SPAIN is the second noisiest country in the world after Japan, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Traffic, building works and nightlife are, in that order, the man culprits. Almost nine in 10 people (87 per cent) think Spain is a noisy country. 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.
“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.
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.
The most common health impact caused by excessive noise is insomnia, the report shows.