How can we control noise pollution?

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  • By Mayu Myo Aung (MNA)

 

Washington-born Edward W. Kellogg and Massachusetts-born electrical engineer Chester Williams Rice invented the loudspeaker in 1925.
Myanmar under the British rule started to use the loudspeakers, thus prompting the British to enact laws concerning with the electroacoustic transducer. In “the Police Act Section 39” proclaimed in 1945, the people were not allowed to use or switch on the loudspeakers in public areas without the permission of authorities concerned, according to Section 41(A).

DEATHS FROM NOISY ENVIRONMENTS
According to a report by the British Medical Association, those living in noisy environments may reduce lifespan and may increase risk for stroke.
Those who live in an environment of 60 decibels are four per cent higher in death rate than those who live under 55 decibels. A decibel is a unit for measuring how loud a noise is; normal conversations produce about 55 decibels. The noise produced by a loudspeaker could raise more than 100 decibels. If a person who keeps listening to a sound of more than 75 decibels, tends be hard of hearing, suggested by World Health Organization.
The Administrative Laws for wards and village tracts were proclaimed by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on 24 February, 2012; first amendments to these laws were made on 28 March, the second ones on 20 January 2016. The third amendments were made in 2016. “The administrator of a ward or a village tract will have to carry out his duties in accordance

with legal procedures” included in the amendments. In Sub-section(h), permission of using loudspeakers will be allowed after close scrutiny; actions will be taken against violators or formal documents will be sent to them. In connection with loudspeakers 1) the owner, the association or the borrower will have to apply three days in advance by giving reasons and duration, 2) by-law-1 will allow from 6am to 9pm after scrutiny. In order not to disturb the public, loudspeakers would be used in public areas just to let the people hear. They are to be used only in the case, not in other purposes. The cessation of use of loudspeakers must be abided by the owners. If necessary, the consent of the Police Force must be sought and regulations, discipline and directives must be abided by the users. In Section-18, the dwellers in the ward or village tract must seek permission from the administrator and at the same time prescribed rules and regulations are proclaimed. If they fail to abide by rules and regulations prescribed in Section 27, 17, 18 and 19, the users must be fined by not more than K 5000 or 7 days of imprisonment by the Court. Although high levels of noise are not much hazardous to health, they could cause harmful effects to the elderly, the infants, pregnant women, and students, thereby restricting noises by laws in some countries.

MANY FAILURES
Among the topics in the public, people have discussed about high-pitched loudspeakers and sound boxes in wards and villages. State lottery sale-ads, traditional medicines ads, purified water trolleys and pickled fruit trolleys keep hanging around on street corners, by using bullhorns, making people suffer from noise pollution day by day. During the open seasons, blaring of loudspeakers and sound boxes from respective donation pandals were heard , making people in the surroundings ear-splitting. No one pays heed to the laws; wards and village administrators fail to take against the venders. When loudspeakers are used in ceremonies, festivals and funfairs, the appropriate statutory rules and regulations must be abided by; in addition, health concerning with the elderly, infants and patients should be taken into consideration. The users should be reminded that if loudspeakers tend to create noises to disturb the environment, actions can be taken against the owners.

 

Translated by
Arakan Sein

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