Noise threatens Jordanian mental health and laws are “paper ink”

As soon as Amman and the Jordanian cities wake up, the noise becomes louder and the noise spreads everywhere, heralding the beginning of a new day in the Jordanian way, where noise dominates all voices calling for the need for calm to maintain mental health. of citizens.

As street chaos subsides in winter, it is most troubling in summer, when fireworks, wedding processions and graduations, as well as street vendors and children narrow the neighborhoods and traffic that does not calm down until the wee hours of the morning, announcing a ceasefire. short, and then soon For Oman specifically to turn into a daily hell for its inhabitants.

Laws set permissible sound levels in residential areas of cities at 60 decibels during the day and 50 at night. And in residential areas on the outskirts, at 55 day and 45 night, but on the ground it is much more than that.

Laws do not apply

Laws dealing with this phenomenon are crowded, namely the Traffic Law in Jordan, the Law on Environmental Protection, the guidelines for limiting and preventing noise, the guidelines for wedding halls and the guidelines for organizing fireworks companies, but they do not have been activated and they do not contribute to preventing all manifestations of noise in Jordan which is increasing day by day.

The Central Traffic Directorate classifies noise as one of the environmental problems of modern society, caused by industrial activities and means of transport and talks about its significant and harmful impact on the psychological and nervous life of man, as some of them lead to permanent hearing impairment. or damage to the middle ear and may cause internal damage. .

And amid the noise of vehicles, buildings, buildings and commercial and human activities such as celebrations, many stakeholders are calling for the spread of awareness through various media about noise and its dangerous effects, in addition to introducing the environmental dimension in school curricula, the need to keep schools and hospitals away from noise sources and enforce the necessary legislation to reduce and prevent noise.

Some laws, such as the traffic law, provide for fines for blocking vehicles, paying fines, and imprisonment for one week for anyone making noise through their vehicle. The Law on Environment also guarantees the protection of citizens from noise pollution with financial fines and imprisonment for violators. morning. , and fireworks are prohibited after ten o’clock at night.

But all of this remains ink on paper with what Jordanians suffer every day in markets and streets, which are not without speakers in the cars of street vendors, gas cylinder vendors, scrap dealers and the list goes on.

Problem or personal freedom?

According to observers, most of the houses in the capital, Aman, have views and are close to the main roads, causing their residents to suffer from car noises, the level of which exceeds 80 decibels.

A study conducted by the University of Jordan shows that the cities of Zarqa and Irbid suffer more from noise than the capital, Amman, where there are many party halls, workshops and industrial areas.

Jordanians use to bypass this noise in some unsuccessful ways, such as installing double-insulated glass, but with most homes without insulation, the problem remains, even involving physical and health conditions that doctors monitor, such as high blood pressure, blood pressure. nervor. problems, sleep disorders, anxiety and fatigue.

Specialists monitor internationally accepted sound levels, which are 25-40 dB in residential areas, 30-60 in commercial areas, 40-60 in industrial areas, 30-40 in educational areas and 20-35 in hospital areas.

Environment Ministry engineer Jabr Daradkeh acknowledges poor control over noise violations and focuses more on air pollution and the environment, but he points to future campaigns in this regard, while other officials talk about the lack of a social culture that sees noise. as personal freedom and not a problem.

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Solution

While the complaint was lacking in noise during periods of sweeping ban on the Corona pandemic, relevant authorities monitored about 580 violations in 2020, the most prominent of which were photos of cars selling gas cylinders in the neighborhood all the time and to resolve. For this problem, the Ministry of Energy is launching a smartphone app to search for gas cylinders instead of noise from distributors.

Economics expert, Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Balbisi, proposes several solutions in this context, such as setting up barriers to isolate road and rail noise, planning air transport and airports to be on the outskirts of cities, and increasing green spaces inside. cities.

Al-Balbisi points out that awareness in Jordan about this type of environmental pollution and its effects on human health is still weak, despite the increase in noise causes such as car unloading, motorcycles, occasional shootings and fireworks, street vendors, dogs that bark. inside houses and finally planes.Tourist helicopter.

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