T. Ibekwe1,2,4, D. Folorunso1,2, A. Ebuta2, J. Amodu3,4, M. Nwegbu1, 4, Z. Mairami3,4, I. Liman3,4, C. Okebaram1,4, C. Chimdi4,5, B. Durogbola3,4, H. Suleiman,4,6, H. Mamven1,4, N. Baamlong1,4; E. Dahilo1,4; I. Gbujie1,4, P. Ibekwe1,4 and O. Nwaorgu1,7

  1. University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Abuja
  2. Garki Hospital, Abuja
  3. National Hospital, Abuja
  4. Nigerian Medical Association, FCT Branch
  5. Kwali General Hospital, Abuja
  6. Central Bank Clinic, Abuja
  7. University College Hospital, Ibadan & College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan


Background: Noise remains a nuisance which impacts negatively on the physical, social and psychological wellbeing of man. It aggravates chronic illnesses like hypertension and other cardiopulmonary diseases. Unfortunately, increased activities from industrialization and technological transfers/drifts have tumultuously led to increased noise pollution in most of our fast growing cities today and hence the need for concerted efforts in monitoring and regulating our environmental noise.

Objectives: To assess the equivalent noise level (Leq) in Abuja municipality and promote a simple method for regular assessment of Leq within our nvironment.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional community based study of the environmental Leq of Abuja municipality conducted between January 2014 and January 2016. The city was divided into 12 segments including residential, business and market areas via the Abuja Geographic Information System. The major markets were captured separately on a different scale. Measurements were taken with the mobile phone softwares having validated this withExtech 407730 digital sound level meter, serial no Z310135 . Leq(A) were measured at different points and hours of the day and night. The average Leq(A) were classified according to localities and compared with WHO standard safety levels.

Results: LeqD ranged 71-92dB(A); 42-79dB(A) and 69-90dB(A) in business/ parks, residential and market places respectively. The Night measurements were similar 18dB(A)-56dB(A) and the day-night Leq(A)=77.2dB(A) and 90.4dB(A) for residential and business zones.

Conclusion: The night noise levels are satisfactory but the day and daynight levels are above the recommended tolerable values by WHO and therefore urgently call for awareness and legislative regulations.

Keywords: Noise, Environment, Noise equivalent level, Mobile phone, Android boy1 app


Dr. T. Ibekwe
Department of ENT,
University of Abuja Teaching Hospital,
Abuja, Nigeria.
Email: ibekwets@yahoo.com
Tel.: 08033484380


Noise pollution contributes to environmental degradation and poses a threat to human and terrestrial lives. In most cosmopolitan cities, noise pollution (community and industrial) ranks third as the most hazardous form of pollution behind air and water pollution.1 Common sources of environmental (community) noise pollution include road, railway and air traffic, neighborhood activities, construction and public works. 2 On the other hand, noise from industrial work places constitutes industrial noise pollution. 2 It is generally agreed by many that the trend of noise pollution is on increase in magnitude and severity with more widespread reach, due to population growth, technological advancement and urbanization.3

In times past, environmental pollution was primarily considered within the purview of chemical and other noxious substances being extruded into the environment. Inadequate attention was paid to noise as a form of pollution with the earlier widespread cliché being that noise differs from other forms of pollution in that, once abated, noise leaves no residual accumulation in the environment or the human body.4 This erroneous mantra that “noise leaves no visible evidence” has been debunked by later research which revealed the widespread deleterious effect of noise in both its’ course and post-occurrence periods. 5-9

Noise has adverse impact on the physical, social and psychological wellbeing of man and can lead to either permanent or temporary hearing loss.5-7 Acoustic trauma, tympanic membrane perforations and ossicular chain disarticulations can result from excessively loud noise/blasts. Noise induced hearing loss (type of sensorineural hearing loss) is ascribed to prolonged exposition to noise beyond the physiological recovery and reversible point of the hearing apparatus (i.e. beyond the temporary threshold shift). 10-14

Noise pollution has been proven to aggravate chronic illnesses like hypertension and other cardiopulmonary diseases.8, 9 Recent studies have established relationships between noise and cardiovascular disease (CVD) with the causal route ascribed to neuroendocrine alterations characterized by increased release of cortisol and catecholamine. Furthermore, chronic noise exposure has been associated with hyperlipidemia which is a corollary to hypertension.15-17 Sleep disturbance, annoyance and anxiety disorders are also well studied adverse effects of noise.18, 19 Consequently, some studies have summarily referred to noise pollution as a modern plague.3, 13

Many countries do not have regulations/legislation on noise pollution due to lack of the political will or the insight into the deleterious effect on environmental life and the ecosystem. On the other hand, the associated difficulty in defining, evaluating and devising control measures for environmental noise especially those of neighborhood origin has been highlighted as a strong militating factor towards an effective control.20