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Panama noise levels harmful to health

DIABLOS ROJOS - Noise and air polluters
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NOISE LEVELS  in some areas of Panama exceed internationally established limits and are higher than cities like New York says the president the OIr ex Vivir (To Hear is to Live)  Foundation.

In an interview with the Acan-Efe  news agency, Giovanna Troncoso said the noise is a symptom of the lack of tolerance of Panamanian society.

The activist said the most respectful societies are also the most silent, and that the day to day the great majority of Panamanians are “unbearable.”

“The latest study on the subject, which pitifully dates from 2001, showed that the levels of noise that are recorded at noon on Vía España are superior to levels of large cities like New York, ” she said. the Panamanian activist.

The foundation estimates that more than half of non-congenital hearing impairments could be avoided if we built more considerate societies and that 70 percent of the noise heard in the streets of Panama corresponds to the intense traffic and the little patience that Panamanians have at the steering wheel.

“The honking  is very annoying and too common in this country if a traffic light turns green and it takes less 10 seconds to start, the car behind is already shouting so you do not waste their time. The horn should be just an emergency resource. in other countries what are used are the lights. ”

A couple of weeks ago the Foundation launched  a media campaign called “When you toot it hurts me”, which seeks to make the population aware of the harmful spiral that triggers the noise and uses the image of a boy who covers his ears with his hands.

Troncoso lamented the lack of attention given by Latin American governments to noise and warned that its effects on human health go far beyond hearing loss.

“Noise increases stress levels, disturbs sleep, alters heart rate, generates attitudes aggressive, mental alterations, difficulty concentrating, irritability, headache, fatigue, neurosis, depression, and even digestive disorders, “she said.

The European Union (EU) estimates that countries lose 0.1 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) annually due to noise and the physical and psychological disorders it causes in people.

“In Panama City, there are currently laws that seek to control noise pollution, the problem is that they are not met. The authorities should allocate more funds to form anti-noise brigades, “the activist suggested.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that noise starts to be harmful after 85 decibels (dB), a threshold that is crossed almost daily in Panama.

Troncoso said that the electric drills that are used to drill the ground reach 110 dB, while that the horns of the “diablos rojos” reach 100 dB. The horn of a sedan car also exceeds the recommended limit and hits 90 dB.



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