Noise pollution in the hospital environment of a developing country: A case study of Lahore (Pakistan)
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The present study investigates the noise pollution levels in public- and private-sector hospitals of Lahore. The noise pollution parameters were investigated from 20 public and 10 private hospitals. We observed that the equivalent continuous sound level (Leq) values varied significantly in different departments of the hospitals as well as at different times of the day. The public-sector hospitals had significantly higher noise pollution compared to the private-sector hospitals. The Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney two-sample rank-sum test revealed significant difference between noise levels in intensive care unit (ICU) during morning and in emergency, waiting area, intensive care unit (ICU), and reception during daytimes. However, no significant differences were found for any department during the evening. The Leq values were found to be higher than the international norms (WHO standards) for all hospitals, higher than USEPA for 29 hospitals and higher than local standards for 27 hospitals. Overall, significantly lower sound levels were always observed in private hospitals.
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