Noise and your health

Noise can be defined as any unwanted sound. Sources of noise include aircraft, road vehicles, rail cars, construction and landscaping equipment, home and car stereo systems, media players, household appliances, and power tools.

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Health risks

Depending on the sound level and the exposure duration, noise can cause any of the following adverse effects on physical, mental or social well-being:

Some research suggests that the adverse effects described above may also cause sufficient stress on the body to increase the risk of developing stress-related illnesses.


Canadians are surrounded by various sources of noise, including:

Even some children's toys have the potential to emit hazardous sound levels. Excessive exposure to noise, even for short durations, can have potential health effects. Significant, adverse, irreversible effects usually occur gradually in response to excessive exposure to noise. However, even short duration exposure (i.e gun fire) can have serious irreversible effects.

Protect your hearing

Take the following steps to protect your hearing:

Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your hearing. Early signs of hearing loss include:

Prevention is the only way to protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss. There is no way to know how sensitive your ears are to damage from sounds, until the damage is done.

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