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WHO says traffic noise second only to air pollution in causing health problems

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Traffic noise is the second biggest environmental problem affecting our health in Europe, after air pollution, according to a report published in late March by the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to the WHO study, 1.8% of heart attacks in high income European countries are attributed to traffic noise level higher than 60dB.

“This new health evidence highlights the urgent need to reduce transport noise”, says James Grugeon, Chief Executive of Environmental Protection UK. “EPUK are working to reduce noise from road traffic. Our Campaign for Better Tyres, launched this week, encourages transport operators and drivers to choose tyres that are quieter.” The European Commission is expected to release a proposal in June for more stringent vehicle noise standards, and from November 2012 new regulations for stricter tyre noise levels and tyre labeling for noise come into force.

European citizens are well aware of the health impacts of traffic noise. According to a recent Eurobarometer (6), almost half of all Europeans believe that noise affects their health “to a large extent” and another one-third said that it affected their health “to some extent.”

Source: Environmental Protection UK

Download WHO report here


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