

PA: A – weighted instantaneous sound pressure in pascals to which is exposed, in air at

atmosphere pressure, a person who might or might not move from one place to another while at
work; it is determined from measurements made at the position occupied by the person‟s ears
during work, preferably in the person‟s absence, using a technique which minimizes the effect
on the sound field.

“Daily personal noise exposure of a worker LEP,d “ is the same as the term “ noise exposure
level normalised to a normal 8hr working day, LEX,8h
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 34

 Weekly average of the daily values (LEP,w): The weekly average of the daily values is found
using the following formula:

Where (LEp,d)k are the values of LEP,d for each of the m working days in the week being

If each work station "i" is exposed to a level L Aeq,Ti in dB(A) for a relative duration Di (in%),
the reconstituted noise level is:

proportion of heavy vehicles, and the

5.4 Percentile Level, (L)
nature of the road surface. Special
A widely used method of recording the problems can arise in areas where the
variations in sound pressure level is that traffic movements involve a change in
of level distribution analysis, sometimes engine speed and power, such as at
called statistical distribution analysis. traffic lights, hills, and intersecting
This yields a graph of the percentage of roads; or where topography,
the total time for which any given sound meteorological conditions and low
pressure level is exceeded. background levels are unfavorable (for
example, mountain areas). The traffic
 When the A - weighted sound pressure noise index (TNI) is based on the
level that is exceeded for x% of the weighted combination of the sound
measurement time interval, the level is levels (in dBA exceeded for 10 %, 50 %,
called as x percentile noise level. The and 90 % of the time) according to the
50-percentile level (L50) is called formula:
median and 5 - percentile (L5) and 95-
percentile level (L95) are called the
TNI  L 50  4 ( L 10 - L 90 )
upper limit and lower limit of the 90 -
percentile range respectively. L 95 This index reflects the conclusion that
represents the background sound traffic noise annoyance depends not only
pressure level whereas L 10 represents upon the average or typical sound pressure
subjective annoyance. The various level (L50) but also upon the magnitude of
measured sound pressure levels are the fluctuation (L10 - L90). However, further
arranged in the increasing order and investigation revealed that, because of the
the percentile position is calculated by practical difficulties of predicting L 90 with
using the following formula: an adequate degree of confidence, the value
(n  1) of TNI was susceptible to large errors. For
a  x% example, TNI - values decrease when the
100 traffic increases. Thus, TNI was
subsequently rejected in favor of L10 for
5.5 Traffic Noise Index traffic noise compensation regulations7,
even though its correlation with annoyance
 The sound pressure level from traffic
can be predicted from the traffic flow 7 UK
rate, the speed of the vehicles, the
Statutory Instrument, 1975
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 35

was shown to be inferior to that of TNI in Note: Four hours are missing for the
the original survey. nighttime that is arbitrarily calculated as

5.6 Noise Pollution Level,

Noise pollution level applies to any
environment, unlike those especially
concerned with aircraft and traffic.
However, it is incapable of determining
whether the noise being measured is
wanted or unwanted sound. The NPL level
is calculated by using following formula:
NNI nighttime * 3/2.
L NP  L eq  kσ

6. Noise Criteria (NC) Curves

Leq is the equivalent energy level measured  Noise Criteria Curves (NC-Curves)
in dB(A), k is a constant which is developed by ASHRAE (American
provisionally given the value 2.56, σ is the Society of Heating, refrigeration and
standard deviation of instantaneous levels Air conditioning Engineers) in 1957 are
in time. the most widely used values for gauging
indoor building noise. These are curves
which were often used in the past to
5.7 Airport Noise
assess steady industrial or community
Measurement noise. Machinery manufacturers to
Noise number index (NNI) and noise specify machinery noise levels currently
exposure forecast (NEF) are assigned for use them in some cases. The
airport noise measurement. These requirements are that the sound
parameters are calculated as follows: pressures measured at each octave
band must be below the specified NC
NNI  L  15 log N - 80
curve (within a 2dB tolerance) if they
eq. peak av. 10 are to meet the NC rating.
 Many specifications for target noise
NEF  L  10 log N - K
eq peak av. 10 levels and associated noise control
Where, N = number of aircraft generate measures are also written based on the
noise during measurement. K = 88 for Noise Criterion curves. The Noise
daytime exposure [6am to 6pm] = 76 for Criterion curves are octave band curves
nighttime exposure [10pm to 6am). with a single number rating attached to
each of them (see Figure 1). The
NNI Guidelines methodology of determining the NC
rating of a particular sound spectrum
NNI = 20  Little degree of annoyance
requires plotting the octave band
(Degree 1)
spectrum under assessment against the
NNI = 30  Little degree of annoyance NC curves and selects the lowest NC
(Degree 2) curve that has values that are higher or
equal to the ones assessed in all octave
NNI = 50  Moderate degree of annoyance bands. The NC curves provide both
(Degree 3) quantitative and qualitative analysis of
the indoor noise levels through a single
number rating. Unlike the A-weighted
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 36

sound level, the Noise Criterion the highest NC curve that has a
provides some spectral information as tangency point in any octave band with
its level is determined by the level of the sound spectrum under evaluation.

Figure no. 1
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 37

The qualitative assessment of sound using

this criterion is not optimum as there are Building Occupancy Good Acceptable
many sound spectra that match the same
Residences NC25 NC35
NC level. From Figure 2 one can see that
Appartements NC25 NC35
three completely different sound spectra
(SPL1, SPL2 and SPL3) could have the Hotel Rooms NC30 NC35
same NC level (NC40 in this case). In terms Executive Offices NC22 NC30
of qualitative assessment SPL1 is similar to Conference Rooms NC22 NC30
the sound of a constant volume HVAC Individual Offices NC30 NC35
system; SPL2 is similar to the airflow noise Open Plan Offices NC38 NC42
through a diffuser while SPL3 shows a
Corridors NC40 NC45
strong tonal character at 500 Hz. The
criteria are not a good reflection of the total Hospital Rooms NC23 NC33
amount of sound energy in the spectrum Classrooms NC23 NC30
but rather of the energy in the tangency Auditoriums NC20 NC30
band. Generally speaking is difficult to Theaters NC18 NC25
compare two sounds based solely on their Concert Halls NC15 NC22
NC levels without knowing their spectral
Recording Studios NC15 NC18
TV Studios NC18 NC26
Another short come of the Noise Criterion
is that it is defined for the octave bands
between 63 Hz and 8 kHz. This leaves un-
assessed the low frequency noise
components in 31.5 Hz and 16 Hz bands
that are usually associated with structure
borne noise and airflow turbulence noise in
ductwork systems that could induce
rattling of light fixtures, diffusers etc.

It is our experience that based on this

criterion, the threshold where the number
of complaints start to build-up is NC 42-43
for open plan offices. Whenever the noise
level in the space is above this limit, there
is a higher likelihood of complaints from
the people occupying the space. Based on
our experience and on data published by
others we found that the following NC
levels due to mechanical equipment
servicing the building, according to the type
of occupancy, provide good to acceptable
sound environments.
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 38

7. Noise Control & Abatement Measures

In most countries, land - use planning and zoning is used to avoid conflicts between noise
sensitive buildings and noise - generating installation such as airports, road networks and
industrial plants. The planning involves decision on the future use of resources. Enforcement of
regulation is being made by supervision to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. The
source is the point at which noise originates, and the path is the line in air along with the noise
waves can be considered to the receiver or the ear. The final objective in noise control being to
reduce the noise reaching the receiver can be achieved by modifications at source, along path or
even the receiver or all the three.

Noise Control Measures

Source Control Transmission Path Receiver

Priority Order: I Priority Order: II Priority Order: III

(Source modification (Alteration and (Personal protection

by design) controlling) measure)

• Impact force reduction

 Separation
• Radiating area reduction
 Absorbing material  Work schedule
• Speed & pressure reduction  Acoustic lining alteration
• Frictional resistance  Barriers and panels  Ear Protection
• Noise leakage reduction  Transmission loss
 Enclosure
• Isolation & dampen vibration
• Provide mufflers / silencers
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 39

Control technology should aim at reducing  Installation of vibration isolation for

noise to acceptable levels by action on the mechanical equipment.
work environment. Such action involves the  Limiting the hours of operation for
implementation of any measure that will specific pieces of equipment or
reduce noise being generated and / or will operations, especiallymobile sources
reduce the noise transmission through the operating through community
air or the structure of the work place. Such  Relocating noise sources to less
measures include modifications of the sensitive areas to take the advantage of
machinery, the workplace operations, and distance and shielding.
the lay out of the work room. In fact, the
 Sitting permanent facilities away from
best approach for noise hazard at its source
community areas if possible
of generation, either by direct action on the
source or by its confinement.  Taking advantage of the natural
topography as a noise buffer during
Prior to the selection and design of control
facility design
measures, noise sources must be identified,
and the produced noise must be carefully  Reducing project traffic routing
evaluated. To adequately define the noise wherever possible
problem and set a good basis for the control  Planning fight routes, timing and
strategy, the following factors hould be altitude for aircraft flying over
considered: community
 Noise type  Development of a mechanism to record
 Noise level and temporal pattern and respond to complaints
 Frequency distribution  ISO 11690, Part 1: Noise control can be
implemented using various technical
 Noise source characteristics
measures. These measures are noise
 Noise propagation pathway reduction at the source, noise reduction
 Room acoustics (reverberation) by preventing / attenuating its
Methods for prevention and control of propagation, noise reduction at specific
sources of noise emissions depend on the positions.
source and proximity of receptors. Noise
reduction options that should be considered 7.1 Source Control
include:  Source control normally is the best
 Selecting equipment with lower power method of control. The noise radiated
levels. from a machine and transmitted through
 Installation silencers for fans structure - borne connections very much
depended upon the used materials. The
 Installation of suitable mufflers on
mechanics of sound wave generation may
engine exhausts and compressors
differ in two main categories. One is the
surface motion of a vibrating solid and
 Improving the acoustical performance other is turbulence in a fluid medium.
of constructed buildings, apply sound The main aim of control at the source is
insulation. to reduce driving forces, response and
 Installation of acoustic barriers without area of vibrating surface and velocity of
gaps and with a continuous minimum fluid flow reduction. To control noise at
surface density (about 10kg/m2) in the source, it is first necessary to
order to minimize the transmission of determine the cause of the noise and
sound through the barrier. Barriers secondly to reduce it. Modification of the
should be located as close to the source noise generated often provides the best
or to the receptor location to be means of noise control.
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 40

