Half of Dubliners exposed to dangerous decibels

DUB Dublin - bus stop in front of Clerys department store on O Connell Street 3008x2000Noise-induced hearing loss is an increasingly prevalent disorder that results from exposure to high-intensity sound. According to a recent study by Dublin city’s local authorities more than half of Dublin’s population is exposed to undesirable noise levels.

Although preventable, it can sometimes be difficult to avoid as we are exposed to excessive noise levels doing routine activities on a daily basis. Of the 1.28m people living in Dublin, 56% are affected by noise emanating from heavy road traffic, aircrafts or trains.

The findings are contained in a new mapping action plan which is designed to identify and quieten the capital’s noisiest neighbourhoods. Dublin’s four local authorities are working together on the map, which will take five years to complete.

The number of people exposed to undesirable night-time noise levels above 55 decibels reduced from 94% in 2008 to 22% in 2012, but 1% or 3,700 people still suffer night-time sound levels above 70 decibels.

In the day time, 46,800 Dubliners are exposed to levels above 70 decibels. A further 12,600 put up with noise levels over 75 decibels. This is down from 24,000 in 2008.

The Noise Action Plan will run from December 2013 to November 2018, and includes efforts to address heavy traffic flow in the loudest neighbourhoods.

In 2008, the first noise map of Ireland singled out the M50 as the worst noise polluter in Dublin, exposing nearby residents to a din as loud as a twin-engined jet at take-off.

Anybody who might be concerned about their hearing, can avail of a free hearing test at any Hidden Hearing branch nationwide. You can book a hearing test free of charge at any of Hidden Hearing’s 60 clinics nationwide. Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit http://www.hiddenhearing.ie.