15 million people being drowned out by noise pollution in Vietnam: study

By Vi Vu   July 21, 2017 | 01:51 am PT
15 million people being drowned out by noise pollution in Vietnam: study
Congestion in Ho Chi Minh City can put travelers amid unhealthy loudness. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
With horns blaring around the clock, it's difficult to find a quiet time to sleep for many workers.

Around a fifth of working people in Vietnam are regularly exposed to noise pollution, a new study has found.

The study, conducted by the Institute of Occupational Health and the Environment, found that out of the 52 million people working in Vietnam, between 10 million to 15 million have to deal with excessive noise.

Noise levels on 12 major streets and junctions in Hanoi were measured at between 77.8 and 78.1 decibels during the day, way beyond the safe level of 70, according to the study, which was released on Thursday.

The average noise level at night also exceeded limits by 20-40 percent, it said.

In Ho Chi Minh City, eight out of 14 spots with noise detectors also violated acceptable levels, according to measurements recorded in June.

In industrial zones the problem is even worse, officials said.

Doan Ngoc Hai, the director of the institute, said that noise pollution can have long-term impacts, such as loss of hearing. It can also lead to sleeping disorders and high blood pressure, while children can suffer cognitive impairment, he said.

Officials said cities can reduce traffic noise by limiting the number of personal vehicles and improving public transport.

According to official statistics, there were around five million motorbikes and 550,000 cars on the capital's roads last year.

Ho Chi Minh City is now home to more than eight million cars and motorbikes, according to the local transport department.

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