 At the source noise can be controlled by alteration with selective demolition;

the appropriate design modification,  Replace pneumatic tools by
which can include reduction of changing manufacturing
mechanical shock between moving parts, methods, such as moulding
reduction of noise resulting from out-of- holes in concrete rather than
balance, friction between metal parts, cutting after production of
and vibration of large structures. concrete component

General Source Noise Control  Use remote control of noisy

equipment such as
Activities Control pneumatic tools
 Replacement or adjustment  Separate noisy workers in
of worn or loose parts time, but keep noisy
 Balancing of unbalanced operations in the same area,
Maintenance equipment separated from non-noisy
 Lubrication of moving parts processes
 Use of properly shaped &  Select slowest machine speed
sharpened cutting tools. appropriate for a job - also
select large, slow machines
 Replacement of steel
rather than smaller faster
Substitution sprockets in chain drives
of materials with sprockets made from
flexible polyamide plastics.  Minimise width of tools in
contact with workpiece (2
 Electric for pneumatic (e.g.
dB(A) reduction for each
hand tools)
halving of tool width)
 Stepped dies rather than
 Woodchip transport air for
single-operation dies
woodworking equipment
 Rotating shears rather than should move in the same
Substitution square shears direction as the tool
of equipments  Hydraulic rather than  Minimise protruding parts of
mechanical presses cutting tools
 Presses rather than  Mechanical ejectors for
hammers pneumatic ejectors -hot for
 Belt conveyors rather than cold working
roller conveyors.  Pressing for rolling or forging
 Modification of gear teeth, by  Welding or squeeze rivetting
replacing spur gears with for impact rivetting
helical gears – generally
 Welding for rivetting
resulting in 10 dB of noise
reduction)  Use cutting fluid in
machining processes
 Replace straight edged Process
cutters with spiral cutters  Change from impact action
change (e.g. hammering a metal bar)
Substitution (e.g. wood working machines
- 10 dB(A) reduction) to progressive pressure
of equipment
action (e.g. bending metal
parts  Replace gear drives with belt
bar with pliers as shown in,
or increase of time during
 Replace metal gears with which a force is applied)
plastic gears (beware of
 Replace circular saw blades
additional maintenance
with damped
 Replace mechanical limit
 Replace steel or solid wheels
stops with micro-switches
with pneumatic tyres.
Substitution  Electric motors for internal
Working  In building demolition,
of mechanical combustion engines or gas
method replace use of ball machine
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 41

power turbines
generation  Belts or hydraulic power
and transmissions for gear boxes
 Replace new rolling element
of worn
bearings for worn ones
moving parts
Minimizing the number of noisy machine
running at any one time
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 42

Isolation of Noise & Transmission Loss

The noise generated by a source can be
prevented from reaching a receiver by
means of an obstacle to its propagation,
conveniently located between the source
and receiver by proper isolation. The
transimission loss is defined as TL =
log10Γ, where the transmission coefficient
7.2 Transmission Path is defined as the ratio of transmitted to the
Control energy If the receiving space is outdoors in
Another step in noise reduction can be a "free" field, the noise reduction is equal to
obtained by increasing the distance the transmission loss. If the receiving space
between people and the noise source. This is indoor, the noise reduction is given by
can be achieved by planning the location of
transport facilities and, in industry, by the
careful selection of work sites. Sound
transmission can also be controlled by the
Transmission loss through a partition
use of partitions or barriers. Reverberant
depends on the type of material used and it
noise levels can be reduced by sound -
absorbing materials. varies as a function of frequency. For usual
industrial noise, the transmission loss
Control Modality: through a partition increases by about 6 dB
 Use of barrier (single walls), partial for each doubling of its weight per unit of
enclosures or full enclosure of the entire surface area. Therefore, the best sound
item of equipment isolating materials are those, which are
 Use of local enclosures for noisy compact, dense, and heavy.
components on a machine Enclosure
 Use of reactive or dissipative mufflers; The approach of enclosure is applied to
the former for low frequency noise or control the structural borne noise to the
small exhausts, the latter for high receiver. The wall of an enclosure may
frequencies or large diameter exhaust consist of several elements, each of which
outlets may be characterised by a different
 Use of lined ducts or lined plenum transmission loss. Many enclosures require
chambers for air handling system some form of ventilation.
 Reverberation control – the addition of
sound absorbing material to reverberant
spaces to reduce reflected noise fields
 Active noise control – involves
suppression, reflection or absorption of
the noise radiated by an existing sound
source by use of one or more secondary or
control system
Airborne vs Structure – Borne Noise
The solution for airborne noise is controlled
by enclosement of the source, sound If a machine is enclosed, reverberant build-
absorbing material employment or by up of the sound energy within the enclosure
increasing the sound transmission path will occur unless adequate sound
through double wall construction or absorption is provided. The effect will be
replacement of exhaust muffler. an increase of sound pressure at the inner
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 43

walls of the enclosure over that which the frequency the greater the diffraction
would result from the direct field of the and the smaller the resulting attenuation.
source. A degradation of the noise The effective barriers must be as close as
reduction expected of the enclosure is possible either to the noise source or to the
implied. receiver. They must be sufficiently high
If the sound source radiates predominantly and long to ensure that noise cannot get
high-frequency noise, then an enclosure around the ends. Sound transmission
with low resonance frequency panels is through a barrier must also be minimized.
recommended, implying a massive Typically, the barrier material requires a
enclosure. On the other hand, if the sound minimum mass per unit area of about
radiation is predominantly low frequency in 10kg/m2. It is important to ensure that no
nature then an enclosure with a high cracks or gaps are present in a noise
resonance frequency is desirable, implying barrier. The steel pile and concrete panel
a stiff but not massive enclosure.
Since the absorption coefficient of
absorbent lining is generally highest at
high frequencies, the high-frequency
components of any noise will suffer the
highest attenuation. Some improvement in
low-frequency absorption can be achieved
by using a thick layer of lining. However
the liner should, in many cases, be
protected from contamination with oil or
water, to prevent its acoustical absorption
properties from being impaired.
wall is American's standard noise wall.
 The noise control measures for roads or
highways include construction of
barriers to obstruct or dissipate sound
emissions, elevated or depressed
highways, and the absorption effects of
landscaping (trees, bushes, and shrubs).
Construction of barriers can be an
effective approach for reducing highway
noise. The important factors like
relative height of the barrier, the noise
and the effected area, and the
The enclosure walls should have a
horizontal distances between the source
transmission loss of about 20 dB, and the
and between the barrier and the noise-
most sound power reduction that can be
affected area are considered in
achieved is about 10 dB. However, noise
designing the barriers.
levels may in some cases be more greatly
reduced, especially in areas immediately  The type of materials used in
behind solid parts of the enclosure. construction of noise barriers and other
abatement measures should be an
engineering decision based on
7.2.1 Acoustic Barriers & Panels economics, effectiveness and, to a
A sound shadow is created when a barrier limited degree, visual impacts.
cuts the line of sight from a noise source to  The effects of barriers are complex
a receiver. Sound waves tend to bend functions of the difference between the
around the top and the ends of a barrier. direct and deflected noise path lengths
The extent varies with frequency, the lower and of wavelengths of the sound. The

A  10 log 10 ( 3  20 N )
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 44

approximate attenuation from a point 6 36

source by an infinitely long thin barrier Cinder block
of sufficient mass to ignore direct 6 28
(hollow core)
transmission can be determined as
Brick 4 33
Granite 4 40
A: attenuation in dB d. Composites
¾ 21 - 23
faced plywood
path dif f erence
N   Aluminum
wav elength faced particle ¾ 21 - 23
Transmission Loss Values for common Plastic lamina
¾ 21 - 23
Barrier Materials on plywood
Plastic lamina
Thickness Transmission on particle ¾ 21 - 23
(inch) loss, dB(A) board
a. Woods e. Miscellaneous
½ 17 Glass (safety 1/8 22
Fir 1 20 glass) ¼ 26
2 24 Fiber glass
1/8 20
½ 16 /resin

Pine 1 19 Polyester with

aggregate 3 20 -30
2 23 surface
½ 16 Noise barriers are non-porous, high density and
Redwood 1 19 usually non-fibrous materials, which are generally
2 23 flexible or damped. The effectiveness of noise
barriers is expressed as sound transmission class
½ 15
Cedar 1 18 Ref.: US Department of Housing and Urban
2 22 Development, 1985
½ 20
Plywood Sound Transmission Class of
1 23 STC
Particle Board ½ 20
1 lb. density barrier material 26
b. Metals
1 lb. density transparent curtain 26
1/16 23
5/8" gypsum wallboard 30
Aluminium 1/8 25
3/16" steel wall 31
¼ 27
2" fiberglass curtain with 1 lb. barrier 29
24ga 18
2" thick metal panel (solid and
Steel 20ga 22 35
16ga 15
4" thick metal panel (solid and
Lead 1/16 28 41
c. Concrete Masonry, etc. 12" thick concrete 53
4 38 3/8" plasterboard 26
Light concrete
6 39 22 gauge steel 25
Dense concrete 4 40 Solid core wood door, closed 27
Concrete block 4 32 Concrete block wall, unpainted 44
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 45

STC: Single number rating derived from fluid while at the same time restricting
decibel loss data at several frequencies. the free passage of sound. Muffling
devices might also be used where direct
7.2.2 Mufflers and Silencers access to the interior of a noise
Mufflers and silencers are acoustic filters containing enclosure is required, but
through which the fluid noise is reduced. through which no steady flow of gas is
They are either absorptive or reactive necessarily to be maintained.
mufflers. An absorptive muffler reduces  Insertion loss (IL) and transmission
the noise due to the presence of fibrous or loss (TL) are commonly used to describe
porous material present. The priority is the effectiveness of a muffling system.
given in reactive muffler where its shape The insertion loss of a muffler is
is especially designed geometry, which can defined as the reduction (dB) in sound
reflect or expand the sound wave with power transmitted through a duct
resultant destruction. compared to that transmitted with no
muffler in place. Provided that the duct
outlet remains at a fixed point in space,
the insertion loss will be equal to the
noise reduction which would be
expected at a reference point external
to the duct outlet as a result of
installing the muffler. The
transmission loss of a muffler, on the
other hand, is defined as the difference
(in decibels) between the sound power
incident at the entry to the muffler to
that transmitted by the muffler.

