Noise pollution linked to traffic jams in cities

ABU DHABI - A pioneering study has shown that traffic congestion is the main cause of noise pollution in the capital and other cities in the UAE, with demolition works taking second spot in raising decibel levels.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 19 Jul 2005, 11:24 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:49 PM

The Federal Environment Agency (FEA), in collaboration with its Abu Dhabi counterpart, recently submitted an anti-air pollution project to higher authorities for approval. The project has been included in the executive by-laws of the Federal Law No. (2) relating to the protection of environment.

The FEA affirmed that it had commenced to implement the by-laws relating to controlling the levels of noise in Abu Dhabi emirate. The laws will be used as guidelines until they are fully approved because they contain clear-cut specifications and frameworks which aim at protection of environment.

It said it was necessary to put together future plans in collaboration with traffic, civic and other bodies concerned, to redress the problem by placing 'noise barriers' along Abu Dhabi roads which have high population density and traffic jams.

The FEA project stipulates the maximum noise levels in residential, commercial and industrial areas, in accordance with international specifications and measurements. The criteria shall vary if residential areas were close to traffic lights or if such areas included commercial shops.

All environmental licences issued by FEA embody conditions related to noise (in addition to other environmental aspects), which find it necessary that industrial installations commit themselves to "Noise Boundaries" mentioned in the bylaws, bearing in mind that the nature of the conditions vary in accordance with the nature and site of the projects.

Surveillance of roads shall be increased and periodic reports prepared, to be submitted by environmental consultants approved by the FEA.

The controls will be carried out by an environmental inspection team through routine campaigns as well as surprise checks on licensed factories and installations, where the teams will record the noise levels.

On the effects of noise on human beings, the FEA stated that noise caused harm to children and adults alike, but children suffered more. It said loud sounds could rupture the ear drums or partially damage the hearing faculty.

It said noise pollution also caused psychological problems to humans, like irritation, headache, nausea, disorientation and even aggressive behaviour. Studies have revealed that noise pollution could also excite skin cells, narrow blood vessels closer to the skin's surface and increase in blood pressure.

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