Sounds animate human life. According to our mood, we may like to listen to music to blow off some steam, to party, or simply to entertain ourselves. It is not unusual to hear screams of joy, or of fear for that matter, when watching a football match, horns honking during a wedding procession, or kids splashing loudly in the water of a swimming pool… However, a sound can become noise pollution (an unwanted and bothering sound) if its intensity is too high and its duration too long. We are surrounded by sounds, and have to live with them, but under these conditions, they should be considered a hazard to everyone’s health, everywhere.
We have made a measurement of the ambient sounds in Antananarivo, in order to assess the overall level of noise pollution. For that purpose, we used a rather simple methodology: an Android device, which microphone was used as a sensor, coupled with a sound measurement software which enabled us to evaluate noise intensity. Albeit with strong limitations (the methodology is neither thoroughly precise nor very scientific), this small study provides a general idea of the current level of noise pollution in Antananarivo. Our findings are summed up in the table below. All values are expressed in decibel (dB), which is the usual unit for such studies. Note that we used the generally accepted subjective impression levels, and that we made the measurements in different locations of the Capital.
This table also lets you measure your exposure to noise and help you protect your environment. A healthy acceptable noise level is about 60 dB to 65Db. Over these levels, a prolonged exposure over continuous periods could result in hearing loss.