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Riders on the storm

Dr. Shadichhya Giri

Noise can be harmful when they are too loud even for a brief time, or when they are both loud and for long-term. Regular exposure to elevated sound level can damage sensitive structures in the inner ear and cause noise-induced hearing loss(NIHL). NIHL can be immediate or it can take a long time, can be temporary or permanent.

NIHL will lead to  gradual degenerative changes in our auditory system which can go unnoticed and later in life may lead to troubled hearing, though physiologically certain impairment in hearing occurs as we age, but in current scenario due to ongoing noise pollution ,early commencement of hearing impairment are being witnessed.

Recently new rule was passed by government of Nepal i.e. banning the unnecessary horns in Kathmandu city which was actually a healthy initiative, though it will take some time to for us to accustomised our road manners but  on long run it will be proven beneficial in reducing noise pollution to some extent.

Although a serious issue is left untouched i.e ban on modified bike with growling sound which is not only adding to noise pollution and  but also increasing adrenaline rush in motor bike riders which can eventually lead to fatal accidents.

It’s now common to come across modified bikes either in look or in performance .The concerning issue here is alteration in the  exhaust systems to  produce that desired sound, silencer has been purposefully changed so as the bike produces an extravagant noise, though it is true that single cylinder bike can never produce a sound of Inline 4. Still this trashy trend continues to gain popularity among the young boys to stand out from the crowd and to be superior; It is true that not everyone can

own a super bike but trying to convert a basic bike having  its own limitation with several alteration to make it as close to super bike  will lead  to more fuel consumption  and  detoriation in efficacy of engine.

Human body can bear a sound of up to 85 db/8 hours , normal basic bike sound is limited to 70-80 db (variable to different brand of manufacture) but after modification of the silencer the sound produced from the bike can be  escalated up to 100- 120 db which can be deafening.

Prolong exposure to such noise can not only cause hearing impairment but also  hypertension,  heart disease, irritation, and sleep disturbance, changes in the immune system and birth defects have been also attributed to noise exposure and the aggression the biker feels with that loudness can lead to accidents which are inevitable thus proper rule and legislation must be implemented and concerned authority must see this issue very precisely and act accordingly as prevention is always better than a cure.

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