EVALUATION OF NOISE POLLUTION AND CONTROL IN TERTIARY INSTITUTION BUILDINGS
Noise may be defined as any sound that is undesired by the recipient. Noise is often referred to as unwanted sound, and is typically characterized by the intensity, frequency, periodicity and duration of the sound. Noise is also an acoustic, electric or electronic signal consisting of a random mixture of wavelengths () (Filippi, 1998). Noise pollution being a byproduct of modern developments in technology is a major constraint on the quality of life in urban settlements. Population explosion and increasing human activities give rise to noise pollution in many cities and urban areas of the world. In most urban areas, according to Mansouri, et al (2006), noise pollution is a result of unplanned settlements and is perceived as the least contaminant among all the environmental pollutants.
An important factor for the quality of life in any metropolis is related to the noise levels to which the population is exposed. Several factors interfere with the amount of noise pollution throughout the metropolis. The challenge thus, is the quantification of the noise effects on the population growth in terms of economic, social development and population increase tendency towards noise generation. Noise is a growing health threat, and if left unchecked, could result to hazardous conditions (Adejobi, 2012).
The growth in noise pollution is unsustainable because it involves direct, as well as cumulative, adverse health effects. Due to the ignorance as a factor on human nature, little or no attention is paid to noise pollution in Nigeria. It is on this note, that this study examines the environmental noise levels of Lagos metropolis, one of the ancient towns in northern Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the problem of noise pollution is widespread. A study on environmental noise pollution in Nigerian urban centers found that increase in population, commercial activities and road traffic volume, increase the level of noise generation. Other concomitant noises have been noted to be severe in rapidly expanding cities, towns and regions in Nigeria as observed in the South Eastern States (Onuu, 1992). Noise exposure is not a new phenomenon. Records show that even in medieval times, carriages and horseback riding were banned during the night in some cities in Europe, in order to prevent sleep disturbance (World Health Organization, 2000).
In addition, noise pollution is recognized as a major problem for the quality of life in major urban centre’s of the world. Because of the increase in the number of cars and industrialization, noise pollution has also increased. Noise in cities, especially along main arteries, has reached up disturbing levels. Existing evidence indicating that noise pollution may have negative impacts on human health, depending on its duration and volume. The effects of noise on human health and comfort are divided into four categories; physical effects, such as hearing defects; physiological effects, such as increased blood pressure, irregularity of heart rhythms and ulcers; psychological effects, such as disorders, sleeplessness and going to sleep late, irritability and stress; and finally effects on work performance, such as reduction of productivity and misunderstanding what is heard, (Marius et al., 2005).
Noise does not only have harmful effects but sometimes it is very useful. Some of the examples of its usefulness includes:
- Study of Heart Beats: Noise produced by the heart beats is very useful to diagnose the person’s health accordingly.
- Masking Effects: Sometimes, it is necessary that nobody should hear the conversation between the two persons. For this, masking effect is used. e.g. in the doctor’s chamber, doctor wants that nobody should hear his conversation with the patient so he uses masking effect by putting a more noisy exhaust fan which makes noise outside the room.
- Music and Entertainments: the effect energy produced from sounds in a coordinated frequency and amplitude transform unto hear pleasurable (music). This however, translates to entertainment depending on the circumstances.
Fundamentally, sound is produced as result of some mechanical disturbance creating pressure variations in an environment such as air or water, or in fact any elastic medium which can transmit a pressure wave. To be able to hear the sound there must always be air or other elastic medium at the ear. The magnitude of the pressure variations (The amplitude of the pressure oscillation) is proportional to the loudness of the sound. The number of pressure cycle’s per-second determines whether we hear a sound of high pitch or of low pitch, the higher the frequency the higher the pitch.
If a device, which can detect small pressure variations (microphone), is placed in the sound field, it will produce an electric signal proportional to the sound pressure. The unit of sound pressure is Pa (Pascal=N/m2).The range of audible sound pressure variations is very wide ranging from 2×10-5Pa = 20μPa, which is threshold of hearing (Pt) to approximately 100 Pa, the threshold of pain (Pp). The ratio between the threshold of hearing and the threshold of pain is 5000 000: 1 equivalent to 134 dB is logarithmic ratio which defines the sound pressure level L as follows: L = 20 x log10p/pref.
