Plan to Help Curb Tehran Noise Pollution

Plan to Help Curb  Tehran Noise PollutionPlan to Help Curb  Tehran Noise Pollution

At the 204th session of the Tehran City Council members approved an action plan to help reduce noise pollution in the capital that has reached an all-time high.

“The second item on the agenda was assigned to study the bill, presented in the  council after being reviewed, revised, and taking into account input from all committees,” said Rahmatollah Hafezi, head of the council’s Civil Service and Environmental Health Commisson, Moj News Agency reported.

Noting that the plan comprised two sections, he said the first concerns urban management including establishment of an air pollution committee for Tehran.

“Deputy of Tehran Traffic and Transportation Organization, Seyyed Jafar Tashakori Hashemi will head the committee while the head of Tehran Air Quallity Control Organization, Vahid Hosseini, will be the secretary,” Hafezi said.

The second part of the plan recommends a number of urban management techniques to the administration in order to curb noise pollution.

In Tehran, the noise pollution index is measured by 43 stations set up in the city, based on a unit known as decibel (dB). If the sound pollution exceeds 70 dB, the situation is said to be critical.

 Some Solutions

Solutions proposed to check noise nuisance include adding a “noise-sensitive zones” category in the vicinity of educational and medical centers that would make the maximum permissible noise level for the zone at 50 dB during the day, and 40 dB at night. Each zone would have a radius of 100 meters.

The second strategy, Hafezi said, is to revise the existing maximum allowable decibel levels for motor vehicles, and set them on par with global standards in terms of noise from exhaust systems, engines, horns, brakes and sound systems.

“The bill also suggests that vehicles including loaders, dump trucks, tractors, road rollers, cranes, and cement bunkers be assigned a specific maximum permissible noise level,” he said.

Council Chairman Mahdi Chamran stressed that it is vital to implement the noise-control strategies given the current state of affairs, and called for mapping noise pollution on an annual basis.

Noise pollution can be any unwanted or offensive sounds that unreasonably intrude people’s daily activities. A normal room has a sound intensity of 40 dB. At 45 dB, a person cannot sleep. At 85 dB, hearing is damaged, and at 120 dB, it can be explosive.

Noise pollution affects both health and behavior. Unwanted sound can exacerbate psychological health and cause hypertension, high stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, and other harmful effects.

The main reasons for noise pollution are heavy road traffic and transport, construction works and industrial and commercial activities. The most noise nuisance in Tehran is from cars and motorcycles, and construction activities. More than four million cars including many clunkers ply the over congested and overcrowded capital.