7.2.3 Absorbing Materials and

Acoustic Lining
The sound absorbing materials are applied
in noise-transmitted ducts, pipe chases, or
electrical channels, which can be reduced
effectively. For high frequency noise, the
Muffling devices may function in any one noise reduction in the order of 10dB/m is
or any combination of three ways: they achieved at a lining of 2.5cm thickness in
may suppress the generation of noise; they the ducts. For low frequency sound wave,
may attenuate noise already generated; the thickness of acoustic lining thickness
and they may carry or redirect noise away should be doubled.
from sensitive areas.
 The sound absorbing material like
Muffling devices based upon reflection are acoustical tile, carpets, and drapes placed
called reactive devices and those based
on ceiling, floor, or wall surfaces can
upon dissipation are called dissipative reduce the noise level in most rooms by
devices. A duct lined with sound about 5 to 10dB for high frequency
absorbing material on its walls is one form sounds, but only by 2 or 3 dB for low
of dissipative muffler. frequency sounds. The different types of
 Muffling devices are commonly used to absorbing materials are rated either by
reduce noise associated with internal their sabin absorption coefficient or by a
combustion engine exhausts, high single number noise reduction coefficient.
pressure gas or steam vents, The unit area of totally absorbent surface
compressors and fans. Conclusively, a is called a sabin.
muffling device allows the passage of
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 46

7.2.4 Absorber performance is expressed as a decimal

Absorber is used to reduce noise reflection value. A perfect absorber is rated at 1.00.
and to dissipate noise energy. The The higher the decimal value the more
absorber materials are porous fibrous and effective the absorber will be. The
sometimes covered with protective effectiveness of an absorber is expressed
membranes. Noise enters the absorber as noise reduction coefficient (NRC).
and is partly dissipated (absorbed) within 7.2.5 Damping
the material. Some is transmitted through
The damping treatment is applied to
reduce noise radiated from vibrating
Noise Reduction Coefficients
NRC8 surfaces. This treatment is sometimes
of Materials
combined with absorbers. The
Brick, unglazed 0.05
effectiveness is expressed as a loss factor
Concrete block 0.05 which is the damping / stiffness ration of a
1/8" pile carpet 0.15 material.
5/16" pile carpet and foam 0.35
Concrete floor 0.00
Plaster, smooth finish 0.05
Plywood paneling, 1/4" thick 0.10
Water surface (as in swimming
1" thick fiberglass curtain 0.70
3" thick "SONEX" wedge foam 0.86
4" thick smooth surface foam 0.89
4" thick metal panel 0.95

7.2.6 Diffusion
Diffusion treatment is applied in
industrial and commercial architectural
reduction of noise. This treatment is used

and some are reflected. Absorber

NRC: Percentage of acoustical energy absorbed calculated as
an average of laboratory test data at several frequencies.
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 47

to reflect sound waves off convexly curved commercially available hearing protectors.
or uneven surfaces for the purpose of The selected hearing protector should be
evenly distributing and blending the capable of reducing the noise exposure at
sound over a broad area. In critical the ear to below 82 dBA, 8-hour TWA.
listening area, diffusion can eliminate Hearing protectors should be used only
sharp echoes without eliminating the when engineering controls and work
sound by absorbing it. practices are not feasible for reducing
noise exposures, or during the
7.2.7 Anechoic Chamber implementation of engineering controls.
The anechoic chamber is the enclosure The best hearing protector is the one the
provided to compensate the noise danger worker will wear all of the time because it
from the sources. The walls of the is comfortable, adequate noise reduction
chamber should be massive and air tight (effective), and has minimal impact on
and provided with absorbent lining in the communication.
interior part that will reduce the Different types and models of hearing
reverberant buildup of noise within it. protectors are available for noise
Structural contact between the noise protection. Mainly the foam type HP with
source and the enclosure must be avoided, noise rating reduction, NNR 29dB,
so that the source of vibration is not premolded (NNR - 21 to 26dB), fiberglass
transmitted to the chamber walls. (NNR - 15 to 26 dB), custom (NNR - 15 to
24dB), semi aural (NNI - 19dB), earmuffs
7.3 Receiver Control (NNR - 23 to 25dB), Capmuffs (NNR - 21
Hearing protectors are the least desirable to 23dB).
option for preventive measures of noise.
However, if it is impossible to reduce noise Estimation of A - weighted TWA for
to a harmless level then some form of hearing Protectors:
hearing protecting devices (ear – plug, ear
When dBA level is known:
– muffs, helmets) is required. Most of the
hearing protection devices reduce the  When using a sound level meter set to
sound to 35dB. It should be noted that the A-weighting network: The obtained
protective ear devices do interfere with representative sample of the A -
speech communication and can also be weighted exposures is used to calculate
hazard in some situation. A correctly the employee's TWA by subtraction 7
selected hearing protector should provide dB from the NRR, and further
enough noise reduction to remove the risk deducting the remainder from the A -
of hearing damage, and at the same time weighted TWA to obtain the estimated
allow communication with the A - weighted TWA under the hearing
surroundings while ensuring the best protector.
available of comfort.
 When using area monitoring procedures
and a sound level meter set to the A -
7.3.1 Hearing Protectors weighting network: The estimation A -
weighted TWA under the hearing
The best hearing protection for any
protector for the obtained
worker is removal of hazardous noise from
representative sound level data for the
the workplace. Until that happens, the
area in question is done by subtracting
best hearing protector for a worker is the
7 dB from the NRR, and finally
one he or she will wear willingly and
deducting the remainder from the A -
consistently. The hearing protector is a
weighted sound level for that area.
device, which covers or fills the ears so
 When using a dosimeter that is not
that the sound reaching the eardrum is
capable of C - weighted measures: The
attenuated. Molded and pliable earplugs,
first step is the conversion of A-
cup - type protectors and helmets are
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 48

weighted dose to an 8 - hour TWA., discomfort due to their semi-solid

followed by deduction 7 dB from the construction.
NRR. Further the remainder value is
subtracted from the A -weighted TWA  Custom molded earplugs are made of
to obtain the estimated A -weighted soft rubber material, which is molded
TWA under the hearing protector. into the individual‟s outer ear canal.
Depending on each wearer, a high
degree of
Hearing protection devices may be broadly attenuation is
divided into three types and one special obtained.
 Expandable
 Earmuffs which cover the outer ear earplugs are
and act as an acoustic barrier considered the most comfortable. Since,
sealing it against the head. they are porous
and soft and are
 Earplugs which can be inserted into made from slow
the outer ear canal, thereby recovery closed cell
blocking the propagation of foam. They offer
airborne sound to the middle ear. high attenuation
as their
 Canal caps (semi-aural) which are
expandable nature
basically earplugs connected by
against the outer ear canal and seal it
flexible headband. Canal caps
with less pressure.
generally seal the ear canal at its
opening and they are used Earmuffs
extensively in the food industries.
Ear muffs are made from rigid cups, are
 Other special types are available mostly oval shaped, and are designed to
such as helmets with circumaural, cover the external ear completely. The
cups or muffs with communication. effectiveness of ear muffs depends mainly
Other brands are also now on the pressure exerted by the headband
available with electronic and the cushion to head sealing. The
amplification or with electronic attenuation provided by ear muffs can be
amplification or with active noise greatly reduced when the muff seal is
reducing digital circuits. displaced by the side arms of spectacles or
long hair.
Canal Caps (Semi – aural/ Banded Ear
Earplugs can be classified according to size,
shape and construction materials (custom
molded, premolded and expandable). Canal caps consist of flexible tips, made
from silicone, vinyl or foam in mushroom,
 Premolded earplugs are made of soft
hollow bullet or conical shape, attached to a
plastic / silicone
lightweight plastic headband. They are
rubber and are
easily removed and replaced. They can be
available in different
used under the chin and behind the head.
sizes. Generally,
they are available Specific Types of Hearing Protectors
with an attached
cord to prevent loss. There are a number of hearing protectors
The wearer of these types can designed for special purposes. Active noise
experience a feeling of pressure or control earmuffs have low frequency
nullification characteristics They provide
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 49

good attenuation at low frequencies (up to 7.4.2 Land Use Planning Measures
20 dB) and also serve as classical passive Another option for controlling traffic noise
earmuffs with good attenuation at high is to use administrative controls (zonning
frequencies. regulations). Residential developments can
also be planned with buffer zones between
 Advanced Earmuffs: Phones and wired- highways and residential buildings. These
up or connection through radio. buffer zones can commercial, industrial or
Additionally, they can be fitted with undeveloped areas.
acoustic frequency band-pass filters to
provide speech communication between 7.4.3 Alternatives to Noise barriers:
wearers, providing that the noise is out  Traffic management / speed Restriction:
of the speech frequency band. Traffic noise levels depend greatly on
the type of vehicles on the highway and
 Earmuffs: Reproduce music or their speeds. Trucks generate more noise
messages from external units. These than cars, especially when accelerating
muffs have a peak limiting circuit (to and decelerating. Restricting trucks
about 80 dB(A)) to avoid hazard. from certain roadways, enforcing speed
restrictions, and minimizing or
7.4 Traffic Noise Abatement synchronizing traffic signals, can thus
7.4.1 Noise Barriers minimize noise.
As fences / vegetation have minimal
 Highway Design Options: Highway
effectiveness, the most common method is
design options to minimize traffic noise
the construction of noise barriers (reflective
include building road ways as far as
or absorptive). Because noise barriers are,
possible from noise – sensitive locations,
open to the air above and around them,
depressing roadways, and avoiding steep
sound bends over just as light bends around
inclines in roadways. Steep inclines in
the obstructions – through the principle of
roadways cause more noise to be
diffraction. Diffraction limits the
generated by vehicles, especially trucks,
effectiveness of any barrier to a maximum
as they accelerate uphill and decelerate
noise reduction of 10 to 15 decibels,
downhill. A level roadway elevation
independent of the material used. Typical
avoids this extra noise generation.
reductions usually range from 5 to 10
Building highways ground level creates
decibels. Refelective barrieras can diminish
natural barriers between the highways
more reduction capabilities when barriers
and any noise sensitive locations.
are on both sides of highway and are spaced
closer than 100ft apart.  Building Insulation: Sound insulation in
buildings, in the form of replacing
windows and doors, providing central
ventilation systems, and adding
insulation to attics (top floors), are only
considered for public buildings and
nonprofits institutional structures on a
case by case basis.

