Volume No. 9 Issue No.: 3A Page No.: 797-802 January-March 2015

 

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF HEALTH HAZARDS AMONG MALE WORKERS IN URBAN AND RURAL AREAS TAKING NOISE AS AN ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSOR

 

Biswas Sreejata

Department of Zoology, Bangabasi Morning College, 19, Rajkumar Chakraborty Sarani, Kolkata, West Bengal (INDIA)

 

Received on : October 09, 2014

 

ABSTRACT

 

Rural environment offers sounds that are generally soothing to human ear. On the contrary, in urban areas noise i.e. unwanted sound is a prominent but annoying feature of the environment. One of the side effects of modernisation and urbanisation is the increasing level of decibel in towns and cities. The present survey was conducted among eighty individuals of working class people in Kolkata Metropolis, India and a village called Nischindipur in the district of 24 Parganas ,South, West Bengal, India . The persons interviewed were mostly shop keepers. The exposed groups were selected from the railway stations of Sealdah and Dumdum and music shops in Chandni Chowk of Kolkata, West Bengal, India where as the unexposed men were shop keepers in the village area where the sources of sound pollution was practically negligible. A detailed social survey was carried out to record the occurrence of certain health problems among the two groups of male workers belonging to similar socio-economic status. Questionnaires were used to determine work patterns, health problems and levels of exposure to noise. The study was made using a three point structured questionnaire and also by semi structured interviews. In the exposed group the incidences of severe headache was found in 30% cases where as the villagers felt no severe attack of headache, though moderate sufferings were reported. A chi-square analysis of the compared data revealed that the urban working men who are exposed to loud noise significantly suffered from headache. Health hazards like severe fatigue, irritation, dizziness and loss of concentration affected the urban group in 35.7%, 34.5%, 14.8% and 42.6% of the cases respectively. Psychological discomforts like depression at a severe level was found in 25.5% of the exposed population and 12.3% of them also suffered from withdrawal. In 19.6% cases severe reports of hypertension was found among the urban shopkeepers and 19.3% even lost weight. Chi- square tests in all these cases indicated that the urban group exposed to noise suffered from the above mentioned physiological and psychological problems in a statistically significant manner. However no difference was observed among the urban and rural groups as far as indecisiveness, memory disturbance, insomnia, diabetes and cardiac ailments were concerned. The problem of noise pollution is that people accept noise slowly and cannot even realize its effects that in the long run affect human health badly. The survey was intended to observe the slow and silent effects of noise caused by day to day activities of the urban population and the major intention was to create awareness. It is not only the obvious danger to hearing from chronic noise pollution but noise at levels below what can cause ear damage can produce physical and psychological stress which can contribute to many other health problems. The need of the hour is to minimize noise pollution and protect human health.

 

Keywords : Urban area, Noise, Health hazards, Non-auditory effects, Awareness

 

 

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