The growth in noise pollution is unsustainable because it involves direct, as well as cumulative, adverse health effects. Due to the ignorance on human nature due to the fact that there exist a close nexus between noise pollution and sustainable city, little or no attention is paid to noise pollution in Nigeria. It is on this note, that this study examines the environmental noise pollution levels in Tertiary buildings in Lagos metropolis.
Noise is increasingly a cause of concern in the environment especially in urban areas that are growing in industrialization and transportation activities (Oyedepoet al., 2009). As the demand for air, rail and road transport continues to grow, more people are being exposed to noise from transport and other sources. In Nigeria, the problem of noise pollution is wide spread. A study on noise pollution in Nigerian urban centers found that increase in population, commercial activities and road traffic volume increases the level of noise generation and other concomitant noises have been noted to be severe in rapidly expanding towns and cities and regions in Nigeria such as the South Western States (Onuu, 1992). Exposure to Noise is not a new phenomenon, records show that even in medieval era, carriages and horseback riding were banned during night in some cities in Europe in order to prevent sleep disturbance (WHO, 2000). An important factor of life quality in a densely populated area/region is proportional to the noise levels to which the population is exposed to, in terms of economic/commercial activities, social development and population, increases noise generation. Also the connectivity of transport network and traffic density could result to an increase in noise volume generated as observed by Ozer, et al., (2009). Some of the major health effects of noise include hypertension, ischemic heart disease, changes in the immune system and birth defects as observed by Passchier-Vermeer and Passchier, (2000).
In Lagos metropolis today, with the rehabilitation and revitalization of the railways, the concern is expected to increase especially the aerodrome of NCAT that is being upgraded. Therefore, exposure to transportation noise will increasingly become an important environmental issue.
The direct impact of noise on the human ear is well established and accepted. The effect result from the noise being a general stressor and so induces conditions like sleep disturbance, mental ill health, physiological dysfunction, distorted speech and poor cognitive performance especially in children.
In search of literature for this study within Lagos metropolis, research has not been conducted on the noise level generated by commercial, residential, industrial and transport activities especially among other sources which this study tends to unravel.
1.3.1 Aim of the Study
The aim of this study is to evaluate noise pollution from various sources in Tertiary buildings within Lagos Metropolis, Lagos State, Nigeria.
1.3.2 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study are to;
- identify various sources of noise generation in Tertiary buildings in Lagos metropolis, Lagos State,Nigeria.
- determine the Geo-physical characteristics of the study area.
- determine the level of noise generation and traffic volume in areas where noise levels are high within the metropolis and compare with NESREA and WHO standards.
- examine spatial pattern of noise generation in the metropolis.
- Describe people’s perception of possible effects of noise on human health.
The world indeed is changing especially on the rate of urbanization and industrialization; the outcome of this study will thus make a great impact in devising means of putting in place control measures for noise pollution and environmental sustainability in Lagos metropolis. The need to develop understanding, not only of the magnitude of the effects of noise and exposure-effects relationship in order to trigger interventions and policy; but also to consider the mechanisms of the effects such as the role of annoyance, adaptation, habituation, acclimation and coping strategies in non-auditory impacts of noise (Okuofu, 2014). The findings of this study when published and publicized will help the people to be aware of the level of noise pollution in the metropolis the major characteristic contributions of noise pollution to the environment and reduction measures appropriate
The scope of this study covers Lagos Metropolis. Within the limit of the scope, various noise levels from tertiary buildings which include; industrial, commercial, educational/institutional, residential and recreational facilities will be sourced and evaluated.
Every research has one limitation or the other; certainly, the greatest limitation for this study
was lack of sophisticated equipment’s, finance and duration/period of the
assessment/analysis and possible means of being in all the sample points/fields the same time.
EVALUATION OF NOISE POLLUTION AND CONTROL IN TERTIARY INSTITUTION BUILDINGS