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)