7.5 Response of Noise

Pollution Control in Nepal
through Legislation, Plan &
In Nepal, there are no specific policies,
legislation or guidelines related to noise
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 50

pollution control. However, the need for recognized as national issue. Environment
policies, plan and legislation of noise was regarded as an integral part of
pollution was clearly spelled out in Nepal development in the Seventh Five - Year
Environmental Policies and Action Plan Plan (1985 - 1990).
(NEPAP) in 1993. NEPAP was based on
7.5.1 Related Legislation
Agenda - 21 that has addressed most of
• The Environmental Protection Act,
the principles relevant to the country. It
refers to the declaration of principles by 1997: Environmental Protection Act, 1997
United Nations Conference on and Environmental Protection Rules, 1997
Environment and Development (UNCED) have made provision dealing with Initial
held in Rio de Janeiro (June, 1992). Environmental Examination (IEE),
Principles like 11, 13, and 17 of Agenda - Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA),
21 followed by the NEPAP are relevant to Prevention and Control of Pollution and
noise pollution control, which states that: Protection of National Heritage and
"Nation shall enact effective Environmental Protection Area.
environmental laws and developmental
law regarding liability and compensation Section (7) - 1 of the Act refers to
for the victims of pollution and other "Prevention and Control of Pollution"
environmental damage. Nation shall which states; "Nobody shall create
undertake the environmental assessment, pollution or allow pollution to be caused in
as a national instrument for proposed such a manner which is likely to have
activities that are likely to have a significant adverse impact on the
significant adverse impact on the environment or likely to be hazardous to
environment." human life and health, or shall not emits
sound, heat radioactive rays, wastes from
Eighth Five Year Plan (1992 - 1997) has any mechanical devices, industrial
strongly emphasized on the importance of enterprises or any other places contrary to
EIA in developmental sector for the prescribed standard." Subsection (2-3)
investigating development - related of the section (7) of the Act has given full
pollution and to adopt proper technology to authority to the concerned agency to
minimize such pollution. Subsequently, the immediately penalize or prohibit activities
Environmental Protection Act, EPA (1997) violating to section (7) - 1. The chapter (3)
and Environmental Protection Rules, EPR of the Act has provided various provisions
(1997) were enacted. Similarly, Ninth Five under rules (15 - 20) for prevention and
Year Plan (1997 - 2002) has laid more control of pollution. Rule - 15 refers to
emphasis on Pollution Prevention Strategy. prohibition of emitting waste states that
In the current Tenth Five Year Plan (2002 - "A person shall not emit or cause the
2007), it spells out about the long term emission of noise, heat, radioactive
goals for pollution control in a sustainable material and wastes from any mechanical
manner as well as envisages the means, industrial establishment or any
visualization of legal and fiscal mechanisms other place in contravention of the
for controlling industrial pollution and standard prescribed by the Ministry
deliberates focuses on research on through notification published in the
environmental friendly technologies. The Gazette." Rule - 16 has enforced the
working policies adopted in the Tenth Year industries like chemical, food processing,
Five Year Plan has clearly spelled out textile etc listed in Annex - 7 of the Act to
about air, water and sound pollution install equipment to reduce the pollution
standards determination and programs of under prescribed standard and to take
implementation giving emphasis to an provisional or permanent certificate from
effective monitoring system. It was for the the concerned body (MoPE / MoEST). Rule
first time in the sixth five - year plan (1980 (17 - 20) has given provision of lodging
- 1985) that environment problem was complained against pollution and
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 51

empowered the concerned body to issue determine whether or not the vehicle is
notice to control pollution and to carry out road worthy. Section 17 (l) enforces the
sanitation and cleanliness activities. vehicle owner to examine the vehicle
under the measures prescribed in section
• The Labor Act, 1991: The Labor Act, 23, before registration and for taking
1991 that is administrated by the owner roadworthiness certificate.
Ministry of Labor, is the main regulation Section 118 of the Act mandates the
that regulates the working environment. traffic police department to put
Chapter 5 of the Act deals with restriction to drive any vehicle at any
occupational health and safety. Section 27 public place for public security and
of chapter 5 requires the management to welfare of the common people. Under
make certain arrangements such as this Act, Traffic Police Department has
reduction of noise pollution that would recently (2003) declared Horn
adversely affect the health of workers. Restriction Zone from Shaidgate to
Section 26 and 29 require for management Jamal in Kathmandu City. For violation
to provide protective clothing or devices to of this law, under the section 164 of the
workers handling excessive noise Act, traffic police can impose fine
producing equipment. immediately from Rs 25 to Rs 200.

• Industrial Enterprises Act, 1992: • Local Self Governance Act, 1999:

As provided in industrial policy, these Section 28(h) of chapter 4; part 2 of this
act mandates to take license for the Act empowers the Village Development
industries listed in the Annex - 2 of the Committee to take executive decision and
Act if it causes significantly adverse direction to make various programs
effect on defense, public health and related to environmental protection.
environment. Section 11 clearly provides Similar empowerments are given to
that licenses or registration certificates District Development Committees and
shall contain provision regarding Municipalities in section 189(g) and
concession, exception, facilities that will section 96(c) of chapter 1, part 3
be given to enterprise and prescribed respectively. Section 70 (h) of this chapter
condition to be fulfilled by them. Section 8 of this Act clearly mandated the Village
13 mandates the Industrial Promotion Development Committee to punish any
Board established under the Act, Section person that carry out such activity as to
12 to direct the industries to make disturb peace in the neighboring place or
arrangements for controlling society by way of installing or through any
environment pollution. Section 15 (k) equipment or means of entertainment. A
provides permission to grant up to 50% similar mandate is also given to
of taxable income for the investment of Municipality under section 165(g).
an industry on process or equipment
with the objective of controlling pollution • The Town Development Act, 1999:
or environment. Section 25 (l) empowers Clause 9 of this Act empowers the Town
Nepal government to punish any person Development Committee to regulate,
for establishing any industry without control or to prohibit any act or activity
complying the condition mentioned in that has an adverse effect on public
the license or certificate of registration. health or aesthetic of the town, or in any
way pollutes the environment. It contains
• Motor Vehicle and penalty provision in the form of fines for
Transportation Management Act, the violation of the Act.
1993: Section 23 of the Act empowers
the Government of Nepal to fix
necessary standard to examine pollution
that vehicle may cause and also to
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 52

• National 9Transport

Management Plan and Policy

of Government, Long Term
Vision (Interim Plan
(2007/08-2009/10)): The long
term vision is to make the transport
system safe, affordable, organized,
non-polluting and service-oriented,
through qualitative increase in
vehicle and transport services,
thereby making a contribution
towards the overall development
and prosperity of the country.

Transport Management System of Nepal, Yuba Raj
Pandey, Ministry of Labour and Transport
Management, Kathmandu, Nepal February 2009
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 53

8. Health Effects of Noise

The health significance of noise pollution
specific effects are noise induced hearing
loss, sensory effects, speech intelligibility
effect, sleep disturbance effect,
psychophisiological effects, mental health
illness, performance effects and effects on
residential behavior and annoyance.

Sleep / clinical

- Sleep apnoea
- Chronic Insomnia
Effects on Health

 Short Term
- Increased risk of accidents
Symptoms or Indicators of - Blood Pressure
disturbed sleep "Sleep - Stress of hormones

- Don't be able to fall  Medium term

asleep - Cardiovascular
- Successive awakenings - Cognitive performance
- No –resting sleep  Long Term
- Mental
- Cardiovascular
Time - Immune system


- Environment
- Psychological
- Life style
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 54

increases the impedance of the middle ear

8.1 Human Ear
resulting in an attenuated input of sound
8.1.1 Hearing and Mechanism of energy through cochlea.
Hearing Loss
Sound first enters the ear through the
8.1.3 Cochlear Mechanism
outer canal (external auditory meatus or
The sensory cells (having hair like
ear canal). The sound then falls on
projection - stereocilia) of the corti convert
eardrum (tympanic membrane). The
the pressure wave into ionic and electric
eardrum vibrates under the influence of
events, which constitute a nerve impulse.
the incident sound wave. These waves
The inner hair cells serves as the pre-
then connected through a series of bones
synaptic sensory receptors and the outer
(ossicles) that reduces the amplitude and
ones are believed to serve as an
increase the force upon inner round
amplification system due to their
windows. This transmits the waves to
contractile properties. The more hair cells
liquid borne pressure waves within the
are being activated when the sound
circular canal (cochlea). The pressure
intensity increases. There is an initiation
fluctuations within the liquid in the
of action potentials in the sensory nerve
cochlea excite small nerve cells (hair
endings when the stereocilia of the inner
cells). Each of these hair cells has its own
hair cells are bent. Finally, the brain
individual nerves and they are connected
interprets the impulses from the place of
together into the auditory nerves, which
then go off to the brain center.
8.1.2 Outer and Middle Ear
The outer ear collects sound waves
through the auricle (pinna) and the
external acoustic meatus that ends with
the tympanic membrane (eardrum). The
aural reflex is more responsive to
broadband sounds than to pure tones and
more responsive to lower frequencies than
to higher, and is most readily activated
and maintained by intermittent, intense

maximal stimulation of the organ of corti

as a particular pitch of sound.
8.1.4 Degrees of Hair Cell Injuries
The outer and middle ear is rarely
damaged by noise but there exists the
pulses. The middle ear muscle contraction possibility of rupturing of eardrum
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 55

through explosive noise. The neural Ultimately, there is absence of nerve

damage involves the injury to the hair fibers and corti organ in the stage of total
cells that results of hearing loss. The degeneration.
excessive shearing forces mechanically
damage the hair cells. The intense noise
stimulation forces the hair cells into high
metabolic activity, which overdrives them
to the point of metabolic failure and
consequent cell death. Once destroyed,
hair cells are not capable of regeneration.
The hair cells may be partially, severely
injured or totally degenerate at the
number of degrees of sound exposure. The
partial injury in corti is observed through
the distortion of pillar cells, swelling of
supporting cells and absence of hair cells.
In severely injury case, there is collapse of
corti, absence of hair cells and the
accessory cells swollen and distorted.
frequency range (3000 - 6000Hz). It is
8.2 Noise - Induced Hearing expected that environmental and leisure
time noise with a LAeq, 24h of 70 dB or
below will not cause hearing impairment
Hearing disability may be assessed in in majority of community people even
terms of difficulty in understanding after a lifetime exposure. But for shooting
acoustic signals and speech. From a noise with LAeq, 24h levels greater than
hearing-deficit point of view, noise is 80dB, there may be an increased risk for
primarily described in terms of equivalent noise-induced hearing impairment.
continuous sound pressure level over
 Noise-Induced Temporary Threshold
certain averaged period. It is generally
Shift (NITTS) is a reversible
believed that the damage of risk is
phenomenon in audiometric threshold
negligible at noise exposure levels of less
when a person entering a very noisy area
than 75dB(A) (LAeq, 8h). The available
may experience a measurable loss in
evidence indicates that the risk increases
hearing sensitivity. This may recover
when impulsive sound pressure reaches
some time after returning to a quiet
130 - 150dB (peak level) or when their
environment. But this may depend on the
noise emission level exceeds 115dB. The
severity of the hearing shift, individual
addition of impulsive noise on a steady
susceptibility and type of exposure.
noise may increase the risk for damage at
80 - 110dB (LAeq, 8h) and 100 - 130dB peak.  Noise - Induced Permanent
The noise-induced hearing loss Threshold Shift (NIPTS) is recognized
accompanied through hearing when the recovery from NIITS is not
impairment, temporary threshold shift complete before the next exposure; there
and permanent threshold shift. is a possibility that some of the loss will
become permanent. NIPTS usually
 Hearing impairment is typically
involves a maximum loss at around the
defined as an increase in the threshold of
frequency of 4000Hz. The first stages of
hearing. Hearing sensitivity diminishes
noise-induced hearing loss are often not
with age, a condition is known as
recognized because they do not impair
presbyacusis. Hearing deficits may be
speech communication ability in quiet. As
accompanied by tinnitus (ringing in the
the loss becomes more pronounced, there
ears). Noise - induced hearing
arise the difficulty in speech reception
impairment occurs in the higher
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 56

