Solutions for noise pollution in 2022. Environmental noise has long been thought of as something of a nuisance. In cities we constantly hear the honk of car horns, the whirr of air conditioning units, the sounds of drilling, sawing and hammering from construction. In workplaces, we’re familiar with the sound of the printer, with doors opening and closing, with workmates hammering away on their keyboards. At the gym, we know to expect the clanging of resistance machines, the drone of treadmills and the periodic crash and rumble from Olympian-style deadlifts.

The honk of car horns  solutions for noise pollution zenfeel
The honk of car horns

These sounds are all common features of our noisy urban environments. They’re not pleasant, but we accept them as inevitable. They’re simply one end of a trade-off that we understand as intrinsic to living a modern life. A growing body of research, however, has shone some light on the fact that noise is not only unpleasant, it is actually harmful to our physical and mental health. Furthermore, it is not inevitable. It is not, necessarily, intrinsic.

Noisy workplace
Noisy workplace

Thanks to advances in acoustic control technology, it’s possibly to drastically reduce and mitigate the negative impacts of noise. In this article, we’re going to look at how the human brain processes noise, how things have changed since we evolved, the consequent impacts on our health, and how we might use acoustic control to solve the resulting issues.

noise environment
noise environment

What’s the difference between sound and noise?

First, we have to be precise about what we’re talking about, when we talk about noise. Generally speaking, sound is understood to be value-neutral, meaning it is neither inherently good or bad, while the term noise is used to describe the occurrence of undesirable, unexpected sounds. We talk of ‘noise’ in a busy airport, but the ‘sound’ of a waterfall. The ‘noise’ of a car alarm, but the ‘sound’ of birds chirping. These phenomena may be just as loud, and of similar quality, but some are described sounds, and others, noise.

  • 'sound' of bird chirping
  • 'noise' of car alarm

How do our brains process noise?

Why is this distinction important? Because it’s not merely semantic. In fact, our brains are hard-wired to respond differently to sounds that they expect, and sounds that they don’t. We evolved in nature, where the sound of rivers and streams, birds and insects, were permanent features. Our brains have them automatically, and instinctively, categorized as non-threatening. Unexpected sounds, such as the falling of a tree branch, the quick footsteps of a predator, or the tumbling of a rock, however, are categorized as potentially threatening. They stimulate our fight-or-flight response, alerting us and releasing a dose of hormones such as adrenaline to help us prepare to respond.

zen for  zenfeel

How might this be an issue in our workplaces, at home, or elsewhere? It may be tempting to think that we can adjust to the sounds of our new modern environments, or that we may be able to tune them out. Research shows, however, that while our surroundings have changed, our brains have not. Not only this, but even when we think we’re tuning out, even when we’re asleep, our ears are constantly listening for and eliciting neural responses to noise. What could be the solutions for noise pollution? Keep reading to find out.

solutions for noise pollution zenfeel

Health effects of the noise pollution

With so much noise around, our fight-or-flight stress response is being constantly triggered, even if only at low levels. The result is like a low-intensity drip-feed of hormones that were evolved only to be used in extraordinary circumstances.

Woman crazy with noise solutions for noise pollution zenfeel

On the physical side, the stress response increases blood pressure and heart rate, which over time contributes to a greater chance of cardiovascular disease. The resulting changes in metabolic rate can lead to fluctuations in appetite and bodyweight, with negative consequences on nutrition and the risk of obesity. On the mental side, noise increases annoyance and irritability, and adverse effects on sleep quality leads to reduced cognitive function.

Man crazy with noise  solutions for noise pollution zenfeel

We are not overstating the problem, here. It’s so severe that the World Health Organization now ranks noise pollution as the second-highest environmental threat to human health.

What can we do? Solutions for noise pollution.

Thanks to advances in acoustic control technology, there are now a wide variety of products that can affordably be fitted in workplaces, gyms, studios and even homes that can drastically reduce the amount of environmental noise. They work by absorbing sound, instead of reflecting it, meaning that it won’t reverberate as much as it ordinarily would, thereby reducing noise. Here are a few examples, from Zenfeel.

  1. Solutions for noise pollution – walls: Polyester Acoustic Panels. These lightweight panels are available in a multitude of colors and shapes, so they can blend in with any existing interior design. They can be groove-cut to create pattern designs, and may also be printed on, so as to bear graphics or art. Optionally, they may be backed with a layer of Eco Fiber Acoustic Panel for added sound absorption.
  • solutions for noise pollution Carved polyester acoustic panel zenfeel
  • solutions for noise pollution Carved acoustic polyester panel zenfeel
  • solutions for noise pollution Carved polyester acoustic panel zenfeel
  • solutions for noise pollution Printed polyester acoustic panel zenfeel
  • solutions for noise pollution: polyester & coconut fiber zenfeel
  • Solutions for noise pollution – ceilings: Flocking Spray can provide a coating of soft, sound-absorbing fiber. Polyester Baffles can be hung in offices and gyms. Suspended 3D Polygons can be added to give a decorative touch, while simultaneously absorbing sound. Smart Panel Ceiling Tiles can replace or feature alongside standard ceiling tiles
  • Flocking spray solutions for noise pollution zenfeel
  • Flakes curtain solutions for noise pollution zenfeel
  • Suspension solutions for noise pollution zenfeel
  • Polyester suspended island solutions for noise pollution zenfeel
  • Baffles solutions for noise pollution zenfeel

These are a few examples, but there are far more options available, to suit the needs of any professional or personal environment. To see a full catalogue of products that can reduce noise, for the benefit of mental and physical health, please visit Zenfeel project reference.

solutions for noise pollution zenfeel


ZENFEEL is committed to its mission of delivering high quality products and innovative acoustic solutions. Our dedicated team consistently works towards transforming every space into an environment that is comfortable and welcoming for all the senses. With a full suite of services including acoustic consulting, retrofitting and installation, ZENFEEL provides the expertise to help you achieve your dream space regardless of where you’re starting from. Our team of professional acousticians help ensure the effectiveness of our products in any space and for any project.

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