OECD says Mexico is one of the noisiest countries, and Mexico City might change that with $14,000 fines for noisy neighbors

Local deputy Ricardo Rubio will present an initiative to increase the fines for all citizens of Mexico City who make too much noise in order to take care of the health of the capital.

According to the legislator, the proposal will fine up to $14,914 pesos and up to 72 hours of arrest for all those who disturb public order and cause noise through any means. In addition, if the measure is approved, it may also fine 36 hours of community work for those who carry out actions that threaten the health of citizens or harm their well-being.

According to the initiative, the World Health Organization (WHO) determined that sound pollution, as well as noise, are the second most harmful factor to the health of human beings, after air pollution; the reason why people should not be exposed to more than 60 decibels.

Likewise, the organization pointed out that noise pollution causes 16,600 premature deaths and more than 72,000 hospitalizations in Europe every year, according to data from the European Environment Agency (EEA). In the same sense, the WHO defined noise as any sound that is above 65 decibels, since from 75 decibels it can be dangerous to listen to those frequencies and painful if levels of 120 are heard.

The Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) indicated that noise pollution causes hearing loss, alters behavior, memory and attention disorders, as well as changing ecosystems. Therefore, it is considered the second most dangerous type of environmental pollution for humans.

Other damages are related to physiological and psychosomatic changes, many of them irreversible, such as the presence of stress, vegetative effects, heart rhythm disturbances, variations in the peripheral system, pregnancy conditions, sleep disorders, as well as psychological effects.

According to the agency and the Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) Mexico is one of the countries most exposed to sounds above 65 decibels, which reveals great noise pollution, and is among one of the noisiest countries in the world.

The factors that originate the presence of this type of frequency are typical of human activities, however, the construction industry, vehicular traffic, street commerce, and entertainment centers are the main contributors. In addition, SEMARNAT indicated that the places where it occurs most regularly are the cities because they have a larger population.

SEMARNAT explained that noise pollution is an increasingly common phenomenon due to modern society and the development of industrial, commercial, and service activities.

“Noise pollution is an important environmental problem with an increasing presence in modern society, due to the development of industrial, commercial and service activities (…) According to its intensity, frequency and exposure time, it affects not only human beings but all living beings that make up the ecosystems in which the human population is immersed,” the agency detailed.

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