Did I hear noise pollution?


Hibari Kyouya

Walking past a worker knocking at the ground with his jackhammer at a set of traffic lights today, I wondered at the noise pollution he was causing to the surroundings. I wondered the same thing again as I passed a storage unit just a few metres away with loud fans running inside it.

In both situations, the workers there were wearing protective, or sound-blocking, ear muffs assumedly to protect themselves from rupturing their eardrums with the loud noise and/or long term hearing damage. But working so close to other shops and pedestrian walkways, what was protecting store staff, customers and pedestrians from damage to their hearing?

Hear hear

In the case of today, pedestrians waiting at the lights would have to wait roughly anywhere from 2 minutes to 0 seconds, and the sound of hammer blows from a jackhammer can be from 100 - 130 decibels depending on how close you are standing. As the workers were placed most inconveniently right where the set of lights were, this meant that the distance was often less than two metres, which would mean that the decibels emitted were 100dB or more.

Although the permissible exposure time for 100dB is 15 minutes, this drops to around 30 seconds at 115dB, which can mean if you were close this would have been extremely dangerous. Imagine though, that while this is a minor irritation to passing pedestrians, store staff could be hearing this all day.

I don’t expect them to begin handing out earmuffs to people walking past, and it’s also unreasonable to assume that they would quit their work consistently to allow people going past to have some relief. While inconvenient, perhaps roping off that particular set of lights and placing a traffic controller there would have been a better solution. But who wants to spend the money?

There's a strange scent in the air

On this topic though, are there guidelines similar to the acceptable noise levels for smells? I often wonder why it is that workers at nail salons are often wearing face masks, but their customers are not even though the process could take a while.

Personally, just by walking past the salon and smelling the scents that waft from it already brings up the urge to cough, perhaps it smells better on the inside or you just get used to it? I can only imagine what it does to your lungs.

In any case, watch out lest Hibari comes to discipline you for noise pollution, or god forbid, air pollution? I wonder why he never disciplined Gokudera? Anyway, that’s enough of Reborn.