Asia Noise News Environment

When traffic noise gets too loud for health

Thomson lives about 50 meters from a busy freeway that bisects Kuala Lumpur – one that has been increasingly used as a speedway for high-speed races, diesel-spewing lorries, revving motorcycles and cars that have been illegally modified to make even more noise.

About the only time it quiets down is Saturday night between 3am and 4am, Thomson said.

Otherwise, the din is constant, and most nights, he’s jolted out of sleep five or six times.

“It’s terrible. I don’t recommend it for anyone.”

Thomson is a victim of noise pollution, which health experts warn is a growing problem that is not confined to our ears, but causes stress-related conditions like anxiety, high blood pressure and insomnia.

“There’s an aspect of our society that likes to be loud and proud, but it shouldn’t infringe on someone else’s health in a public space.”

Traffic is a major driver of noise pollution, which disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities, and it’s getting harder to escape the sounds of leaf blowers, construction, and other irritants.