The Impact of Population Density
Population density refers to the measurement of population in a unit area or volume. The population density is used to measure organism in a particular area. The term is mostly applicable to human beings. The population density is determined by taking the number of people in the area being analyzed and dividing the number by the size of the area they occupy. For instance, the population of US in 2008 was 70 people per square metre. Most of the countries are experiencing an increase in population density due to high birth rate. The increase in population density has adverse effects on the environment and citizens (Bronzaft, Cohen, Goodman, Heikkinen &Nadas, 2008).
First, increase in population in a given area affects the environment. This is because it leads to different types of pollutions that result from overcrowding. For instance, increase in population density results to noise pollution. Noise pollution refers to excessive, unpleasant human, animal and machine noise that is created. The noise created by human beings, machines and animals affects many activities in human n life and animal life. Noise is defined as sound that is not wanted. The noise involves traveling if waves from in air media. The waves affect the transfer of information. There are various causes of noise pollution. The causes of noise pollution can be classified into two. That is indoor causes and outdoor causes.
The causes of noise pollution are linked with increase in population density in an area. The outdoor sources of noise pollution include construction and transport systems. The increase in population density has led to increase in construction work in urban areas and rural areas. This is because most of the people have to establish houses so as to cater for their basic needs like shelter. The high number of construction activities in urban areas and some of the rural areas have led to increase in noise pollution (National geographic, 2008).
In addition, the transport system has led to increase in noise pollution. The increase in population density in many areas has led to increase in motor vehicles. For instance, most people have opted to use vehicles, but not rails. This has led to increase in noise pollution in urban areas. Moreover, aircraft noise has become common in urban areas. This is as a result of the improvement of transport systems in the country. Most countries have adopted air transport to improve transport activities in the country. Due to the scarcity of land and increase in population, most people in the country have been forced to live near airports. This has made it easy for the residents to be subjected to aircraft noise.
Further, the noise pollution has been caused by poor urban planning. The increase in population density in many towns has led to poor urban planning. This is because most urban areas do not have adequate land to construct decent buildings. This has forced the urban planning officers to put industrial buildings and residential buildings near each other. This has in turn resulted to increase in noise pollution in the residential areas.
Apart from the outdoor noises, there has been increase in indoor noise. This is as a result of overcrowding in the residential areas (Brown, Lawrence & Robinson, 2005).The increase in population density has led to increase in noise pollution which has adverse effects on the population. The noise pollution has affected the health of the population negatively. For instance, it has affected the psychological and physical health of the population by increasing the prevalence of diseases in the population. Most studies have shown that noise pollution causes hypertension. This is because it leads to increase in amount of stress among human beings.
For instance, people who live in a noisy area are more likely to suffer from stress because of the noise unlike people who live in areas that have no noise pollution. Researchers argue that noise pollution leads to aggression and annoyance among the residents and this in turn leads to increase in levels of stress. Hence, this results to hypertension among the residents. Researchers argue that an exposure to high levels of noise within 8 hours leads to rise in blood pressure by 8-10 points (Bronzaft, Cohen, Goodman, Heikkinen &Nadas, 2008). In addition, the noise pollution leads to increase in amount of depression among the residents. This is as a result of stressful environment and this affects their psychological health. Apart from causing psychological problems, noise pollution causes physical problems. For instance, it can cause damage to the auditory system. This happens if a person is exposed to noise pollution for long. This in turn affects the transfer of signals from the environment, auditory system and the brain and hence hearing loss.
Chronic exposure to noise pollution might lead to hearing loss. This is evidenced in a study of old males who were exposed to noise in their workplace. The findings from the study showed that the men who were exposed to noise showed a reduced hearing sensitivity. On the other hand, men who were not exposed showed low levels of hearing loss (Bronzaft, Cohen, Goodman, Heikkinen &Nadas, 2008).
Moreover, the noise pollution resulting from high population density leads to sleep disturbanceas.50% of people living in noisy areas like airport and industrial areas find it hard to have enough sleep. This is because of the destruction caused by aircraft noise and industrial noise. The noise pollution affects cognitive functioning of the residents. This is because it leads to “tinnitus”. “Tinnitus” leads to forgetfulness and chronic depression and attacks among the residents (Arkkelin &Veitch, 1995).
There are various strategies that can be used to prevent noise pollution that occurs as a result of increase in population. First, people can use technology to control the transmission of noise waves. Most industries have adopted new technology that uses computer microprocessor to develop opposing sound waves. The waves help cancel the noise produced in the industries. The technology can be used in areas where repetitive noise is shown as it easy to produce the opposing waves. For instance, the technology can be used in airport. Moreover, people can use sound absorbing materials to control the effects of noise pollution. The materials are placed between the equipment and the workers so to protect the users from noise (Arkkelin &Veitch, 1995).
Another method to control the noise pollution is modifying the noise source. In this case, industries reduce the reverberation, vibration by developing the right measures like maintenance. In conclusion, the increase in population density has negative effects as stated above (Arkkelin &Veitch, 1995).
Arkkelin, D., &Veitch, R. (1995). Environmental psychology. An international perspective. New York, .Prentice Hall, Inc.
Bronzaft, A.L., Cohen, B.S., Goodman, J., Heikkinen, M., &Nadas, A. (2008). Airport-related air pollution and noise. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Hygiene, vol5, issue No.2, page119-129.
Brown, G., Lawrence, T. B., & Robinson, S. L. (2005). Territoriality in organizations. Academy of Management Review, vol 30, issue No.3, page 577-594.
National geographic.(2008).A look at the population density of the United States. Retrievedfromhttp://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/lessons/01/g912/density.html on 15/02/2011.