Malta among Europe’s noisiest countries

Statistics released by the European Commission indicate that Malta is the rowdiest country in Europe, followed by Germany, Holland and Portugal. The statistics show that Malta exceeds the European average by 10%. Noise pollution in the country, and its effect on Maltese and Gozitan citizens, was discussed on Popolin. Main causes of noise mentioned include traffic, constuction work and noises from places of entertainment.

Also mentioned during the discussion was the noise generated by the tourism industry. Philip Fenech, Vice-President of the Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises, reiterated that in normal circumstances, the country welcomes some 230,000 visitors every month. Undoubtedly this leads to more rowdiness in various areas. How prudent are entrepreneurs to ensure neighbours and residents in the area are not affected? “Enforcement is not on a daily basis; it is sometimes controlled, but at peak season I have to admit – especially in August – that the noise volume is higher than normal,” Fenech stated.

In a comment on Popolin, Dr Andrew Sciberras explained that noise has a direct effect on people’s health, both physically and psychologically. Noise pollution can lead to hypertension, more stress, dizziness, damage to one’s nerves and loss of hearing. In fact, the World Health Organisation is running an educational campaign entitled Make Listening Safe, aimed at creating more awareness about how one can better look after one’s hearing. European Commission statistics indicate that in Malta, every year ten persons die prematurely because of noise pollution, and another 20 persons end up in hospital for the same reason. The same report says thjat every year, some 12,000 persons don’t sleep well because of noises in the vicinity.