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									               2                Noise                                               

Introduction                                         on the individual and gets on his nerves, to
                                                     say the least of how it adversely affects his
Maintaining a tranquil noise-free environ-           production capacity in addition to its nega-
ment has become one of the significant hu-           tive impact on social relations.
man life necessities. Noise has been de-
fined as unwanted s. We have all observed
that noise levels are apparently on the as-
                                                     Noise Sources in Egypt and Criti-
cent in the Egyptian street over recent              cal Challenges
years becoming a source of nuisance and              Egypt had been the scene of ever-growing
discomfort having reached locally and in-            development of new projects especially in
ternationally unacceptable levels. This is           metropolitan cities. Continued population
evident in most regions of the Republic              increases drew expanded commercial ac-
especially metropolitan cities and gover-            tivities and industrial facilities within resi-
norates’ capitals where permissible limits           dential areas to say the least of higher traf-
set forth in the Executive Regulation of             fic intensity and the increase in the number
Environment Law no 4/1994 as indicated               of vehicles particularly recently, which
in Annex (2-1) and according to Table (A)            normally brought to the extreme noise lev-
were unfavorably exceeded due to popula-             els in some locations in which the Egyptian
tion increases and expansion of related ac-          Environmental Affairs Agency monitored
tivities in the absence of proper urban plan-        noise to find excess in permissible limits
ning. Noise virtually poses a threat to the          set in with the Executive Regulation of the
Egyptian citizen’s health since frequent             Environment Law no 4/1994 on Environ-
exposure to noise brings pressure to bear            ment Protection.

Main sources of noise in Egypt can be                Noise Levels in Southern Cairo
summerized up in the following:                      during 2005 (1)
1-Noise Caused by Means of                           Annex (2-1) shows the permissible limits
                                                     of noise level in different locations. Hel-
 Transport and Roads                                 wan region houses large number of plants
Noise created by means of transport and              covering various industrial areas (iron and
roads constitutes the first and foremost             steel, vehicles, cement, charcoal, light and
cause of environmental noise in Egypt as it          heavy industries). Since these factories set
accounts for almost 60% of total noise               in operation a fleet of buses and lorries
causes, and where all regions at the metro-          transporting workers and goods to all parts
politan city level are subjected to and so is        of the Republic. The South Cairo region
the citizen at work, at home and on the              has been selected as a noise-monitoring
way. Transport and road noise can be clas-           empirical project of the Noise Management
sified into:                                         System in Cairo to be generalized all over
   a. Vehicle Noise                                  the Republic.
   b. Railway Noise                                  Noise level measurements were performed
   c. Aircraft Noise                                 along the Korniche Road in South Cairo in
                                                     2005 where traffic statistics that included
2-Noise Produced from Power-                         all types of passing-by vehicles from and to
  Generating Plants                                  Helwan showed the relation between the
The Ministry of Electricity annually estab-          total number of vehicles and noise level
lishes power stations with high-potential            equivalent. Analysis was conducted in
generation capacity given ceaseless need             three stages as follows:
for electricity, which are considered among          First Stage: Calculation and analysis of
major noise sources in cities, thus means of         traffic volume data.
reducing sound and redressing noise result-
                                                     Second Stage: Noise data measurement
ing from it should be envisaged in an effort
                                                     and analysis.
to control its implications.
                                                     Third Stage: Preparation of a noise map
3-Industrial Facility Noise                          covering an area (part of the road) of 1.5
4-Construction and Building Noise                    km long and 1 km wide.
5-Commercial and Human Activ-
                                                     1- Traffic Statistics
  ity Noise
                                                     Data were collected on a 24 hour basis.
6-Loudspeaker Noise                                  Numbers were divided into two directions
7-Central Air-Conditioning and                       during the working day whereas traffic sta-
                                                     tistics data relevant to selected locations
  Heating Systems Noise                              were recorded. Within this framework:
                                                     a- Traffic statistics locations were selected
                                                          to survey the two lanes incoming and
                                                          outgoing Helwan.
                                                     b- Determine types of by-passing vehicles


      along the Korniche Road from and to                         Table (2-1) Comparison Between Traffic Flow in Each
      Helwan (private cars, buses, mini-                           Lane and Equivalent sound level A-weighting LAeq
      buses, micro-buses, light transport,                           Time      No. of Vehicles   No. of Vehicles   Noise Level
                                                                               Outgoing from     Incoming     to   Equivalent
      trucks, motorcycles, heavy transport) as                                 Helwan            Helwan
      shown in Figure no.(2-1), Figure no.                          12:00 at        380               542              82,11
      (2-2).                                                       1:00 p.m.        468               646              78.66

