Hydraulic horn is one of the immeasurable means of sound pollution that causes serious health problems, especially to the children, said former Vice-Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Dr Pran Gopal Dutta.
“This horn (hydraulic) specially causes serious damage to children…if a child below three years of age hears a horn producing 100 decibel (dB) of noise from a close range, he or she might lose his or her hearing power”, Dutta told BSS.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), generally 60 dB sounds can make a man deaf temporarily and 100 dB sounds can cause complete deafness. The noise of any busy street in Dhaka has been estimated at 60 to 80 dB, with the sound of hydraulic horns measuring 95 dB.
Dr Pran Gopal, an ENT (ear, nose and throat) expert, while narrating various hazards caused by hydraulic horns and sound pollution, said, “The most obvious consequence of traffic noise is hearing loss that is worst in cities, where this type of horns and sirens are common noises.”
“Hydraulic horn is very loud and can hurt the eardrums of children and long term traffic noise causes irreparable health damages to them”, he cautioned.
“When hearing loss occurs in children, it can lead to speech problems”, Director of Dhaka Shishu (Children) Hospital, Professor Dr Manzoor Hussain told BSS.
“Excessive noise can cause problems including decreased school performance, weakening of the immune system and sleep disturbance of children”, said the pediatrician.
According to Environment expert Professor Dr M A Bashar of Dhaka University “Excessive traffic noise is one of the most common complaints of the city residents and sound of hydraulic horn affects people more than any other unwanted noises.”
“Though there are sets of laws to prevent sound pollution, people do not know about them because of lack of concern, and they continue to suffer from hydraulic horns,” he said.
Due to lack of awareness and inefficiency in driving, many drivers use the horn unnecessarily that increases sound level in the proximity. The practical situation is very severe in the mornings near any primary or secondary school and even in front of hospitals.
Hydraulic horn is one of the major reasons of sound pollution. The hydraulic horns used by buses, trucks and other motor vehicles in the crowded city streets are dangerous for human being. Such noise pollution in Dhaka city is affecting the hearing power of thousands of children every day.
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