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Every day we are exposed to a noise level that has significant adverse reactions to our health. According to WHO, environmental noise is one of the “top environmental risks to health”
Road traffic noise alone affects over 100 million people every year.
Too much noise affects blood pressure, which may cause hypertension and heart disease leading to heart attacks leading to death. Children’s health is also affected by high noise levels as it affects their cognition.
A report published by WHO based on studies by has sought to address noise levels and impact of exposure including noise levels from wind turbines, nightclubs, live sporting events, and concerts and other personal listening devices like an earpiece.
It has been recommended that noise levels be reduced for road traffic to 53 decibels. Some scientists believe that this reduction is achievable.
Stephen Turner, the president-elect of the Institute of Acoustics in the UK, thinks that the noise reduction can be achieved, he added that “The challenge is, there are an awful lot of people affected. Whether we have the technology yet to be able to secure that reduction without having an adverse impact on travel and connectivity, I’m not sure.”
Jonathan Gale, a professor of cell biology and director of the UCL Ear Institute said that “Exposure to environmental noise can result in hearing loss that, in the longer term, can cause social isolation and [an] impact on health and well-being. Both the level and duration of the exposure are important factors.
“However we know much less about the effects of exposure to low levels of environmental noise over long periods,” he added. “We think such noise is unlikely to affect our sensory hair cells [in our ears] but may well affect our brain processes and possibly our mental health.”