                                                                   2:00 p.m.        547               679              78.15
c- The period from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
   Tuesday had been set as an example of                           3:00 p.m.        700               692              78.33
   traffic flow.                                                   4:00 p.m.        626               710              75.72

                                                                   5:00 p.m.        700               764              79.74
Traffic statistics findings:                                       6:00 p.m.        463               538              76.19

                                                                   7:00 p.m.        586               809              80.31
                  1%    9%

                                                                  2- Noise Measurements
                                           Heavy Transport        a. Management of the selected measure-
                                    12%    Trucks                    ment locations as point measurement
                                           Light Transport           for 5-15 minutes taking a sample of
                                           Micro-Buses               each selected location during the traffic
                                           Mini-Buses                peak time (12:00 at noon to 7 p.m.) ex-
                                           Buses                     plaining its results in Table (2-1).
             2%          25%               Private Cars

                                                                  b. Location Measurement: took place in 16
Figure (2-1) Types of Vehicles and Their Percent-                     locations across the road from and to
  age to the Total Number of Vehicles Outgoing
              from Helwan in 24 hrs.
                                                                      the Nile Korniche as shown in Table
                   1%   8%
                                                                  c. Measurement of Equivalent Sound level
                                                                      LAeq in subject locations as shown in
                                                                      Figure (2-3).
                                           Heavy Transport
                                     14%   Trucks

                                           Light Transport        d. Drawing of a contour map for noise lev-
                                           Micro-Buses                els distribution according to measure-
                                           Mini-Buses                 ment points along the Korniche, Figure
                                           Buses                      (2-4).
        5%                                 Private Cars

Figure (2-2) Types of Vehicles and Their Percent-
age to the Total Number of Vehicles Incoming to
                Helwan in 24 hrs.


Table (2-2) Locations whereby measurements in
South Cairo were performed
 Loca-                                               LAeq                           Description
  tion                                                ( dB)
                                   1                  82.11         Helicopter landing location

                                   2                  78.66         Korniche El Nil – Egyptian Environ-
                                                                    mental Affairs Agency Premises
                                   3                  78.15         1,5 km. away from the Egyptian Envi-
                                                                    ronmental Affairs Agency Premises
                                   4                  78.33         Tora Prison

                                   5                  75.72         St.Gearge Church

                                   6                  79.74         Portland Cement Co.- Tora

                                   7                  76.19         Al Maasara Engineering Industries
                                   8                  80.31         Al Maasara Street

                                   9                  72.26         Al Kook Company

                     10                               62.11         Helwan Iron and Steel Company
                                                                                                                   Figure (2-4) Contour Map Showing Noise Levels
                     11                               75.04         Portland Cement Company
                                                                                                                  of Kornich Road (Maadi – Helwan) With the Per-
                     12                               80.24         Al Nasr Car Company                                 ception of establishing Noise barriers
                     13                               67.45         Tora Street

                     14                               70.4          Within Al Maasara Area

                     15                               64.85         Egypt-Helwan Agricultural Road                  Key of the
                                                                    (Al Kamal School)                             Road’s Contour
                     16                               66.61         Egypt-Helwan      Agricultural Road            Map Levels;
                                                                    (Behind Tora Prison)
                                                                                                                   Noise Levels
                                                                                                                   Are Identified
                                                    LAeq [dB]                                                        In Colors