may be encountered, particularly in the

noisy environment. Hearing of important
sounds other than speech (door bells,
telephones, or electronic signals) may also
be impaired. With further advancement,
speech communication may be severely
 Acoustic Trauma is a permanent
hearing loss that results from very brief
exposure to a very loud noise. In this
case, the outer and middle ear rarely
damaged by intense noise. The explosive
sounds can rupture the tympanic
membrane or dislocate the ossicular
 Presbyacusis is the condition of hearing
loss especially ascribed to aging effects.
The greatest hearing loss takes place in
higher frequency. Study shows that this
phenomenon is more pronounced in man
8.3 Sensory Effects
rather than women for medium to high Physical ear discomfort of noise exposure
frequency sounds. The presbycusis curves starts from sound pressure level 80 -
for women and men show the average 100dB and up. Persons with some ear or
threshold shift for pure tones as a sensorineual hearing disorders and
function of age10. hearing - aid users may experience aural
pain on exposure at even lower levels.
Tinnitus and loudness conscription are
common sensory effects accompanying
temporary or permanent hearing
impairment. Both trends may be
experienced as the result of exposure to
very loud noise.
 Aural Pain: In abnormal hearing
(inflammation), pain may be caused in
the eardrum or middle ear by sound
pressure level of about 80 - 90dB. The
threshold of pain for sound exposures in
normal hearing persons is in the region of
the sound pressure level of 110 - 130 dB.
The threshold for physical discomfort
called loudness discomfort level (LDL) or
uncomfortable loudness level (ULL) is in
the region of 80 - 100dB SPL. In many
cases of sensorineual hearing disorders
(Meniere’s disease), dysacusis symptoms
Presbycusis curves for women and men (lowering of the threshold of aural
discomfort and pain) may appear.
 Some forms of Tinnitus are produced due
10 to the blood flow through the ear
ASA Subcommittee Z24-X-2, "The Relations of
Hearing Loss to Noise Exposure," New York, 1954, structures. Certain sensorineural
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 57

disorders, and most frequently noise - as the noise levels increase, people tend
induced hearing losses, are accompanied to raise their voices to overcome the
by abnormal loudness perception masking effect. At a distance of 1m from
(loudness recruitment). the speaker, relaxed conversation occurs
at a voice level of approximately 54 -
8.4 Interference with Speech 56dB(A) and normal and raised voices at
levels of approximately 60 and 66dB(A).
The speech level should exceed the noise
Noise interference with speech bias level by 15 to 18dB(A) for 100% sentence
results in a great proportion of person intelligibility. When the speech level is
disabilities and handicaps such as equal to noise level, intelligibility falls to
problems with concentration, fatigue, 95%.
uncertainty and lack of self-confidence,
 So, for normal conversation at about 1m
irritation, misunderstandings, and
distances, the background noise should
decreased work capacity, problems in
not exceed 70dB(A). Shouted
human relations, and number of reactions
conversations at the same distance are
to stress. The higher the level of the
possible up to about 85dB(A). To permit
masking noise and more energy it
normal conversation at distances of about
contains at speech frequencies, the greater
5 meters would require a background
will be the percentage of speech sounds
noise level below 50dB(A). Satisfactory
that are undetectable to the listener.
telephone conversations need background
Many noises that are not enough intense
levels less than about 80dB(A). The
to cause hearing impairment can interfere
estimated sentence intelligibility, at
with speech communication. The
speaker-listener distances greater than
interference effect is a complicated
1m in the reverberant conditions found in
function of the distance between the
a typical living room. For 100% sentence
speaker and listener and the frequency
intelligibility, it is desirable for indoor
components of the spoken phonemes.
listening conditions, a background noise
 During relaxed conversation, the speech level of less than 45dB(A).
level is approximately 55dB(A) and that


Communication Impossible

Noise, dB(A)

Max. Vocal Effort

Communication Difficult

Communication Possible Shout

Expected Voice Level


3 6 9

Talker to Listener Distance, m

Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 58

Effects of Noise on People (Residence Land Use Only)

Speech Interference

Hearing Annoyance
Indoor Outdoor b Average
Day- Communit
Night Distance in y Reaction
Average meter for % of
% Sentence
Sound Qualitative 95% Population General Community
Level Description Sentence Highly Attitude Towards Area
y c
Intelligibilit Annoyed

Noise is likely to be the

may begin most important of all
to occur adverse aspects of the
75 98 0.5 37 very severe
community environment

Noise is one oft he most

will not likely important adverse
to occur aspects of the community
70 99 0.9 25 severe

Noise is one of the

will not important adverse
occur aspects of the community
65 100 1.5 15 significant

Noise may be considered

will not
an adverse aspect of the
occur moderate
60 100 2.0 9 community environment.
to slight

Noise is considered no
will not more important than
occur various other
55 100 3.5 4.0
environmental factors.

Notes: Research implicates noise as a factor producing stress-related health effects such as heart diseases,
high blood pressure and stroke, ulcers and other digestive disorders. The relationships between noise
and these effects, however, have not as yet been quantified.

a. Speech interference data are drawn from other US Environmental Protection agencies studies.
b. Depends on attitudes and other factors.
c. The percentage of people reporting annoyance to lesser extent is high in each case. An unknown small
percentage of people will report being highly annoyed even in the quietest surroundings. One reason is
the difficulty all people have in integrating annoyance over a very long time.
d. Attitudes or other non-acoustic factor can modify this. Noise at low levels can still be important problem,
particularly when it intrudes into a quiet environment.

Federal Interagency Committee on Urban Noise, 1980, p. D-2
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 59

sensitive as well as non - sensitive

8.5 Sleep Disturbance adults at sound pressure levels of 50
and 60dB(A, max) road traffic noise. A
reduction in the time need to fall asleep
If the equivalent continuous sound was found among children who slept in
pressure level during the sleeping period a more quiet room and among adults
exceed 30 - 50dB(A), Leq indoors, the who slept with closed windows as
negative effects on rapid eye movement compared to sleeping with open
sleep occurs. For isolated exposures as low windows.
as 45dB(A, max), awakenings, changes of  In young and middle aged persons,
sleep depth have been shown. Exposure to awakening reactions start occurring
noise cans disturbances of sleep in terms from at least 50 - 55dB(A, max) indoors,
of difficulty to fall asleep, alteration of probably at low levels (12.7% awakened
sleep pattern or depth, and awakenings. at 47dBA, max of road traffic noise).
The other primary physiological effects Among one third of the exposed persons
that can be induced by noise during sleep (30.6% at 60dBA, max) about 10% of
are vegetative reactions (increased blood the noise events would produce a wake
pressure and heart beating rate, finger up at 65dB(A, max),
pulse amplitude, vascoconstriction, and  Body movements have been registered
change in respiration and cardiac as an objective indication of
arrhythmia as well as body movement). disturbances of noise during sleep.
Exposure to nighttime noise can also Large body movements have been found
induce secondary effects or aftereffects, to be associated with the number of
that is, effects can be measured in the awakenings or sleep-stage shifts and
morning or the day after exposure. They sleep depth. The probability of noise-
include perceived sleep quality, increased induced body movements increased
fatigue, decreased mood, and decreased with increasing maximum sound
performance. pressure level in the same manner as
 The time required to fall asleep is the probability of awakening reactions.
considered as an important aspect of There was a threefold increase in body
noise - induced sleep disturbances. A movements at 45, 50 and 60dB(A, max)
longer time to fall asleep was found in noise levels at 16 events per night, and
slightly lower increase at 64 events per
 Physiological reactions (effects on heart
rate, finger pulse and respiration rate)
have been observed during the exposure
to noise levels exceeding 40dB(A, max)
while sleeping. The heart beat rate
response (difference between
acceleratory and deceleratory phases)
during sleep to a single noise event can
be 20 to 30 beats.

8.6 Psycho Physiological

It has been postulated that noise acts as a
general stressor and as such may activate
physiological systems leading to changes
such as increases in blood pressure and
heart rate and vasoconstriction. Many
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 60

studies indicated that workers exposed to 8.9 Effects on Residential

high levels of industrial noise for 5 to 30
year duration have significantly increased
Behavior and Annoyance
blood pressure compared to workers in Community reaction to noise may involve
control areas. There has been a tendency considerably more than just annoyance.
for blood pressure to be higher among People may feel a variety of negative
persons living in airport vicinity and on emotions when exposed to community noise
streets with higher levels of traffic noise. and may report anger, disappointment,
dissatisfaction, withdrawal, helplessness,
 Noise induced stress may increase the
depression, anxiety, distraction, agitation
excretion of magnesium which may
or exhaustion. Annoyance is a feeling of
cause negative magnesium balance that
displeasure associated with any agent or
may produce progressive
condition known or believed by an
vasoconstriction, vasospasm and
individual or a group to be adversely
ischemia which may lead to
affecting them.
hypertension and coronary heart
disease.  Annoyance generally increases with
sound pressure level; it has been found
 The overall evidence for the effects of
that communities vary considerably in
noise on cardiovascular functioning is
their reaction to the same sound level.
suggestive of weak to moderate effects of
Differences between reactions in
community noise on blood pressure.
different cities may be as great as the
equivalent of a 15dB difference.
8.7 Mental Health effects Annoyance is generally related to the
Exposure to high levels of occupational direct effects of noise on various
noise has been associated with development activities, such as interference with
of neurosis and irritability. Actually, noise conversation, mental concentration, rest,
might accelerate and intensify the or recreation.
development of latent mental disorders.  Sound environments produce a number
The criteria have been classified for mental of social and behavioral effects on
health such as indices based on treatment residential behavior and annoyance
data, psychiatric signs and symptoms, including: overt everyday behavior
indicators of mood, well-being, satisfaction, patterns (opening windows, using
indices of functional effectiveness and role balconies, TV and radio use, writing
performance, and indices derived from petitions, complaining to authorities),
notions of positive mental health. Anxiety, human performance on specific test
emotional stress, nervous complaints, tasks (school achievement, vigilance,
nausea, headaches, instability, choice-reaction time, short-term memory,
argumentativeness, sexual impotency, air traffic control), social behavior
changes in general mood and anxiety, and (aggression, unfriendliness, engagement
social conflicts, more general psychiatric and participation), social indicators
problems like neurosis, psychosis and (residential mobility, hospital
hysteria are the noise induced mental admissions, drug consumption, accident
health symptoms. rates), changes in mood (less happy,
more depressed mood, etc.)
8.8 Performance Effects
Acute noise exposure appears to disrupt
tasks. The chronic noise exposure impacts
reading acquisition in children. Various
findings showed that impaired reading and
word list performance, and long term recall
of a text in children was found in nearby
uncontrolled airport side schools.
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 61

