As the sources and severity of noise pollution continue to grow, there is a need for new approaches to reduce exposure. The complex and pervasive problem of noise pollution has no single solution; it requires a combination of short-, medium- and long-term approaches and careful consideration of the nature of the noise source. There are many sources of noise pollution, each requiring tailored abatement measures.
If you are interested in reading more about research into noise abatement approaches, here is a selection of articles from the Science for Environment Policy weekly News Alert available to download:
Does environmental noise lead to depression and anxiety? (July 2016)
People who are annoyed by environmental noise are also more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, a new, large-scale study from Germany suggests. The results do not prove that noise causes mental health issues but suggest a possible link, which the study’s authors are exploring further. Of all the types of noise considered in the study, aircraft noise was reported to be the most annoying.
Noise pollution may make people less likely to exercise (July 2016)
Physical inactivity raises the risk of ill health, so environmental factors that reduce the level of physical activity in people should be of concern to policymakers as well as to individuals. A new study has associated long-term annoyance with transportation noise with reduced physical activity in Swiss residents, which may indirectly contribute to diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
How does living with aircraft noise affect wellbeing? A study of UK airports (July 2016)
Airports are associated with air and noise pollution and may, therefore, reduce the quality of life of local people. This study assessed the link between aircraft noise and subjective wellbeing, using data from 17 English airports. The authors conclude that living under flight paths has a negative effect on people’s overall wellbeing, equivalent to around half of the effect of being a smoker for some indicators.
Green walls show promise as sound barriers for buildings (November 2014)
Green walls, designed so they are covered in vegetation, could help cut the amount of noise that enters buildings, a new study has found. In lab. tests, researchers found that a modular green wall system reduced sound levels by 15 decibels (dB). This leads them to believe that it is a promising sound reduction device that could improve quality-of-life for city residents.
You may also be interested in a related In-Depth Report:
Links between noise and air pollution and socioeconomic status (January 2015)
Lower socioeconomic status is generally associated with poorer health, and both air and noise pollution contribute to a wide range of other factors influencing human health. But do these health inequalities arise because of increased exposure to pollution, increased sensitivity to exposure, increased vulnerabilities, or some combination? This In-depth Report presents evidence on whether people in deprived areas are more affected by air and noise pollution — and suffer greater consequences — than wealthier populations.
Download In-depth Report
You may also be interested in a related Thematic Issue:
Noise impacts on health (January 2015)
Exposure to excessive noise is recognised as a major environmental health concern. This Thematic Issue examines the impact of noise on human health and outlines how policy initiatives may limit health effects from noise annoyance - and improve wellbeing.
Download thematic Issue
To view the Science for Environment Policy website, please visit http://ec.europa.eu/science-environment-policy
Read the report " Noise abatement approaches"