Noise Pollution Assessment and Control in Selected Schools in Baghdad City
Healthy school environment is one of the main determinants of students’ health in order to strengthen the benefit from the educational programs. In this study, assessment of noise pollution level in six schools in Baghdad was conducted. The schools were selected to cover different ages and grades (girls, boys, mixed, primary, secondary and intermediate schools). Measurements were taken inside and outside the school; in classrooms, schoolyards; during classes and break time, and in the first and second floor of each school. The measurements were conducted using a digital sound level meter connected to the personal computer to obtain measurement data of sound pressure level (SPL), and the data were analyzed to obtain A-weighted Equivalent Sound Pressure Level LAeq for each location with the background. The results showed that the noise level at all the six schools do not comply with international standards. Noise pollution sources are either external (streetcars, industrial areas, shops, electric generators) or internal due to the large noise arises from the interaction of the students with their teachers and the noise during break time. Theoretical adjustment of the school fence was adopted to reduce the noise levels inside the schools. Calculations showed that barriers could be used to reduce noise level by more than 50% in two of the six schools by increasing their fence with only one meter, while other schools did not show improvement. The main reason behind that is the noise level arises from inside the schools was higher than that transferring to the schools from external sources. This call for changes in the design of the schools and in the education methodologies.