Noise pollution causeing up to10 thousands premature deaths each year
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, December 19, 2014 (ENS) – More than 125 million Europeans could be exposed to levels of road traffic noise above legal guidelines, causing up to 10,000 premature deaths each year, finds a new assessment published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
“Noise in Europe 2014,” the EEA’s first noise assessment report, analyzes exposure to noise levels and the environmental and public health problems that result.
The effects of noise are particularly widespread. For the one in four Europeans exposed to noise levels above the EU’s threshold for assessment and action, 55 decibels, there are both direct and indirect health effects, the report states.
Traffic noise annoys almost 20 million and disturbs the sleep of an estimated eight million residents of the 28 European Union Member States.
“Noise exposure can increase blood pressure and vasoconstriction. After prolonged exposure, susceptible individuals may develop more permanent effects such as hypertension and heart disease,” the report states, basing this conclusion on laboratory studies in humans and animals.
Environmental noise is linked to 43,000 hospital admissions, 900,000 cases of hypertension and up to 10,000 premature deaths per year, the EEA estimates.