Increased cardiovascular risk from noise


Noise Day: Experts provide information about noise health risks

On yesterday's day of noise, numerous campaigns and information events were held across Germany to raise awareness of existing noise problems and raise awareness of the health risks associated with excessive noise pollution.

A health-endangering noise pollution can come from different sources, whereby. Traffic and aircraft noise are among the most widespread problems. Numerous studies prove the health risks associated with noise, especially the increased likelihood of cardiovascular diseases. Impairment of sleep due to excessive nighttime noise levels has a particularly harmful effect.

Health risks due to excessive noise pollution As part of the day against noise organized by the German Society for Acoustics, experts informed about the health consequences of excessive noise pollution in various events and campaigns across Germany. This year, the "exposure to aircraft noise and children's noise environment" was the focus of the campaign day. Regarding the general health risks of noise, the experts announced that there is a long-term increased cardiovascular risk even at a sound level of 80 decibels, such as from street noise. Extreme noise of 120 decibels or more, such as those caused by the Vuvuzelas at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Africa, can cause acute earaches, according to the experts. If noise levels of 140 decibels or more are reached, there is a risk of permanent hearing damage after a short time. Extreme sound peaks such as shots or New Year's Eve hits can cause hearing damage if the distance between the ear and the sound source is too short, even with a single impact.

Negative health effects of aircraft noise In addition to the acute impairment of hearing due to noise, the experts say that if the noise level continues to be high, there are also consequences for the entire organism and the psyche. In addition, noise has an impact on society as a whole, since, for example, aircraft noise “with the individual annoyance and burden of local residents also increases the social costs for the treatment” of the (noise-) stress-induced diseases, reports the initiators of the day against noise. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the EU Joint Research Center (JRC), “exposure to traffic noise in the EU and other Western European countries alone leads to the loss of more than one million healthy life years per calendar year, for the most part as a result nocturnal sleep disorders ”, said the announcement on the associated Internet portal of the day against noise.

Too much noise in everyday school life With regard to the noise environment of children, a lot of activities took place on the day of the noise this year, in which the adolescents were allowed to make real noise, in order to subsequently convey the value of the lack of noise or quiet. Numerous studies have shown that "noise can influence children's behavior, reduce their pace of learning and impair their memory"; report the initiators of the day against noise. The Federal Office for Occupational Safety and Health examined in a separate study how high the noise pollution is in everyday school life, for example. The result: The normal teaching sound level is between 60 and 80 decibels. The complaints about the acoustic working conditions prove to be "justified" in schools, the Federal Office had said at the end of the investigation. At such a noise level, concentrated learning is made considerably more difficult. However, the noise in the classrooms can often be reduced considerably by taking a few simple structural measures, the experts explained. In this way, the reverberation time can be reduced by 50 percent, which means a noise reduction of six decibels. "In schools, such measures should be implemented quickly as part of renovation work that is due anyway", emphasized the initiators of the day against noise. (fp)

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