Madrid residents suffer from noise pollution

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Half a million Madrid residents suffer from noise pollution exceeding 65 decibels caused by blaring horns and purring exhausts.

25 July 2008

MADRID - The cacophony of blaring horns and purring exhausts that forms the often deafening  backdrop to life in Madrid has finally been measured - and the results are hardly music to Madrileños' ears.

According to a long overdue acoustic map of the city presented by Madrid City Hall Thursday, almost half a million Madrid residents suffer from noise pollution exceeding 65 decibels, the maximum recommended by the World Health Organisation.

In addition, several thousand, particularly in the districts of Chamberí, Salamanca, Retiro and Centro, are exposed to noise exceeding 70 decibels or even 80 decibels.

The study, based on measurements from 30 stationary decibel meters placed around the city, as well as readings taken by mobile units, was supposed to have been completed a year ago in line with a new nationwide law on noise pollution.

Under the legislation, all Spanish cities of over 250,000 inhabitants had to draw up noise pollution maps and then take remedial action where excessive noise was detected.

Madrid City Hall says it will now take steps to quiet down the noisiest parts of the capital, including resurfacing streets with noise-reducing asphalt.

[El Pais / Daniel Borasteros / Expatica]

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