Asia Noise News

Less noise from big bikes in Thailand ?

The Land Transport Department is to impose tighter noise control on big bikes or big motorcycles with the noise level not exceeding 95 decibels.

Land transport deputy director-general Mr Wattana Pattharachon said he had already discussed with producers and importers of big bikes about the problem of their loud noise that the department has wanted to control.

He said that from now on manufacturers of big bikes would have their prototype motorbikes sent to the department for examination before production licences were to be granted.

As for the importers, imported big bikes will be examined to determine whether they meet the noise standard set by the department before they can be put on sale, he added.

Mr Wattana said he had informed the manufacturers and importers of big bikes to warn their distributors or dealers not to sell or install substandard exhaust pipes failing that the department might revoke the certificates of the models of the bikes In question.

Asia Noise News

Traffic noise can give you ‘belly tyre’, gain weight ?

Noise traffic from roads, rails, aircrafts can make you fat from your belly, suggests a new study.

Exposure to a combination of such noise may pose the greatest risk of acquiring a spare tyre, otherwise known as central obesity, and thought to be one of the most harmful types of fat deposition around the body.

The researchers assessed how much road traffic, rail, and aircraft noise 5075 people living in five suburban and rural areas around Stockholm, Sweden, had been exposed to since 1999.

The analysis indicated no link between road traffic noise and body mass index (BMI). But there was an association between road traffic noise and waist size, with a 0.21 cm increase for every additional 5 dB increase in exposure, although this was only significant among women.

Similarly, there was a link to waist:hip ratio, with a change of 0.16 for every 5 dB increase in noise exposure to road traffic; this association was stronger in men. larger waist was significantly associated with exposure to any of the three sources of noise, but the link was strongest for aircraft noise; a larger waist:hip ratio was associated with road traffic and aircraft noise only.

The more sources of noise pollution a person was exposed to at the same time, the greater their risk of central obesity seemed to be. Age was an influential factor, with associations between central obesity and road traffic noise only found for those below the age of 60.

Since the study was observational, no definitive conclusions could be drawn about cause and effect.

However, they suggests that noise exposure may be an important physiological stressor and bump up the production of the hormone cortisol, high levels of which are thought to have a role in fat deposition around the middle of the body.

The study is published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.


Asia Noise News

Helicopter tourism route changed after protests in Shanghai

BEIJING: The introduction of a helicopter tourism service in Shanghai has resulted in a sharp resistance from the local people, who complain about noise pollution and the risks of the copters flying very low over the city’s skyline.

Within five days of its introduction on May 1, the helicopter service has already been forced to alter one of the routes over the Pudong area of the city. This follows a strong protest from a local school, Jincai High School, which said students were finding it difficult to concentrate due to the high noise.

“It was so loud that the pupils couldn’t hear what their teachers were saying,” Shanghai Daily quoted the school principal, Zhao Guodi, as saying. A teacher, surnamed Li, said: “On Monday, I had to stop three times during a single class because the noise was so loud.”

One of the school’s teachers actually lodged a complaint with the police.

Two companies, Yiyang and Kingwing, are jointly providing helicopter tours to visitors over the site, which was used for World Expo in 2010, the Huangpu River and the site of the Disney Resort, which is under construction. Tour lasts six to 25 minutes, and costs between 4,000 yuan ($640) and 12,000 yuan ($1920) each.

Yiyang said it has sought permission of the air traffic control to fly the copters at 300 feet height instead of the present height of 200 feet to reduce noise levels, and respond to complaints from Shanghai citizens.

“The sightseeing tours are new to the city, so we apologize for failing to take these details into account,” Ren Yibing, general manager of Yiyang Cultural Co, told the paper.

If the revised route continues to cause upset, it will be adjusted further, he said. Besides, the 12-seat helicopter used at present will be replaced by a smaller, and quieter, four-seater, for flying over highly populated areas, he said.

“My 22-month-old granddaughter runs into my arms and covers her ears with her little hands every time she hears the helicopter,” a 60-year-old woman surnamed Mao told the paper. “It’s not just the noise, you can also feel the pressure in your ears, like when a plane takes off,” she said.

An official from the neighborhood committee at Taolin area of Shanghai said he has received numerous complaints about the noise from the aircraft.

Asia Noise News

Decibels rising, New Delhi can’t afford to flunk its noise pollution test

On May 5, the National Green Tribunal will meet government officials, traffic cops and residents to discuss solutions to noise pollution in south Delhi’s Panchsheel Park located along the busy Outer Ring Road.

A petition in the green court seeks relief for 5,000-odd residents who suffer as the noise levels in their neighbourhood touch 65-75 decibels (db), while the safe limit for day and night is 55 and 45 db, respectively.

They have already scored a partial victory when earlier the Tribunal directed the traffic police to declare Panchsheel Park as a no-horn zone, limit the speed of vehicles passing the area to 30 km/hr and fine the violators. Residents have been asked to grow green hedges to ward off the noise from the road. But they want a concrete sound barrier around the neighbourhood.

If these measures are effectively enforced, Panchsheel Park will be one of the few residential areas in Delhi to get some kind of sound-proofing.

Studies indicate that noise disturbance in Delhi is an environmental problem, as severe as air pollution, but few take note. We absorb the din without realising that it causes stress and messes up with our sleep. The World Health Organisation says that prolonged exposure to noise above 80 decibels can interfere with our immune systems, boost stress hormones, contribute to cardiovascular maladies and cause hearing damage.

In 2011, researchers from the Centre for Science and Environment travelled through Delhi, recording sound levels using a manual meter. They found the noise level going up to 100 db in the commercial and industrial zones, and 90 db in some residential zones during peak traffic.

At least 70% of these damaging sounds emanate from the ever-swelling fleet of eight million vehicles in a city of 17 million people. In 1910 when England’s Oliver Lucas designed the first electrical horn attached to the automobile, it was to save lives. Until then, laws in England mandated that self-propelled vehicles must be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag and blowing a horn for the safety of pedestrians and animals.

Today, incessant honking is often blamed on India’s poor road infrastructure. But most drivers do it out of habit. On Delhi roads, weaving through traffic is a proud art that involves constant honking. At 100-110 db, blaring car horns are comparable with noise from a rock concert or a running jet engine.

Honking is banned in India at intersections or near temples, schools and hospitals. But the rule is flouted every second. With a fine as low as R100, it doesn’t matter anyway. Such is the demand for louder horns that many foreign car makers have customised stronger horns for the Indian market.

Recommendations of the pollution watchdog include ban on pressure horns, extensive plantation of trees on the roadsides, encouraging use of noise-absorbent materials, adequate noise barriers, monitoring of loudspeakers and generator. While regular sound-mapping can check the extent of noise trauma, sound barriers can bring noise levels down by 5 db.

Above all, say experts, sound trauma can be reduced just by changing our habits. The horns are necessary to warn other road users or animals of the vehicle’s approach, or as a part of an anti-theft device. In all other situations, it is possible to drive without honking.

All you need to do is stick to the speed limit. Experts prescribe the two-second rule — staying at two seconds or one car length behind the vehicle directly in front of one’s car gives just about enough time to stop or manoeuvre the vehicle if the one ahead of you suddenly applies brake. For overtaking or changing lanes, use indicators. And remember, no matter how much you honk, you can’t make traffic jams disappear.

“Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience,” said Dr William H. Stewart, former Surgeon General of the United States. After much prodding, our government has woken up to the problem of air pollution. There is no reason why it should sleep through the deafening noise that ails our city.

Source of article New Delhi Noise pollution