Introduction [Burden of disease from environmental noise: Quantification of healthy years life lost in Europe]

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Fritschi, Lin
Brown, Lex
Kim, Rokho
Schwela, Dietrich
Kephalopolos, Stelios
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Fritschi, L.
Brown, A. L.
Kim, R.
Schwela, D.
Kephalopolous, S.
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2011
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Abstract

Noise is a major environmental issue, particularly in urban areas, affecting a large number of people. To date, most assessments of the problem of environmental noise have been based on the annoyance it causes to humans, or the extent to which it disturbs various human activities. Assessment of health outcomes potentially related to noise exposure has so far been limited (1). According to preliminary results from the Environmental Burden of Disease (EBD) in Europe project in six European countries (2) reported at the WHO Ministerial Conference held in Parma in March 2010 (3), traffic noise was ranked second among the selected environmental stressors evaluated in terms of their public health impact in six European countries. Further, the trend is that noise exposure is increasing in Europe compared to other stressors (e.g. exposures to second hand smoke, dioxins and benzene), which are declining. In its Guidelines for community noise (4), the WHO defined environmental noise as “noise emitted from all sources except for noise at the industrial workplace”. European Union (EU) Directive 2002/49/EC on the management of environmental noise (5) defines environmental noise as “unwanted or harmful outdoor sound created by human activities, including noise from road, rail, airports and from industrial sites”. The terms community, residential or domestic noise have also been applied to environmental noise, although these terms are not necessarily used consistently. This publication examines health risk assessment for these sources of environmental noise.

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Burden of disease from environmental noise: Quantification of healthy years life lost in Europe
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Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified
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