                                                                                                                  3- Measurements Analysis
 No ise L evel Eq u ivalent in Decib els

                                           60                                                                     a. Heavy trucks and buses are largely seen
                                                                                                                     as traffic components and substantially
                                                                                                                     contribute to raised noise levels given
                                           20                                                                        the presence of a number of factories in
                                           10                                                                        the industrial area.
                                                1     2   3     4   5   6   7   8   9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
                                                                                                                  b. Equivalent Sound level (LAeq [dB]) in-
                                                                        Location Number
                                                                                                                     creases with augmented traffic volume
                                                                                                                     especially heavy transport traffic.
 Figure (2-3) Equivalent Sound level LAeq in
Measurement Locations Identified in Table (2-2)                                                                   c. Average noise level in locations 1-8
                                                                                                                     measured along the road from and to
                                                                                                                     Helwan was estimated at around 78.7
                                                                                                                  d. Measured locations nearby plants re-
                                                                                                                     corded average value of 72.4 decibels,

  thus pointing to the high noise levels                    dential areas adjacent to the Kornich
  that can be attributed coming from the                    road in South Cairo region are exposed
  traffic rather than plants activities.                    to noise levels exceeding permissible
e. Measuring time period from 12 noon                       limits set forth in the Executive Regula-
   time to 7pm recorded the highest                         tion due to the absence of sound urban
   equivalent sound level due to heavy                      planning.
   transport traffic attributed to plant and          h. It is essential to take necessary measures
   worker shuttle and commuting buses                    to reduce noise in residential areas by
   during that period of time.                           15 decibels by using inclined (sloping)
f. Low frequency component (frequency                    barriers by almost 7 degrees on the Kor-
   range 31-250 Hertz) proves the negative               nich road in populated areas.
   impact on public property which re-
   quires devising appropriate means and              Subway Noise              Levels      during
   ways of alleviating noise levels.                  2004/2005
g. In accordance with the Executive Regu-             The Egyptian Environmental Affairs
   lation of Law no 4/1994, the permissible           Agency has undertaken a study on the as-
   limit of sound levels in residential areas         sessment of noise levels to which the
   on a main road is 60 decibels during               Egyptian citizen lines and on station plat-
   daytime, 55 decibels in the evening and            forms inside tunnels is exposed. The study
   50 decibel at night. This means that resi-         also covers subway and cab drivers.

Table (2-3) Average Results of Noise Equivalent sound level measurements (LAeq ) in First and Second
                                 Subway Lines in Different Locations
                          First Line                  Second Line
Measuring Location                                                                  Remarks
                     Morning Evening              Morning Evening
Station platform in-  82.8       85.7              83.6      83.1            During passage of sub-
side tunnels                                                                 way cars
                      77.6       79.0                80.5         82.4       During operation of TV
                          69.2        70.3           72.3         73.2        In the absence of sub-
                                                                             way cars
Station platform out-     80.4        71.7           80.8         80.6       During passage of sub-
side tunnels (above                                                          way cars
ground)                   72.8       65.2            74.6         68.2       In the absence of sub-
                                                                             way cars
Driver’s    Inside        83.3       88.2            85.8         88.7
cab         tunnel
            Outside       80.5       84.1            79.8         87.8
Passenger   Inside        88.3       88.9            88.8         89.9
Cars        tunnel
            Outside       78.2       86.4            82.8         85.7


Subway Station Noise Levels                             the car passage inside the underground
1. Based on the results of Annex (2-2), it              station was in the main station joining
   transpired that noise levels in the second           the two subway lines (Hosni Mubarak
   subway line is higher than levels in the             Station) because of passenger intensity
   first line, and even higher during rush              and ramified exits plus mounting rates
   hours. This can be attributed to the pas-            of passenger movement in this station.
   sengers’ movement and raised levels of               The highest continuous equivalent sound
   sound resulting from individual conver-              level A-weighting was recorded during
   sations, amounting to 91.8 decibels, An-             peak hours that is 91.8 decibels Annex
   nex (2-2) Table (A).                                 (2-2) Table (A).

2. Noise levels in subway stations are                Noise Levels Inside Passenger Cars
   mostly higher than in outside external             During Subway Car Traffic Flow
   stations especially on cars entering the
                                                      1. Noise levels within passenger cars were
   subway station due to sound reflections
                                                         proved to be higher during subway traf-
   from the tunnel body . This can be justi-
                                                         fic flow inside rather than in walking
   fied by lack of using sound-absorbents
                                                         distances outside the tunnels. The
   with high-potential absorption coeffi-
                                                         equivalent sound level A-weighting
   cient for coating the tunnel interior
                                                         reached 91.6 decibels. Passenger inten-
   body. It is also clear that sound levels in
                                                         sity in a given car has an effect at the
   outside stations are lower where back-
                                                         noise level Annex (2-2) Table (D).
   ground noise levels are not as high such
   as Maadi Station because of sound ab-              2. Noise levels are almost equal in morning
   sorption by air media in open stations                and evening shifts, ranging between 78
   unlike sound reflections inside tunnels               decibels outside the tunnels and 88 deci-
   in underground stations.                              bels inside the tunnels Table (2-3).

