Noise and Health Impact

Written By Lencir Kuning on Thursday, May 21, 2015 | 4:41 PM

Excessive noise seriously harms human health and interferes with people’s daily activities at school, at work, at home and during leisure time. It can disturb sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects, reduce performance and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour.

Traffic noise alone is harming the health of almost every third person in the WHO world region. One in five in the world is regularly exposed to sound levels at night that could significantly damage health.

WHO uses the evidence on the health effects of noise to identify the needs of vulnerable groups and to offer technical and policy guidance to protect health.

The WHO Children’s Environment and Health Action Plan for  calls for children to be protected from exposure to harmful noise at both home and school. The 2002 directive on the assessment and management of environmental noise requires EU Member States to establish action plans to control and reduce the harmful effects of noise exposure. The 2009 WHO night noise guidelines for provide both evidence and recommendations that countries can easily use to introduce targeted limits for night noise.

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