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Noise and its Negative Effect For Human and Environment

Definition of Noise

Noise, based on the laws of environmental protection act is the vibration for every frequency that is broadcasted through air or other mediums[1]. Based on the Minister of the living environment number : KEP – 48/MENLH/11/1996, Noise is a sound that is unwanted from/or activities at a level and certain time  that can cause health issues and less environment comfort[2]. Noise is present in every human activity and classified as a working noise and environmental noise that can affect the harmony of humankind[3].

Meanwhile based on Professor Colin H Hasen, noise is a sound that is not pleasing and unwanted, noise can be produced from variations of pressure or oscillation on an elastic medium (water, air, and solid objects) dueto the surface that is vibrating or a circuit turbulence[4]. So based on that definition, noise is a sound that is unwanted and disruptive that is produced by human activity due to vibrations of objects in the environment.

Negative Effects of Noise

Have you ever imagine what is the effects from environmental noises? Disturbance of noise that happens frequently can give negative effects to environment, comfort, but also quality of life. UNESCO specified the source of noise from industrial machineries, construction sites, radio, television, vehicles, human activity, or house equipments.


Image 1. Sources of Pollution based on the UNESCO Module

In the study “Noise Pollution: A Major Catalyst To Climate Change and Human Health Catastrophe” is specified that noise is indirectly affect the change of climate but also reduces the quality of the human health[5]. Science for Environment Police Euro Commission specified the effect of environmental noise that comes from machines, transportations (busses, trucks, cars, motorcycles, planes, train, steam boat) can cause problems in the blood cycle and heart problems[6].

Frequent exposure to Noise  can cause problems to a human health but also cause disruption in the environment. In the book Advanced Air and Pollution Noise Control is specified that the effects of noise can affect psychology and physiology[7]. The following is the negative effects that happens to continuous exposure to noise based on the studies done by Muhammad Attiqe and Huma Bahsir[8].

1. Psychology Negative Effects Due to Noise

Psychology based on “Pusat Bahasa Departemen Pendidikan Nasional” is a spiritual quality in terms of psychiatric related to stimulus and response of how someone is behaving.

a. Annoyance

Annoyance is defined as an emotional instances due to unhappiness from the condition that happened by an individual or a group of people that can disturb. Noise on a low frequency with a high intensity is more disruptive and will affect the actions of a person directly or indirectly. These disturbance can cause an effect of aggressiveness and defensive on a person. The aggressiveness that person  that can create a person quicker to get angry and rough attitude. Defensive on the other hand will makes it hard to give that person critics and feedbacks because it is as if the critics are considered as a sound attack that enters the ears. Meanwhile other effects may be create a feel of no comfort in a room which reduces the quality of the room in audial function.

b. Speech Interference

Exposure of noise can reduce the ability of communication. This noise effect tends to muffle the sound hence disrupting a speech[9]. Speech interference can cause misunderstanding due to the sound that is unwanted that the information that is portrayed may affect the listener. An example from speech interference is the disturbance of learning process in schools. One research of disruption in learning process is caused by noise is titled “Analisa Performa Kebisingan Terhadap Siswa Sekolah Dasar di Ruang Kelas” is specified that noise can affect the concentration of students in the primary years, but also affects the delivery of subject from the teacher that it may be not clear due to noise that happens around the school environment[10].

c. Sleep Disturbance

Sleep disturbance is one of the effects from noise. Sleep is one of the basic needs for humans. National Sleep Foundation is a foundation that focuses the needs of sleep and releases an the needs of time for humans based on age. For kids and adults they have a different time[11]. If sleeping time is not fulfilled in the night therefore it will affect the concentration and the reduction of energy for a couple of days. The exposure of oise that is felt can also reduce the sleeping quality, mood, and the performance of someone. The continuous exposure of noise   based on World Health Organization (WHO) 1999, inside a bed room there can no more than 30 dB to prevent the negative effects of sleep. Effects from lack of sleep can reduce the cognitive function and can cause psychological effect on someone.

d. Human Activity Performance

Noise can cause performance activity of human directly and indirectly in the journal that is written by Muhammad Attique in the Peak Journal of Physical and Environmental Science Research, is stated that the activity of someone needed more concentration can be disrupted due shock from impulsive noise. Meanwhile effects that is continuous can affect the brain memories. Activity performances of human in finishing work can also be slower when affected by noise.

