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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 15  |  Page : 69--79

Annoyance caused by exposure to road traffic noise: An update

School of Technology and Society, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden

Correspondence Address:
Djamel Ouis
School of Technology and Society, Malmö University, S-205 06, Malmö
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 12678952

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This paper addresses the negative effects resulting from the exposure to road traffic noise on people's well being with a focus on annoyance. Following the observations that noise exposures engender physiological reactions typical of stress, the non-auditory effects of noise on humans are generally viewed as being stress-related, and annoyance is one of the first and most direct reactions to environmental noise. In general terms, it is found that the continuous exposure of people to road traffic noise leads to suffering from various kinds of discomfort thus reducing appreciably the number of their well being elements. However drawing such a conclusion is hindered by difficulties when non-acoustical factors like sensitivity, socio-economic situation and age are also taken into account along with the usual acoustical factors of road traffic noise. The results of several decades of research on this topic have permitted lately to establish a quantitative relationship between the objective quantities characterizing road traffic noise, namely the day to night noise level, and the human subjective reaction to it as expressed by the percentage of highly annoyed people. These findings are important at both the society and the individual level in as much as they may help in regulating in a more efficient way the planning of road traffic activity in order to secure minimum comfort to the affected population.


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