The relationship between stress and strain with special regard to moderate variables

9.1 ISO 1999-1990

9. Criteria for Continuous and
The ISO 1999-1990 standard provides a
Intermittent Noise complete description of NIPTS for various
exposure levels and exposure times. The 85
The statement in the occupational exposure
dB(A) limit for 8 hours is recommended by the
limit that the proposed OEL (85 dB(A)) will
ACGIH and has found acceptance in most
protect the median of the population against a
countries. Because some countries still use 90
noise-induced permanent threshold shift
dB(A) or both for different steps of action and
(NIPTS) after 40 years of occupational
indeed the early OEL was at 90 dB(A), a short
exposure exceeding 2 dB for the average of 0.5,
review of the ACGIH recommending an A-
1, 2, and 3 kHz comes from ISO-1999-1990.
weighted 8-hour equivalent level of 85 dB(A) is
Today, A-weighted sound levels are in general
in order.
use in hearing damage risk criteria.
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 62

 85 dB(A) vs. 90 dB(A): Permanent noise- 3.The impairment then should be

induced hearing loss is related to the sound calculated by multiplying the percentage
pressure level and frequency distribution of of the better ear by five, adding this
the noise, the time pattern and duration of figure to the percentage from the poorer
exposure, and individual susceptibility. The ear, and dividing the total by six.”
zero settings on the audiometer are based on
response levels derived from the testing of  3 dB(A) vs. 5 dB(A): If hearing damage is
large groups of young people. There is proportional to the acoustic energy received
general agreement that progression in by the ear, then an exposure to a particular
hearing loss at frequencies of 500, 1000, noise level for one hour will result in the
2000, and 3000 Hz eventually will result in same damage as an exposure for two hours
impaired hearing, i.e., inability to hear and to a noise level which is 3 dB lower than the
understand speech. original level. This is referred to the 3 dB(A)
trading rule and is generally accepted in
a. NIOSH, 1972 Criteria for a Recommended many parts of the world. However, 4 dB(A)
Standard–Occupational Exposure to Noise and 5 dB(A) rules exist in the USA.
(National Institute of Occupational Safety Inclusion of 3000 Hz would dictate reducing
and Health 1972) - Workers exposed for the 5 dB(A) trading relation to a lower
more than 30 years to 85 dB(A) number. In some cases, this number might
even be slightly lower than 3 dB(A). In
b. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency summary, the equal energy rule (3 dB(A)
(EPA 1974) - an 8-hour level of 75 dB(A) rule) appears to be a better predictor of noise
was established as the level that would hazard for most practical conditions and is
protect "public health and welfare with an strongly recommended by the TLV
adequate margin of safety. Committee.
c. AAOO (American Academy of
9.2 Criteria for Impulse Noise
Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology), 1979
- TLV includes 3000 Hz. Using ISO-1999, Impacts or impulses referred to discrete noise
the median amount of NIPTS after 40 of short duration, less than 500 ms, where the
years of exposure to 90 dB(A) is 2 dB for SPL rises and decays very rapidly. For
the average of 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz. assessing impulse/impact noise was to allow
The same 40-year exposure at 85 dB(A) for 100 impulses or impacts per day at 140 dB(A),
the average of 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 or 1000 per day at 130 dB(A), or 10,000 per
also is 2 dB. Thus, everything else being day at 120 dB(A).
equal, inclusion of 3000 Hz will drop the 8-
hour criterion level from 90 dB(A) to 85 9.2.1 Control of noise exposure in
dB(A). The criterion are as follows: workplaces. (Policy and
guidance documents of the
1.The average of the hearing threshold International Labour
levels at 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 Hz Organization (ILO)):
should be calculated for each ear.
General Conference of the International
2.The percentage of impairment for each Labour Organization in 1977, provides that, as
ear should be calculated by multiplying far as possible, the working environment shall
by 1.5 percent the amount by which the be kept free from any hazard due to air
average hearing threshold level exceeds pollution, noise or vibration. Neither
25 dB(A). The impairment should be Convention No. 148 nor the accompanying
calculated up to 100 percent reached at Recommendation No. 156 concerning the
92 dB(A). Protection of Workers against Occupational
Hazards in the Working Environment Due to
Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration, also
adopted in 1977, specify exposure limits for
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 63

noise at the workplace. As of June,1997, 39 control measures are insufficient to reduce

countries have ratified the Convention No. 148 daily exposure to 85 dB(A), should be
of which 36 have accepted its obligation in mandatory when exposure level is over 90
respect of noise. The ratification of a dB(A).
Convention by an ILO member State involves
the obligation to apply, in law and in practice, 9. Employers should conduct audiometric
its provisions. In the light of knowledge at the testing of workers exposed to more than 85
time of publication, a warning limit value of 85 dB(A) at least every three years, test
dB(A) and a danger limit value of 90 dB(A) are results should be preserved in the
recommended. employee„s file.

9.2.2 Occupational Exposure Levels 9.2.3 Occupational Exposure Levels

reported and recommended by recommended by NIOSH
I-INCE In 1972, NIOSH published Criteria for a
In 1997 the final report on “Technical Recommended Standard: Occupational
Assessment of Upper Limits on Noise in the Exposure to Noise, which provided the basis
Workplace“ had been approved and published for a recommended standard to reduce the risk
by the International Institute of Noise Control of developing permanent hearing loss as a
Engineering (I- result of occupational noise exposure (NIOSH
1972). NIOSH has now evaluated the latest
INCE). It comprises the results of a Working scientific information and is revising some of
Party started in 1992 to “review current its previous recommendations (NIOSH
knowledge. 1998),as it is summarized in the foreword of
the new document.
1. Limit of 85 dB(A) for 8 hour workshift for
jurisdiction desirable as soon as possible.  NIOSH recommended exposure limit
(REL) of 85 dBA for occupational noise
2. Maximum sound pressure level as limit of exposure.
140 dB for C-weighted peak..
 The excess risk of developing
3. Exchange rate of 3 dB per doubling or occupational noise-induced hearing
halving of exposure time. loss (NIHL) for a 40-year lifetime
exposure at the 85 dBA REL is 8%,
4. Efforts to reduce levels to the lowest which is considerably lower than the
economically and technologically reasonable 25% excess risk at the 90 dBA
values. permissible exposure limit currently
enforced by the Occupational Safety
5. In the design stage consideration to sound
and Health Administration (OSHA)
and vibration isolation between noisier and
and the Mine Safety and Health
quieter areas, significant amount of
Administration (MSHA).
acoustical absorption in rooms occupied by
people.  NIOSH previously recommended an
exchange rate of 5dB for the
6. Purchase specifications for machinery
calculation of time-weighted average
should contain clauses specifying the
exposures to noise, but it is now
maximum emission values.
recommending a 3-dBexchange rate,
7. A long-term noise control program at each which is more firmly supported by
workplace where daily exposure exceeds 85 scientific evidence. The 5-dB exchange
dB(A). rate is still used by OSHA and MSHA,
but the 3-dB exchange rate has been
8. Use of personal hearing protection should increasingly supported by national and
be encouraged when engineering noise international consensus.
Sunil Babu Khatry, Noise Pollution, 513 -Page, 64

 NIOSH recommends an improved

criterion for significant threshold
shift, which is an increase of 15 dB in
hearing threshold at 500, 1000, 2000,
3000,4000, or 6000 Hz that is repeated
for the same ear and frequency in
back-to-back audiometric tests.

9.2.4 ACGIH Recommendation

American Conference of Government
Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has
recommended threshold limit values (TLV) for
occupational noise. The OEL's refer to sound
pressure levels and exposure durations that
represent conditions under which it is believed
that nearly all workers may be repeatedly
exposed without adverse effect on their ability
to hear and understand normal speech.

