Spain second noisiest country in the world


SPAIN is the second noisiest country in the world after Japan, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Almost nine in 10 people (87 per cent) think Spain is a noisy country. This was revealed in a survey carried out by GAES for 16th Annual International Noise Awareness Day celebrated yesterday (Wednesday).

Another study shows seven out 10 people in Spain live in environments where noise is above levels considered appropriate by the WHO: 65 decibels (dB).


An estimated 1.8 per cent of heart attacks in high-income European countries are caused by traffic noise levels higher than 60 decibels, according to a WHO report.

Traffic, building works and nightlife are, in that order, the man culprits.

“We are a very Mediterranean country, where the streets are bustling with life” said Juan Frias, Manager of the Spanish Association for Acoustic Quality (AECOR). “But we are also a country where until a short while ago permitted houses to be built next to roads with four lanes,” he added.

A recent poll carried out by AECOR revealed that the biggest noise-related nuisance for people in Spain are neighbours, with 90 per cent not happy with the noise insulation of their homes.

Pedro Cobo from the CSIC Acoustic Institute says that noises levels frequently rise above 70 dB. “A person exposed to 73 dB for the majority of a year will lose 5 decibels in hearing ability in 40 years,” he said.

Some people in the 20s in the so-called ‘iPod Generation’ are already being forced to visit hearing specialists as music being listened on headphones can reach 110 dB.

Some experts predict this generation will suffer hearing loss around 20 years before their parents or grandparents will.

Another WHO report reveals noise pollution ranks second only to air pollution as a cause of environmental health problems among Western Europeans.

The most common health impact caused by excessive noise is insomnia, the report shows.

By John Jackson




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