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Health impact of noise pollution

The impacts that noise can have on health may not be obvious, but they can be significant. As the London Mayor says in his Environment Strategy (March 2018): “As a world city, sound is an inevitable part of everyday life for Londoners… The impacts that noise can have on health may not be obvious, but they can be significant… There are a number of widespread adverse effects of noise, most common of which are annoyance and sleep disturbance. In cases of prolonged exposure to excessive noise, health impacts include cardiovascular and physiological effects, mental health effects, hearing impairment, reduced performance and communication and learning effects. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises environmental noise as the second largest environmental health risk in Western Europe behind air quality.”

The Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Report (2017) also dealt with the issues of noise pollution. It states that: “The annual social cost of urban road traffic noise in England is estimated at £7-£10bn. There is good evidence that transport related noise is associated with sleep disturbance, cardiovascular morbidity, cognitive impairment in children and chronic annoyance.”

Main image: Photo by Negative Space on Pexels

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