Prior to 1979, the medical profession had

defined hearing impairment as an average
hearing threshold level in excess of 25 dB(A)
(ISO-7029-DIS) at 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz.
The limits that are given here have been
established to prevent a hearing loss at 3000
and 4000 Hz. The values should be used as
guidelines in the control of noise exposure and,
due to individual susceptibility, should not be
regarded as fine lines between safe and
dangerous levels. The proposed limits should
protect the median of the population against a
noise-induced hearing loss exceeding 2 dB(A)
after 40 years of occupational exposure for the
average of 0.5, 1, 2, and 3Hz.

a. LEX,8h < < OEL (OEL = 85 or 90 dB(A)): the

working conditions are acceptable legally.

b. LEX,8h > >OEL: the conditions are

unacceptable and control measures must
be implemented as soon as possible

c. LEX,8h OEL: additional measurements

are needed to determine whether L EX,8h is
lower or higher than the OEL.
Sunil (a)

1. Acoustic Materials for Sound Insulation for industrial, commercial or architectural applications, Smock &
Schonthaler Industries, Insulation Sales Inc.
2. Birgitta Berglund, Thomas Lindvall (1995), Community Noise, Center for Sensory Research, Stockholm,
3. Brief Technical Notes on Sound & Noise Control, N9701: ESI Engineering, Inc.., Minnesota.
4. Brigitta Berglund, Thomas Lindvall, Dietrich H Schela, Guideline for Community Noise,
5. Canter, MW., Environmental Impact Assessment.
6. Chawla Gr, Mehra ML, Katyal T, Satake M, Katyal Mohan, Nagahiro Himeji (1989): Environmental Noise
Pollution & its Control.
7. Corner O Leo (1991), Putting a lid on noise pollution: Mechanical Engineering Journal, USA.
8. Criteria For a Recommended Standard; Occupational Noise Exposure - Revised Criteria 1998, U.S. Department
Of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, Ohio
9. Cunnif PF (1977), Environmental Noise Pollution.
10. Davis, Cornwel, Environmental Engineering.
11. Garg, SK, Sewage disposal & air pollution engineering.
12. Gerard Kelly, Environmental Engineering.
13. Guideline Values for Community Noise in specific Environment (1999), WHO.
14. Jones DM, AJ (1984), Noise & Socity.
15. Lord P & Thomas, Noise Measurement & Control.
16. Manella R & Mc Clintock, Noise in non linear dynamical system; Contemporary Physics, Vol. 31, No. 3.
17. Monitoring Noise Levels Non – mandatory Informational appendix - 1910.95 App G: Regulations (Standards –
29CFR), US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
18. Monitoring Noise Levels Non-mandatory Information, Appendix1910.95 [Regulations standard - 29 CFR: app
G]: US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration 200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Wasihngton , DC 20210
19. NIOSH 919720, EPA (1973) & ISO (1971).
20. Noise & Health, Health Council of the Netherlands, 1994.
21. Noise Code (1998), Department of Environmental Protection, New York.
22. Noise Criteria (NC) Method: State of the Art Acoustics Inc., Ottawa, ON Canada K1J 9J3.
23. Noise Level Monitoring & Measurement: JIS C 1512/1983.
24. Noise Pollution, EPA Victoria, South Australlia.
25. Occupational Noise Exposure, Criteria For a Recommended, Standard Revised Criteria 1998: U.S.
Department Of Health And Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention , National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Cincinnati, Ohio.
26. Occupational Noise Exposure, Recommendations for a Noise Standard, NIOSH, CDC, USA.
27. Poleto, David MY, Cost – Benefit Handbook: A guide for New York State’s Regulatory Agencies, Government
Regulatory Reform.
28. Protection of the Human Environment, Guidelines for Community, WHO.
29. Recommendations for a Noise Standard, Niosh, CDC, 1999.
30. Rosenstock, Linda (1996), Criteria for a Recommended Standard Occupational Nosie Exposure, Revised
Criteria, DHHS (NIOSH), Publication No. 96
31. Sound Level Meters, JIS Z 8731/1983.
32. Young H. D. & Scars F. W.; University Physics.
33. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc 2007
34. Henderson Tom (1996 – 2004), The Nature of Sound
35. Allan D. Pierce, Acoustics: An Introduction to its Physical Principles & Application, 2007 The Acoustical
Society of America
36. Sapkota, Balkrishna (2004), Fundamentals of Noise Pollution, Department of Physics, Pulchowk Campus,
Sunil (b)

A. Annexure

Table 1: Guideline Values for Community Noise in Specific Environments

Time LAmax
Specific environment Critical Health Effect(s) base fast
[hours] [dB]

Serious annoyance, daytime and evening 55 16 -

Outdoor living area
Moderate annoyance, daytime and evening 50 16 -

Dwelling, indoors Speech intelligibility & moderate

35 16
annoyance, daytime & evening
30 8 45
Inside bedrooms Sleep disturbance, night-time

Sleep disturbance, window open (outdoor

Outside bedrooms 45 8 60

Speech intelligibility, disturbance of

School class rooms & pre-schools, during
information extraction, message 35 -
indoors class

Pre-school bedrooms, indoor Sleep disturbance 30 45

School, playground outdoor Annoyance (external source) 55 -

Sleep disturbance, night-time 30 8 40

Hospital, ward rooms, indoors
Sleep disturbance, daytime and evenings 30 16 -

Hospitals, treatment rooms, indoors Interference with rest and recovery #1

Industrial, commercial shopping and

Hearing impairment 70 24 110
traffic areas, indoors and outdoors

Ceremonies, festivals and Hearing impairment (patrons:<5

100 4 110
entertainment events times/year)

Public addresses, indoors and

Hearing impairment 85 1 110

Music and other sounds through

Hearing impairment (free-field value) 85 #4 1 110
headphones/ earphones

Impulse sounds from toys, fireworks Hearing impairment (adults) - - 140 #2

and firearms Hearing impairment (children) - - 120 #2

Outdoors in parkland and

Disruption of tranquillity #3
conservations areas
# 1: As low as possible.
# 2: Peak sound pressure (not LAF, max) measured 100 mm from the ear.
Sunil (c)

# 3: Existing quiet outdoor areas should be preserved and the ratio of intruding noise to natural background sound
should be kept low.
# 4: Under headphones, adapted to free-field values.

Table 2: Noise Abatement Criteria

Hourly A - Weighted Sound Level in Decibels (dBA)

Leq(h) Description of Activity Category

Lands on which serenity and quiet are of extraordinary significance and serve
A 57 (Exterior) and important public need, and where the preservation of those qualities is
essential if the area is to continue to serve its intended purpose
Residences, churches, school, libraries, hospitals, motels, hotels, parks, picnic
B 67 (Exterior)
and recreation areas, active sports areas and playgrounds
C 72 (Exterior) Developed lands, properties or activities not included in Categories A or B
D Not Applicable Undeveloped lands
Residences, motels, hotels, public meeting rooms, schools, churches, libraries,
E 52 (Interior)
hospitals and auditoriums

Table 3: South Australia Environmental Noise Policy

Class of Machine Specified Times
Noise Level,
Lawnmowers, poser equipment and their From 8pm on any night (except Saturday
drives (including saws, drills, tools, night) until 8am on the following morning.
compressors, pumps, swimming pool pumps From 8pm on Saturday night until 9am on
and filters, etc) the following Sunday morning.
From 10pm on any night (except Saturday
night) until 8am on the following morning.
Domestic air conditioners 45
From 10pm on Saturday night until 9am on
the following Sunday morning.
Some non – domestic noise sources are also controlled by this policy
From 8pm on any night until 7am on the
Bird scaring devices 45 following morning.

From 8pm on any night (except Saturday

Garbage collection units, street sweepers, night) until 7am on the following morning.
hoggerso From 8pm on Saturday night until 8am on
the following Sunday morning.
*: Measured at any place, other than the premises from which the noise emanates, where a person lives or
: Mobile mulching machines
Sunil (d)

Ref.: Environmental noise, October 2004, EPA South Australia

Table 4: Construction Equipment Noise Ranges

Noise Level at 50ft,


Compactors (Rollers0 71 - 74

Front Loaders 72 - 83
Earth Moving

Backhoes 72 - 92

Tractors 78 - 94
Equipment Powered by Internal Combustion Engines

Scrapers, Graders 80 - 82

Pavers 87 - 89

Trucks 83 - 93

Concrete Mixers 74 - 85
Materials Handling

Concrete Pumps 81 - 82

Cranes, Movable 74 - 85

Cranes, Derrick 87 - 90

Pumps 69 - 71

Generators 73 - 83

Compressors 76 - 87

Pneumatic wrenches 83 - 88

Impact Equipment Jackhammers and Rock Drills 82 - 96

Impact Pile Drivers Peaks 95 - 104

Vibrator 69 - 81
Saws 73 - 81

Ref: US Environmental Protection Agency, 1972, P. 2-108

Sunil (e)

Table 5: Long Term Health effects of Noise Exposure, Netherlands

Health Effects Observation threshold (levels above which effect starts)

Level in
Effect Situation Noise metric Inside/outside

1. Sufficient evidence

Work LAeq, 8hr 75 Inside

Hearing damage
Sport LAeq,24hr 70 Inside

Work LAeq,8hr <85 Inside

Home LAeq,6-22hr 70 Outside

Ischemic heart diseases Home LAeq,6-22hr 70 Outside

Annoyance Home Ldn 42 Outside

Awakening Sleep SEL 55 Inside

Sleep stages Sleep SEL 35 Inside

Self reported sleep quality Sleep LAeq, night 40 Outside

School performance School LAeq, day 70 Outside

2. Limited evidence

Birth-weight - - - -

Immune system - - - -

Psychiatric admission - - - -

3. Lack of evidence

Congenital effects - - - -

Immune system Sleep - - -

Ref.: Noise and Health, Health Council of the Netherlands, September 1994
Sunil (f)

Table 6: Ldn Values that protect Public Health and Welfare with a Margin of

Effect Level Area

Hearing Leq(24) < 70 dB All areas (at the ear)
Outdoors in residential areas and farms and
Outdoor activity interference and other outdoors areas where people spend widely
Ldn < 55 dB
annoyance varying amounts of time and other places in
which quiet is a basis for use.
Outdoor areas where people spend limited
Outdoor activity interference and
Leq(24) < 55 dB amounts of time, such as school yards,
playgrounds, etc.
Indoor activity interference and
Ldn < 45 dB Indoor residential areas
Indoor activity interference and Other indoor areas with human activities such as
Leq(24) < 45 dB
annoyance schools, etc.
Ref.: www.avlelec.com, inc.; INTERNET MERCHANT SINCE 1997Protective Noise Levels Condensed Version of EPA
Levels Document

Table 7: OSHA Technical Manual for Dosimeter Readout, in Percent of

Measured Dose

Dosimeter with Dosimeter with

Exposure Conditions threshold set at threshold set at
90 dBA 80 dBA
90 dBA for 8 hours 100.0% 100.0%
89 dBA for 8 hours 0.0% 87.0%
85 dBA for 8 hours 0.0% 50.0%
80 dBA for 8 hours 0.0% 25.0%
79 dBA for 8 hours 0.0% 0.0%
90 dBA for 4 hours plus 80 dBA for 4 hours 50.0% 62.5%
90 dBA for 7 hours plus 89 dBA for 1 hour 87.5% 98.4%
100 dBA for 2 hours plus 89 dBA for 6 hours 100.0% 165.3%
* Assumes 5-dB exchange rate, 90-dBA PEL, ideal threshold
activation, and continuous sound levels.
Ref.: NIOSH [1972], EPA [1973], and the International Standards Organization (ISO) [1971]
Sunil (g)

Table 8: Estimated Excess Risk Percentage as a Function of Average Daily

Noise Exposure Over a 40 - year Working Lifetime Reported From Various

Average Daily Noise

Reporting Organization Excess Risk
Exposure (dBA)
90 21
ISO 85 10
80 0
90 22
EPA 85 12
80 5
90 29
NIOSH 85 15
80 3
Ref.: NIOSH [1972], EPA [1973], and the International Standards Organization (ISO) [1971]

