According to the latest annual Frontier Report, 2022, published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), three Indian cities are among the top 15 most noise-polluted cities. The South Asian region, with member countries Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, is the noisiest, while Latin America and Europe regions are the quietest in the world.
Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is found to be the noisiest city in the world. Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, India, is at number two in the list.
In 2021, Moradabad city has recorded 114 decibels of noise pollution. This year, 61 cities around the world have been ranked in the UN report. Apart from Moradabad, four other cities of India are included in the list. Kolkata and Asansol are included in the list with 89 decibels, Jaipur with 84 decibels, and Delhi with 83 decibels.
“Exposure to environmental noise sources such as road traffic, air traffic, railways, machinery, industry and recreational activities have well-documented negative impacts on physical and mental well-being,” the report says.
According to the WHO guidelines, the permissible noise level limits are 55 dB (decibels) LAeq (equivalent continuous sound level is the sound level in decibels) for outdoor residential areas and 70 dB LAeq for commercial areas, and where there’s traffic.
15 Most Noise-Polluted Cities in the World
- Dhaka (Bangladesh) 119 dB
- Moradabad (India) 114 dB
- Islamabad (Pakistan) 105 dB
- Rajshahi (Bangladesh) 103 dB
- Ho Chi Minh City (Viet Nam) 103 dB
- Ibadan (Nigeria) 101 dB
- Kupondole (Nepal) 100 dB
- Algiers (Algeria) 100 dB
- Bangkok (Thailand) 99 dB
- New York (US) 95 dB
- Damascus (Syria) 94 dB
- Manila (Philippines) 92 dB
- Hong Kong (China) 89 dB
- Kolkata ( India) 89 dB
- Asansol (India) 89 dB
Impact of Noise Pollution on Human Health
Noise pollution impacts millions of people on a daily basis. The most common health problem it causes is noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Exposure to loud noise can also cause high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disturbances and stress. These health problems can affect all age groups, especially children.