Asia Noise News

Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Risk of hearing loss increasing: experts

Increasing exposure to damaging sound levels in recreational areas and the unsafe use of personal audio devices are putting Cambodians, especially teenagers and young adults, at a high risk of hearing loss, health experts said yesterday.

In a statement issued on Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that at least 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults globally are susceptible to hearing loss due to growing exposure to recreational noise.

Nearly 50 per cent of teenagers and young adults aged 12-35 years are prone to hazardous levels of sound from improper personal audio device use while 40 per cent are vulnerable to potentially harmful levels of sound at entertainment venues, according to a recent WHO analysis of data from middle- and high-income countries.

Although low-income countries weren’t included in the study due to a lack of data, Dr Shelly Chadha, WHO’s prevention of deafness and hearing loss technical officer in the Geneva headquarters, said that the threat is “very real” within the general Cambodian population.

“Cambodia is seeing the same trends with regards to recreational noise so the risks are present there too,” Chadha said.

In the National Institute of Statistics’ most recent Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey, 4,155 Cambodians had hearing disabilities.

NGO Deaf Development Programme (DDP) director Charlie Dittmeier, however, said the current number is much higher, with 51,000 profoundly deaf and half a million hard-of-hearing people in the Kingdom.

“Cambodia is a very noisy culture, which is evident through the wall of speakers present at most weddings, funerals and advertisements in the streets,” said Dittmeier. “Due to these factors and people playing their music really loud, the problem is only getting worse.”

Under the 2014 Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia, the government is planning to initiate some programs targeting hearing loss prevention and increasing hearing impaired people’s access to health and rehabilitation services.

The government also plans to take over the deaf school operated by NGO Krousar Thmey in 2020 and is working with DDP to develop a hybrid Khmer-American sign language, Dittmeier added.

But to further combat the problem and lessen risks, Chadha recommended that the government focus on prevention.

“Prevention, after all, is easier and cheaper than cures.”


Asia Noise News

noise barriers for LTA in Singapore

SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Thursday (Jan 15) announced it had awarded a contract to install 3.5 km of noise barriers at nine locations to CKT Thomas.

This is the second contract under Phase 1 awarded by LTA, and the noise barriers will be implemented in Clementi, Eunos and Lakeside after designs and site investigations are completed in the third quarter of 2015, the LTA press release stated.

The works, which will cost about S$17 million, are targeted to be completed in mid-2017. The noise barriers are expected to reduce railway noise levels by five to 10 decibels so residents living near elevated MRT tracks can look forward to an improved living environment, it added.

The LTA had in December 2013 awarded the first contract under Phase 1 to Precise Development to install 10km of noise barriers at 16 locations, following successful pilot projects at Bishan and Jurong East. These works are currently in progress at Admiralty, Marsiling as well as Sembawang, and will next be carried out at Ang Mo Kio, Pioneer and Yew Tee.

All works are on schedule to be completed in 2016, it added.

Phase 2 of the installation programme of about 9km of barriers is projected to begin in 2016, and further details of this will be announced later this year, LTA said.noise barrier Singapore LTA

Asia Noise News

India: Amra Marg may get noise barriers soon

Navi Mumbai: After constant complaints by residents and several failed attempts, the civic body may finally install noise barriers on Amra Marg in Belapur.

The plan, which was conceptualized three years ago, failed to take off after companies, which bid to install these barriers, quoted prices exceeding the budgetary allocation.

In 2011-12, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) had proposed to install these barriers and had sanctioned Rs 50 lakh. Recently, the civic body revised that allocation to Rs 4 crore.

The NMMC has also sanctioned a study to investigate the various kinds of sound and ways to insulate the surrounding buildings from it.

“Since the area is flanked by a hill on the east and high-rise buildings on the west, sound reflects like in a valley. Residents have spent lakhs to install double-glass windows to block sounds,” said Tejaswini Pandit, architect and resident of Neel Sidhi Atlantis.

She has been coordinating with the NMMC, who acknowledged her concerns.

“Containers heading to JNPT ply on Amra Marg highway. Since residential complexes have come up on the sides of the highway, the sound is deafening. We have been planning to get noise barriers installed on this route,” said Mohan Dagaonkar, engineer, NMMC.

The study will also give NMMC a rough estimate on the cost for this project. “Requirements of sound barriers for residential areas are different from those installed atop bridges and other open areas. Decibel readings of the area are being recorded,” said Subodh Mule, deputy engineer (environment), NMMC.

After the study is complete, the NMMC will invite tenders from companies to install these barriers.