Why are air and noise pollution an issue?




Why are air and noise pollution an issue?
Noise Pollution – Negative Effects (2/3)


The World Health Organization (WHO) reports an onset of adverse health effects in humans exposed to noise levels at night already above 40 decibels (dB). It defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Therefore, a high level of annoyance caused by environmental noise is considered as one of the environmental health burdens, and thus taken into account when estimating the health effects of noise.

The WHO recommendations are especially important as populations exposed to prolonged or high noise levels can exhibit stress reactions, sleep-stage changes, and clinical symptoms like hypertension (over 900 000 cases of hypertension are caused by environmental noise each year) and cardiovascular diseases. It can also lead to serious health effects mediated by the human endocrine system and by the brain, such as sleep disturbance (it is estimated that 8 million suffer sleep disturbance due to environmental noise), annoyance (a feeling of discomfort affecting general well-being), cognitive impairment and mental health problems. It can also cause direct effects such as tinnitus. All of these impacts can contribute to premature mortality.

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