Unwanted sound or any unjustified disruption of sound within a suitable frequency spectrum is referred to as noise (Olayinka, 2013). On the other hand, sound is thought to be a sensory perception brought on by physiological processes in the auditory brain that result in a complex wave pattern (Margaritis & Kang, 2017). Environmental noise, residential noise, and domestic noise are all terms used to describe noise that comes from sources other than an industrial workplace, according to Belojevic et al. (2016). Road, rail, and air traffic, industries, construction, public works projects, and social activities are the main sources of environmental noise (Hammersen, Niemann, & Hoebel, 2016).
Even though it is a pervasive and growing threat, noise pollution remains underappreciated (Cohen et al., 2014). Long-term exposure to relatively modest noise levels can be harmful to human health (UNEP, 2003). Numerous Americans experience varying degrees of hearing loss that is directly related to noise. Similar to this, populations living within the European Union experience unacceptably high levels of ongoing noise that are dangerous to their health (Fan, Zhiyi, Zhujun, & Jiani, 2010).
In the US, noise pollution is a widespread problem. Numerous noise pollution, such as road noise and noise from entertainment centers and other social activities, are exposed to by more than half of the American population (Hammer et al., 2014).
According to Hammersen et al. (2016), annual noise exposure levels are high enough to be harmful to human health. Despite the fact that noise exposure is common, it has not received the same attention or treatment as other types of pollution, such as radiation and chemical risks. In both industrialized and developing countries, noise exposure is increasing, particularly in the general living environment, according to Cohen et al. (2014), who also stress that noise exposure in the twenty-first century is a serious public health issue.
Barbara and Rose (2011) state that during a community evaluation of noise levels, maximum and minimum noise levels should be recorded. If the level does not fall below 90 dB (A) within a window of eight hours per day, an inadequate noise exposure should be noted. According to the World Health Organization, environmental noise that averages 70 dB (A) is hazardous to health. The Environmental Management and Coordination (Noise and Excessive Vibration Pollution) (Control) Regulation, 2009 in Kenya establishes 60dB (A) as the maximum allowable ambient noise level in commercial zones during the day (Gongi, 2018).
A more pervasive form of pollution, noise can interfere with a variety of aspects of living. It disrupts communication, has negative effects on the cardiovascular system, social behavior, and productivity, impairs attention, impairs hearing, makes people more alert, disturbs their sleep, and makes noise irritation (Bluhm et al., 2004). In recent years, there has been an increase in hearing loss and other noise-related risks.
decades as opposed to the period prior to the Industrial Revolution, when few people were subjected to loud noise (Barbara & Rose, 2011).
WHO (2008b) states that noise can interfere with a person’s ability to work, relax, sleep, and communicate as well as cause hearing loss and other psychological, physiological, and possibly pathological effects. Furthermore, hearing loss brought on by exposure to environmental noise has become a topic of concern in the majority of countries. Environmental noise has been shown to have certain direct negative effects besides hearing loss (Gongi, 2018; Curhan et al., 2012). These include detrimental consequences on performance, communication, and behavior, as well as non-auditory physiological effects, noise-induced sleep disruption, and discomfort to the surrounding neighborhood (Gongi, 2018). Compared to other populations, some may be more susceptible to the harmful effects of noise (Bryan et al., 2008).
According to Münzel, Gori, Babisch, and Basner (2014), exposure to loud noise can have a serious negative influence on one’s health. The loss of hearing acuity brought on by frequent exposure to loud noise—most commonly found in the workplace—is the most significant. Additionally, it can frequently seriously impede communication, which causes quantified productivity losses and discomfort, which causes unfavorable community reactions. According to Basner et al. (2014), noise can be irritating, interfere with speech and community reactions, lead to hearing loss, and have other negative impacts. He argues that the biggest risk factor is Hearing loss, heart conditions, and accidents are caused by noise (Basner et al., 2014). Every amount of noise can
alter our cognitive processes, emotional wellness, and physical wellbeing. Potential negative health effects can include irritation, disturbed sleep, poor academic performance, ischemic heart disease, high blood pressure, and hearing loss (Hambrick et al., 2008). In order to calculate the environmental burden of disease (EBD), which is measured in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), environmental noise is used (WHO, 2011). Issue Statement
A major worldwide preventable cause of permanent hearing loss is exposure to extremely loud noise. Environmental noise, particularly traffic noise, is a growing risk factor for hearing loss and other health hazards in emerging nations (Rom & Markowitz, 2007). According to WHO (2008a), environmental noise causes 16% of adults’ debilitating hearing loss, with regional variations of 7% to 21%. According to Hammer et al. (2014), 10 to 15 million Americans are affected by noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). In the UK, research demonstrates that young adults have serious hearing issues that are related to workplace noise (Prendergast et al., 2017). Additionally, Basner et al. (2014) reported that exposure to concert noise in the Nottingham and England area can lead to occurrences of tinnitus. The International Labor Organization (ILO, 2004:9) has drawn attention to the dearth of trustworthy statistics on the position of people with disabilities in Kenya, particularly those who have hearing impairments. However, the 2009 national census found that 1.3 million Kenyans were living with disabilities, with hearing impairments accounting for 14% of these instances (KNBS, 2010).
Many developing countries, including Kenya, lack adequate legislation on noise pollution as well as initiatives to prevent noise-induced hearing loss and other noise-related health issues. Noise pollution has been linked as the primary cause of hearing disorders in many countries. Where such laws exist, such as the Environmental Management and Coordination Act of 1999 and the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), there is frequently insufficient enforcement to reduce noise pollution (Enda, M. and 2014). Additionally, insufficient public health research and initiatives have been made to estimate the prevalence, risk factors, and health costs of ambient noise (Musiba, 2015). To describe the spatial distribution of noise levels in the Nairobi Central Business District, Wawa and Mulaku (2015) measured noise levels from a preset source of noise in Nairobi. They did not evaluate the effects of high noise levels on the population’s health and well-being, despite the fact that their investigation found high levels of noise between 61 and 78 dB. It is clear from their findings that Nairobi has significant noise levels, and further research is needed to determine the health consequences of noise on the general populace. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the perceived health impacts of high noise levels in addition to measuring the noise levels.
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