3. Sound levels are raised due to the opera-          Noise Levels Inside Drivers’ Cabs
   tion of TV circuits in subway stations             during Subway Traffic Flow
   which leads to higher noise levels. This
   is apparently connected with turning on            1. Average equivalent sound level A-
   rather than turning off TV circuits espe-             weighting which drivers inside cabs are
   cially in Dokki, Opera and El-Behouth                 exposed to is around 85 decibels
   stations, as sound levels during opera-               whether inside or outside the tunnel
   tion have reached 86.1 decibels in the                which actually fall within permissible
   morning shift Annex (2-2) Table (C).                  limits set forth in the Executive Regula-
                                                         tion of Environment Law no 4/1994 and
4. Noise levels were proved to be higher in              the Labor Law no 12/2003 which it is
   some outside stations such as the Cairo               suitable for the daily exposure period for
   University Station because of passing-by              drivers that is 6 hours a day Annex (2-1)
   trains close to the subway station. These             Table (B).
   levels (have reached 93.5 decibels) An-            2. Sound level inside the driver’s cab is
   nex (2-2) Table (B).                                  higher in the underground tunnel than
5. The highest noise level recorded during               during the subway car passage in outside


  places where it is measured inside the            1. Absence of sound planning of land uses,
  tunnel by 89.3 decibels and 84.1 deci-               intervening areas and shanty towns and
  bels outside the tunnel Annex (2-2) Ta-              slums.
  ble (E).                                          2. Failure to abide by safety areas
It has been coordinated with the Ministry              (roadside) on establishing facilities.
of Transport to make use of the feedback of         3. Advance of residential areas into indus-
this study in treatment of noise produced in           trial zones and subsequent increased
current subway lines while taking measures             noise-producing activities inside popula-
to reduce noise levels in subway lines                 tion compartments.
planned to be extended as lines 3 and 4.            4. Utilization of outdated technology in
                                                       some industries.
Harmful Impacts on Man Result-                      5. Lack of sound barriers on most high-
ing from Exposure to Noise                             ways and bridges passing through popu-
The noise problem is considered one of the             lated areas.
serious environmental pollution problems            6. Absence of adequate green areas and
in Egypt based on enumerated complaints                belts as well as soundproof and noise-
filed at the Egyptian Environmental Affairs            reducing barriers.
Agency. Health effects resulting from ex-           7. Wrongful attitudes in using car horns
posure to high noise levels can be classi-             and the peddlers’ use of loudspeakers as
fied into:                                             well as using microphones in celebra-
1-Hearing Effects                                      tions held in residential areas.
Temporary hearing loss is likely because
of exposure to high noise levels for short          Efforts of the Ministry of State for
periods of time, which can be turned into           Environmental Affairs To Combat
permanent hearing loss if exposure took             Noise in 2005
longer periods of time.
                                                    The National Noise reduction Plan had
2-Physiological and Psychological Ef-               been prepared to reduce noise levels
     fects                                          (acoustic pollution) including:
This include high blood pressure and car-           1. A national program for noise-fighting
diac diseases, insomnia, lack of concentra-            and controlling its sources is expected
tion, and nervous tension which certainly              to be implemented over the coming 6
may lead to increased rates of accidents               years in which all ministries concerned
and crimes. According to road accident sta-            were to take part. Obligations and re-
tistics in Egypt, human error represents               sponsibilities were defined respectively
73% of accident-occurring causes. Expo-                Annex (2-3).
sure to high noise levels may likely be one
of the causes leading to human errors.              2. Undertaking joint campaigns by the
                                                       Egyptian Environmental Affairs
Challenges to Noise-Reducing Pro-                      Agency and organs of the Ministry of
                                                       Interior to streamline discipline to be in
grams                                                  control of noise sources. These cam-
Major challenges faced in the area of noise            paigns include:
abatement in Egypt are:                                 a. Intensifying campaigns with envi-

