WHO environmental noise guidelines for the European region: A systematic review of transport noise interventions and their impacts on health
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This paper describes a systematic review (1980–2014) of evidence on effects of transport noise interventions on human health. The sources are road traffic, railways, and air traffic. Health outcomes include sleep disturbance, annoyance, cognitive impairment of children and cardiovascular diseases. A conceptual framework to classify noise interventions and health effects was developed. Evidence was thinly spread across source types, outcomes, and intervention types. Further, diverse intervention study designs, methods of analyses, exposure levels, and changes in exposure do not allow a meta-analysis of the association between changes in noise level and health outcomes, and risk of bias in most studies was high. However, 43 individual transport noise intervention studies were examined (33 road traffic; 7 air traffic; 3 rail) as to whether the intervention was associated with a change in health outcome. Results showed that many of the interventions were associated with changes in health outcomes irrespective of the source type, the outcome or intervention type (source, path or infrastructure). For road traffic sources and the annoyance outcome, the expected effect-size can be estimated from an appropriate exposure–response function, though the change in annoyance in most studies was larger than could be expected based on noise level change.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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Acoustics and Noise Control (excl. Architectural Acoustics)