One-third blame noise for keeping them up
Hongkongers cannot relax with all that racket going on outside.
Traffic, construction and loud neighbours may be a fact of life in a bustling city like Hong Kong, but more than a third of residents say the cacophony has kept them from getting needed rest and relaxation.
The government's first survey of the impact of noise on the community found 36 per cent of Hong Kong adults reported that they had been disturbed by noise while trying to take a break at some time in the preceding 12 months.
That means about two million of the city's adult population of 5.58 million have encountered the problem, according to the Census and Statistics Department, which conducted the research as part of its regular Thematic Household Survey.
The results released yesterday marked the first time noise pollution had been included in the report, which covers a range of environmental issues including smoking, pets, internet usage and non-franchised bus services.
Interviewers asked members of 10,000 households whether loud noise emanating from outside their homes, such as traffic, construction and renovation, had prevented them from conducting household tasks.
Some 24 per cent of respondents said there were times when they could not concentrate on their work because of noise, while 15 per cent said their homes were sometimes too noisy for them to talk in a relaxed fashion.
A majority - 64 per cent - reported that noise had no impact on their daily life.
The Environmental Protection Department has warned that the number of people affected by noise pollution will only grow as traffic increases. Traffic noise alone affects more than one million people.
Decibel level of a jackhammer
- 95 decibels for loud crying
- Long exposure to 90 decibels brings hearing loss