Mexico can be noisy. Noise represents one of the chief complaints in Mexico City.

Noise a problem for many CDMX residents

Even vendors of tamales contribute to the city's high noise levels

Noise levels in Mexico City are becoming a major source of complaints by citizens and a serious health threat, according to a city official.


Even vendors of tamales, who can exceed noise level standards by eight decibels, are among the myriad sources of dangerously high noise levels, both fixed and moving, said Miguel Ángel Cancino Aguilar of the city’s Attorney for the Environment and Territorial Law (PAOT).

But while federal standards call for levels not to exceed 68 decibels during the day and 65 at night, there is no law stipulating punishment for doing so.

So far this year there have been 2,439 noise-related complaints in the city, in third place behind land-use violations and animal abuse on the list of official complaints registered.

Cancino Aguilar worries about hearing damage that noise levels are causing, particularly among adolescents and young adults who are exposed to high levels in bars and at music events.

Fixed sources of noise are one thing, but mobile sources are yet another and can represent 50% of total noise. Cancino Aguilar said it was complicated enough to try to control fixed sources but rather more difficult to control those that are moving.

In various parts of Mexico City normal daily noise levels are up to 75 decibels, equal to that of the noisy tamal vendor. In some places the cumulative total of mobile sources can reach 195 thanks to street vendors (75), garbage vendors beating on their metal pans (70), airplanes (130) and traffic noise (up to 90), said the PAOT spokesman, which represents “an invisible enemy.”

Source: Milenio (sp)

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  • Henry Wilson

    an early comment to a fellow traveler back in my naive days: “why is everything so loud in this country?” response: “they are all deaf and assume that you are also deaf.” think its bad in mexico? take a trip through central america sometime. much louder and the street dogs look even worse and are much more aggressive.

    • Jumex

      I agree in Central America the main form of advertising seems to be yelling and load speakers.They even have small trucks that drive around with speakers and horns that blare advertisements through the streets.

      • Henry Wilson

        so does mexico. but not as loudly.

  • PintorEnMexico

    Not to mention the f-ing church bells. Beau?

    • Güerito

      You need to be housed at least a mile from el centro of any city while in Mexico. 5 or 6 blocks if it’s un pueblo.

      I pity the tourists who book rooms a few blocks from the church bells that start clanging at 5:30 a.m.

  • Güerito

    “Equal to that of the noisy tamal vendor.” ??

    “Garbage *vendors* beating on their metal pans:” ??

    Am I missing something? Or is something lost in translation?

    • Güerito

      There’s something lost in translation.

      The Milenio article’s talking about tamal vendors with loud speakers, and the noise of the “garbage vendors beating on their metal pans” is the guys ringing the garbage bell. Sheesh!

  • Güerito

    There’s something lost in translation, definitely.

    The Milenio article’s talking about tamal vendors with loud speakers, and the noise of the “garbage vendors beating on their metal pans” are the guys ringing the garbage bell.

    (if you don’t know about the guys ringing the garbage bell you’ve never been to Mexico)

  • gardeniabliss

    there is outdoor night noise late into the night near hotel canada from a “disco”. it is totally unbearable friday,

    saturday and sometimes sunday nights for many hours. the decibel level is way above any mentioned in the article. why does mexico city allow this atrocity?! that is near the zocalo by cinco de mayo.