Noise pollution affects 15 million Vietnamese people

Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – At least 15 million of the country’s 52-million workforce is
suffering the consequences of severe noise levels, the Institute of
Occupational Health and Environment, said on July 20.

The figure was revealed by Doan Ngoc Hai, head of the institute, which is under
the Ministry of Health, during a workshop in Hanoi on the effects of noise on
health and preventive measures, co-organised by the institute and its Japanese

Noise pollution is a serious issue, particularly in urban areas and industrial
zones where it often exceeds permitted levels, Hai said, adding that noise
pollution – caused by traffic, factories, and construction sites – is
affecting the quality of life.

He said noise ranks second after dust in affecting people’s health.

Noise does not stay accumulated in the environment, like dust and pollution
from toxins, but it affects human beings just as badly and can have
long-lasting consequences such as impaired hearing.

Noise pollution can also cause sleep disturbances, hypertension, coronary
artery disease and cognitive decline in children, Hai noted.

A study conducted by the institute on 12 routes and intersections in Hanoi shows
that the average daytime noise is 77.8 to 78.1 dBA (decibels), which exceeds
the permissible standard of 7.8 to 8.1 dBA.

The average night-time noise is 65.3 to 75.7 dBA, which exceeds the standard of
10 to 20 dBA.

Ha Lan Phuong, deputy head of the institute’s health examination department,
said that in order to reduce noise, the use of personal vehicles must be
restricted and public transport must be enhanced.

Authorities must also be stricter with motor vehicle registration checks and
pull vehicles off the road that don’t meet the permissible limits, Phuong said.

Companies in industrial zones should schedule periodic maintenance of their
facilities, invest in good noise protection equipment and conduct periodic
health check-ups for workers who are frequently exposed to high noise, he

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