        ronment police to control stationary         Future Plan 2007-2012
        noise sources (commercial areas-
        industrial zones- cafes- ceremony            It is obvious that substantial effort still
        halls- cassette shops- schools). En-         needs to be made to address the above
        vironment police had been provided           mentioned challenges, most important of
        modern noise-measuring devices.              which:
                                                     1. Establishment of noise-monitoring net-
    b .Intensifying campaigns with traffic              work since no such network is yet in-
        and environment police and secu-                stalled at the Egyptian Environmental
        rity directorates to control mobile             Affairs Agency, therefore the Agency,
        noise sources (vehicles- means of               except for a few disparate studies, is still
        transport- peddlers’ use of loud-               wanting in official data on noise levels
        speakers- railways – subway lines-              in squares, highways, and tourist and
        river cruises).                                 commercial places. The object of this
3. Periodic inspection of facilities and                network is to prepare an environmental
   measurement of noise levels inside and               noise database and map to form the ba-
   outside the given facility through the               sis for noise reduction plans or urban
   Agency’s regional branch offices.                    planning of new infrastructure and re-
   Preparation of a database of measure-                form of the existing situation to help
   ment results and taking legal actions                reduce noise rates in metropolitan cities
   against violators.                                   provided that this has to be substantiated
4. Implementing media campaigns to up-                  during the period from 2007-2012.
   grade environmental awareness of the              The environmental noise-monitoring net-
   Egyptian citizen regarding participation          work is expected to start with 20 monitor-
   in noise-reducing efforts to redress rele-        ing stations to be initially implemented in
   vant negative implications. Workshops             Greater Cairo region to be followed by the
   on noise risks and control were held in           rest of the Republic’s governorates. Suit-
   youth centers, clubs and associations at          able locations for the establishment of
   the republic level. Also to this effect,          monitoring stations in different areas shall
   informational material (flyers and post-          be identified in compliance with interna-
   ers- 100,000 posters and 30,000 pam-              tional and local standards.
   phlets had been distributed) to reach out
                                                     2. Capacity-building of qualified staff op-
   to the public regarding noise risks dur-
                                                        erating in the field of protection from
   ing celebrations held on World Envi-
                                                        noise and preparation of specialized
   ronment Day in June 2005.
                                                        technical cadres working at the Agency
5. Participation in the Committee on the                and branch offices as well as environ-
   Preparation of Egyptian Sound and                    ment department staff in different minis-
   Noise Specifications at the Egyptian                 tries.
   Organization for Standards and Quality
                                                     3. Implement an expanded media campaign
   Control with a view to abiding by appli-
                                                        involving citizens and (civil associa-
   cable standards ensuring reduced levels
                                                       tions) NGOS towards boosting noise-
   of noise resulting from its different
   sources.                                            fighting programs and providing data and
                                                       information to lobby massive public sup-
                                                       port in favor of these programs.

4.Preparation of a program designed to fa-          establishments. Annex (2-2) shows the
  cilitate loaning and provision of grants          plan envisaged by the Ministry of State
  and technical assistance to noise-                for Environmental Affairs for noise re-
  producing facilities with proven firmness
  to proceed with measures for controlling
  their noise sources.
5. Cutting down customs duties on sound-
   reducing and insulating equipment and
6. Coordination with governorates with
   regard to arbor zing roadsides and mid-
   dle islands and installing sound barriers
   on highways passing through populated
6. Coordination with the Ministry of Hous-
   ing, Utilities and Urban Development in
   constructing traffic lanes for bicycles
   when planning new cities to encourage
   their driving as a means of transport to
   reduce noise levels.
8. Assessment of environmental impact of
   new roads and bridges and observance
   of noise treatment mediums while in the
   designing stage.
9. Updating and developing noise stan-
   dards in harmony with international
10.Completion by ministries concerned of
   the implementation of the National Plan
   for Noise-Fighting.
11.Kept-up periodic noise-measuring in-
   spection and emphasis on the facilities’
   compliance with standards cited in the
   Executive Regulation of Environment
   Law no 4/1994 whether inside or out-
   side these facilities.
12. Modernizing cooperation plans with the
  Ministry of Interior represented in traf-
  fic and environment police with the aim
  of intensifying inspection campaigns as
  regards noise-producing vehicles and

(1) Study on Noise Levels in Helwan for 2005- Mansour El Bardisi- Teacher Assistant in
    the Design and Production Engineering Department at the Faculty of Engineering – Ain
    Shams University.


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