2. Physiological Disruption caused by Noise

Physiology is tied with physical things on a human being. In these subjects that disruption in physiology due to noise can cause health problems due to exposure of noise such as :

a. Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is one of the physiological side effects due to exposure of noise. Hearing loss can be defined as the increase of threshold the hearing. Noise-Induced Hearing Loss is due to a damage that is caused by oise that is marked with the damage on the Soft hair cells from the ear. Noise Induced Hearing loss can happen to all age. Base on Kuntodi , Deafness can be divided into three [12]:

1. Acoustic Trauma (shocked)

Acoustic Trauma is connected with the effect of the single exposure or rare exposure such as explosion. Noise that happens can enter inside the ear that can cause a structure within the ear to exceed the physiological threshld that is marked with the ear drums and the Soft Hair Cells inside the ear.

2. Temporary Deafness (temporary threshold sift)

Temporary deafness can happen based on the highness or the lowness of frequency that is exposed from the noise. The higher the frequency that is exposed therefore the higher the chance of temporary deafness will sure to occur. Temporary deafness can cause Tinnitus, which is the sign that of damage that is caused by the sound of music that can reduce the hearing sensitivity up to 4.000 Hz.

3. Permanent Deafness (permanent threshold sift)

Permanent deafness aside from the age factor can also be caused by the continuous exposure to noise that has a high intensity.

The following is the level of noise and risk of expsure based on New England Hearing Instrument[13]


Image 2. The dangers of noise on it’s levels based on

New England Hearing Instrument

b. Health Risk [8]

Hearing loss is one of the effects of exposure to noise. Aside from that along the exposure of plane noise for 20 years can cause the risk of heart failure and stroke. Studies shows on 2401 participants from Sweden, UK, and Netherlands. Aside from the exposure of noise due to aeroplanes, the increasing risks of heart failure and stroke can also be caused by the noise of Traffic [6]. Noise is one of the risk factors of Cardiovascular due to noise that can activate hormones and action nerves that can increase the blood pressure and heart beat[8].


Gambar 3.Dampak gangguan kebisingan pada tubuh

3. Environmental Disruption Caused by Noise

Aside from the effects on humans, noise can also affect the environment. One of the examples of environmental noise is the offshore exploration. The drilling activity of offshore exploration creates a noise vibration that is quite huge with the heavy tools. Noise that is produced may affect the lives of the living creatures in the sea especially sea mammals that uses echolocation to find food, communicate, and reproduce. If this effect keeps on going, it will make it hard for them to find food, reproduce within a radius of 100.000marea[14]  until the species will be extinct because of the disruption caused by the noise.


Harisma Khoirun Nisa




[1] E. R. D. o. E. a. H. Protection, “Guideline Noise Assessment,” Prescribing noise conditions for environmental authorities for petroleum activities, p. 2, 13 March 2015.
[3] M. . C. Barrientos, D. . C. Lendrum and K. Steenland, “Occupational noise,” World Health Organization Protection of the Human Environment, Geneva, 2004.
[4] P. C. H. Hansen, “FUNDAMENTALS OF ACOUSTICS,” Australia.
[6] Science Communication Unit, “Science for Enviroment Police,,” Thematic Issue : Noise Impact on Health, p. 4, 14 January 2015.
[7] N. C. P. Y.-T. H. Lawrence K Wang, “Handbook of Enviromental Engineering Advanced Air and Noise Pollution Conrol,” in Noise Pollution, Totowa, Humana Press Inc, 2005, pp. 441-452.
[8] H. B. Muhammad Attique Khan Shahid, “Psychological and physiological effects of noise pollution on the residents of major cities of Punjab (Pakistan,” Peak Journal of Physical and Environmental Science Research, pp. 41-50, 2013.
[9] L. A. W. Airports, “The Effects of Noise on People,” LAX Part 161 Study, Burlingthon.
[10] A. Justian, “Analisa pengaruh kebisingan terhadap Performa Siswa Sekolah dasar di Ruang Kelas,” Universitas Indonesia, Depok, 2012.
[11] R. Widiyani, “Kebutuhan Tidur Sesuai Usia,” Kompas.com, 26 03 2014. [Online]. Available: http://health.kompas.com/read/2014/03/26/1808574/Kebutuhan.Tidur.Sesuai.Usia. [Accessed 25 07 2016].
[12] P. KUNTODI, “GANGGUAN PENDENGARAN AKIBAT KEBISINGAN,” 23 August 2012. [Online]. Available: https://audiologiind.blogspot.co.id/2012/08/gangguan-pendengaran-akibat-kebisingan.html.
[13] “New Englnad Hearing Instrument,” New Englnad Hearing Instrument, Inc, [Online]. Available: http://www.newenglandhearing.com/. [Accessed 20 07 2016].
[14] M. Jasny, “Ocean Fact Boom, Baby, Boom: The Environmental Impacts of Seismic Surveys,” Natural Resources Defense Council, New York , 2010.

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