Egypt is certainly a loud country. Home to more than 98 million, with deadlocked streets, traffic jams, and endless honking of cars, the latest World Meters report says Egypt is truly the country that never sleeps. But how bad is the problem exactly?
A recent report by the World Hearing Index found Cairo to be the world’s second noisiest city, second only to Guangzhou, China, and followed by Paris, Beijing, and Delhi.
The report was conducted by sampling participants from different countries for hearing loss. Participants in Delhi recorded the highest average hearing loss – equivalent to someone 19.34 years older than them. Vienna had the lowest hearing loss – but still, on average, that of someone 10.59 years older.
The problem with noise pollution in Cairo is not a new phenomenon. A report by the Egyptian National Research Center in 2007 found t5hat noise pollution reached an average of 90 decibels (dB) and never dropped under 70 dB. According to AFP, this is equivalent to continuously living inside a factory.
Noise pollution is not to be dealt with lightly, as it can have serious health effects. “Noise pollution causes hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart attacks, strokes, and death,” Dr. Daniel Fink, chairman of the Quiet Coalition, a community of health and legal professionals concerned with the adverse impacts of environmental noise, told the Guardian.
The World Hearing Index Report study found that on average, people living in the loudest cities tend to lose their hearing in a rate equivalent to someone 10-20 years older. The results also showed a 64% correlation between hearing loss and noise pollution.