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General News of Sunday, 30 May 2021

Source: Nana Bonsu, Contributor

Exhale lounge: Excessive noise and smoke posing danger to our health – East Legon residents

Henry Kwabena Kokofu, EPA Boss Henry Kwabena Kokofu, EPA Boss

Residents of Garden Street near A&C Shopping Mall, East Legon, have expressed worry over high levels of noise and smoke from Exhale Lounge, a popular pub in the vicinity.

The residents indicated that besides the loud music which continues unabated, they have had to deal with puffs of smoke from the pub every day; a situation that poses a serious health hazard to residents.¬

According to the affected residents they have severally confronted the owner of the Pub, to reduce the noise and smoke levels but, their calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

The residents alleged that though they have presented petitions to the various authorities including, the Municipal Assembly, the Police and EPA for over 3 years now, nothing has been done to resolve the matter.

In one of the accounts by a resident, he claimed they were able to get partial relief when the current EPA Boss, Hon. Kwabena Kokofu came into office and was petitioned.

Hon. Kokofu according to sources, sent officers to Exhale Lounge to ascertain for themselves, the issues on the ground. The officers reportedly warned the Pub owner to do the right thing.

“The owner of the Pub following this event started reducing the noise level, but he has started increasing the noise and smoke levels again,” an outraged resident fummed.

Some residents have consequently alleged that, there are some powerful politicians backing Exhale Lounge; as they also patronised their services. Hence, their reluctance to reduce the noise and smoke levels.

Available EPA report on the alleged noise nuisance emanating from Exhale Lounge at Garden Street, East Legon dated April 2019 indicate that, the noise level recorded at the time of monitoring, were higher than the recommended limit of 48 dB(A).

The report revealed that, the higher noise levels emanating from Exhale Lounge could adversely affect public health and the environment.

The report also discovered that, Exhale Lounge has no operational permit from the EPA at the time of assessment.

"The equivalent noise level recorded at all the monitoring sites and locations at the time of assessment were unsatisfactory" a portion of the from EPA revealed.

Noise pollution is excessive or displeasing noise that may disrupt the activity or balance of human or animal life.

Studies have shown that elevated workplace or excessive noise can cause hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance, and sleep disturbance and that, changes in the immune system and birth defects.

EPA has pegged permissible ambient noise levels in residential 55 decibles (db) during the day and 48 db at night.

For facilities at and around educational health facilities the noise level is pegged at 55 db during the day and 50 db at night, while the noise level for areas with commercial or light industrial activities was registered 60 db and 55 db during the day and night respectively.

The new guidelines also permit 65 db noise levels during the day and 60 db during the night for light industrial areas and places of entertainment and public assembly such as churches and mosques.

Predominant commercial areas according to the new guidelines, are allowed 70 db during the day and 65 db at night, while the noise level for heavy industrial areas was pegged at70 db during the day and night.