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Noise Pollution in Cairo: “A Silent Enemy”

Photo by Hossam all line.

The New York Times reports today that noise on Cairo’s streets averages 85 decibels, the equivalent of standing just 15 feet from a passing freight train. And that’s just the average. In the loudest parts of the city it can reach 95 decibels, only slightly softer than the noise produced by a jackhammer!

The loud noise on the city’s streets is not just a nuisance:

It can cause elevated blood pressure and other stress-related diseases. It can interfere with sleep, which almost always makes people more irritable. “People need a chance to sleep, to have a chance to think, in quiet,” said Dr. Nagat Amer, a physician and researcher with the national center.

And the cause of the noise really isn’t all that surprising:

In general terms, the noise is a symptom of an increasingly unmanageable city, crowded far beyond its original capacity, officials at the National Research Center said. The main culprit is the two million cars, and drivers who jam the city roads every day.

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