Table 9: Motor Vehicles Noise, New York City - USA

Column I
Vehicle Characteristics Speed limit of Speed limit of
35 mph or less more than 35 mph
1. Any motor vehicle with a manufacturer‟s gross vehicle rating of
eight thousand pounds or more and any combination of vehicles
86 dB(A) 90 dB(A)
towed by such motor vehicle
2. Any motorcycle other than a motordriven cycle
Before January 1, 1978 82 dB(A) 86 dB(A)
After January 1, 1978 78 dB(A) 82 dB(A)
3. Any other motor vehicle and any combination of vehicles towed by such motor vehicle
Before January 1, 1978 76 dB(A) 82 dB(A)
After January 1, 1978 70 dB(A) 79 dB(A)
Column II
4. Any motor vehicle with a manfacturer's gross vehicle rating of eight
thousand pounds or more and any combination of vehicles towed by 92 dB(A) 96 dB(A)
such motor vehicle
5. Any motorcycle other than a motor driven cycle
Before January 1, 1978 88 dB(A) 92 dB(A)
After January 1, 1978 84 dB(A) 88 dB(A)
6. Any other motor vehicle and any combination of vehicles towed by such motor vehicle

Before January 1, 1978 82 dB(A) 88 dB(A)

After January 1, 1978 76 dB(A) 85 dB(A)

Ref.: Noise Code, Department of Environmental Protection, New York City, March 1998
Sunil (h)

Table 10: Ambient Noise Quality Zones, New York City - USA
Ambient Noise
S.N. Features
Quality Zone
Ambient noise quality zones are the classified zones for the entire geographical area of the city on the
basis of those conditions, which affect the ambient noise levels.
Low density residential areas RL presently designated as land-use
zones R - I, R - 2, and R - 3.
High density residential areas RH presently designated as land-use
zones R - 4, R - 5, R - 6, R - 7, R - 8, R - 9, and R - 10.
All commercial and industrial areas presently designated as land-
N-3 use zones C - I, C - 2, C - 3, C - 4, C - 5, C - 6, C - 7, C - 8, M - I, M -
2, and M - 3.
Other land-use zones be established, including special zoning

Ref.: Noise Code, Department of Environmental Protection, New York City, March 1998

Table 11: Noise Standards for Various Ambient Noise Quality Zones, New York City
Day-time standards Night-time standards
Ambient Noise Quality Zone
(7am - 10pm) (10pm - 7am)
Noise quality zone N-1 (Low density residential RL; land-use zones
Leq, 1hr = 60 dB(A) Leq, 1hr = 50 dB(A)
R-1 to R-3)
Noise quality zone N-2 (High density residential RH; land-use zones
Leq, 1hr = 65 dB(A) Leq, 1hr = 55 dB(A)
R-4 to R-10)
Noise quality zone N-3 (All Commercial and manufacturing land-use
Leq, 1hr = 70 dB(A) Leq, 1hr = 70 dB(A)
Ref.: Noise Code, Department of Environmental Protection, New York City, March 1998

Table 12: OSHA Noise Exposure Limits for the Work Environment
Noise Exposure Level, dBA Permissible Exposure (Hours & Minutes)
85 16 hrs
87 12 hrs 6 min
90 8 hrs
93 5 hrs 18 min
96 3 hrs 30 min
99 2 hrs 18 min
102 1 hr 30 min
105 1 hr
108 40 min
111 26 min
114 17 min
115 15 min
118 10 min
121 6.6 min
124 4 min
127 3 min
Sunil (i)

130 1 min
Note: Exposure above or below the 90 dB limit have been “time weighted” to give what OSHA believes are equivalent
risks to a 90 dB eight - hour exposure.

Ref.: Marsh, 1991, p 322

Table 13: Some Important International Regulations

1. Road Traffic Noise Regulations in Different Countries, Emission Values for

Residential Areas, dB(A)

Country Noise Index Type of Emission Values Daytime Rest time Nighttime

Target values for new roads 60 55

Australia L(10,18h)
Reduction measures at existing
65 -

Planning values for new roads 50 - 55 40 - 45

Remedial measures at federal
65 -

Canada L(A, eq) 55 50

Target values for new residential
Denmark 55
Limiting values for noise reducing
France 60 -

Planning values for new

50 - 55 - 40 - 45
residential areas

Lr = L(A, eq) + k; Limiting values for new and

Germany 59 49
k = 0 … 3dB considerably altered roads

Remedial measures at federal

70 60

Target values for new dwellings 55 42

Strong presumptions against new

63 57
England L(A, eq); L10, 18h dwellings

Insulation regulations for new


Planning values for new -

Hong Kong L10 70
residential areas

Italy L(A, eq) Limiting values in some towns 65

Japan L50 Environmental standards for roads 50 - 60 50 - 55 45 - 50

L(A, eq) Environmental standards 65 55

Republic of
Sunil (j)

Country Noise Index Type of Emission Values Daytime Rest time Nighttime


Preferred values for new roads 55 50 45

Maximum allowable value for new

63 - 70 58 - 65 53 - 60
Netherlands roads

Maximum allowable level for

73 - 75 68 - 70 63 - 65
existing roads

Planning values for new roads 55 45

Switzerland Lr Emission impact threshold 60 - 50

Alarm value 70 65

No restrictions for new residential

USA Ldn 65
developments at roads

Ref.: Gottlob, 1994; Sapkota, Balkrishna – Fundamentals of Noise Pollution, 2004

2. Aircraft Noise Regulations in Different Countries

National Noise
Country L(Aeq, 24 h)dB Regulations

< 20 < 53 No restrictions

Australia 20 > 25 … 53 … 58 New dwellings with appropriate insulation

25 >58 New dwellings not allowed

≤ 25 ≤ 57 No restrictions

Canada 28 … 30 60 … 62 New dwellings with appropriate insulation

> 35 > 68 New dwellings not allowed

Denmark ≤ 55 ≤ 51 No restrictions

> 55 > 51 No new dwellings

Support of insulation measures at Airport

> 60 > 56

< 84 < 62 No restriction (at some airports

84 – 89 62 – 71 Insulation for existing dwellings

< 62 < 62 No restrictions in some federal states

67 … 75 67 … 75 New dwellings only with improved insulation
Sunil (k)

National Noise
Country L(Aeq, 24 h)dB Regulations

Noise level reduction (NLR) > 40 dB

No new dwellings, support of insulation at

> 75 > 75
existing dwellings (NLR > 45 dB)

≤ 57 ≤ 55 No restriction

57 … 66 57 … 64 No dwellings only with appropriate insulation

England > 66 > 64 Strong presumptions against new dwellings

> 72 > 70 No new dwellings are allowed

> 69 > 67 Insulation schemes at London airport

< 70 < 54 No restriction

> 85 > 69 Insulation measures

≤ 35 ≤ 50 No restriction

> 35 > 50 Generally no new residential areas allowed

> 40 > 53 Generally no new dwellings allowed

Support of insulation at existing dwellings
40 - 50 53 - 60
(NRL = 30 - 35dB)

50 - 55 60 - 64 NRL = 35 - 40dB

≤ 55 ≤ 52 No restriction

New Zealand 55 - 65 52 - 62 No dwellings only with appropriate insulation

> 65 > 62 No new residential areas allowed (<35 EPN)

≤ 60 ≤ 55 No restriction

Norway > 60 > 55 No dwellings only with appropriate insulation

60 … 70 55 … 65 Insulation measures

> 45 > 62 No new residential areas allowed

Support insulation: walls > 50dB, windows >
45 - 55 62 - 72

≤ 65 ≤ 62 No restriction
New developments not recommended, NLR >
65 - 70 62 - 67
Sunil (l)

National Noise
Country L(Aeq, 24 h)dB Regulations

New developments strongly dis - encouraged,

70 - 75 67 - 72
NLR > 25dB

> 75 > 72 No new development allowed

Ref.: Gottlob, 1994; Sapkota, Balkrishna – Fundamentals of Noise Pollution, 2004

3. Noise Standards, Philippines

Sunil (m)

Ref.: Estimation and mapping of vehicular traffic-induced noise along a. bonifacio avenue and sumulong
highway in Marikina City, Aileen U. Mappala , Sheila Flor T. Dominguez -Javier

4. New Zealand Standard 6803

In New Zealand, noise from most construction and maintenance, including roads, is managed in accordance with
New Zealand Standard NZS 6803:1999 ‘Acoustics – Construction Noise’. The NZTA manages and minimises
potentially unreasonable noise effects during state highway construction and maintenance, so far as is practicable,
in accordance with this standard. NZS 6803 provides the following guideline noise limits for construction and
maintenance works. These limits apply outside neighbouring buildings; one metre from the façades and 1.2 to 1.5
metres above the relevant floor level. Updated: Monday, March 1, 2010 - 10:29

Time of week Time period Duration of works at a location

less than 14 days less than 20 weeks more than 20 weeks
LAeq(t) LAFmax LAeq(t) LAFmax LAeq(t) LAFmax
Noise limits at residential neighbours
Weekdays 0630-0730 65 dB 75 dB 60 dB 75 dB 55 dB 75 dB
0730-1800 80 dB 95 dB 75 dB 90 dB 70 dB 85 dB
1800-2000 75 dB 90 dB 70 dB 85 dB 65 dB 80 dB
2000-0630 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB
Saturdays 0630-0730 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB
0730-1800 80 dB 95 dB 75 dB 90 dB 70 dB 85 dB
1800-2000 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB
2000-0630 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB
Sundays and public holidays 0630-0730 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB
0730-1800 55 dB 85 dB 55 dB 85 dB 55 dB 85 dB
1800-2000 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB
2000-0630 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB 45 dB 75 dB
Noise limits at commercial/industrial neighbours
0730-1800 80 dB - 75 dB - 70 dB -
1800-0730 85 dB - 80 dB - 75 dB -
Sunil (n)

For each time period there are two noise limits: an average (L Aeq(t)) and a maximum (LAFmax) [acoustics terms]. For typical daytime
construction lasting less than 20 weeks, the guideline limits are 75 dB LAeq(t) and 90 dB LAFmax. The LAeq(t) noise limits for works
lasting less than 20 weeks

5. UK Special
Sunil (o)

Ref.: Workers Compensation Board of BC, Vancouver, ARSC Ref. No. 0135-20, Februrary 2000
Sunil (p)
Sunil (q)
Sunil (r)

Ref.: Highway Traffic Noise Analysis and Abatement Policy and Guidance, US DOT, 1995


Sunil (s)

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