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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 24  |  Page : 1--7

Stress effects of noise in a field experiment in comparison to reactions to short term noise exposure in the laboratory.

1 Umweltbundesamt a.D., Berlin, Germany
2 Fliman Hospital, Haifa, Israel

Correspondence Address:
H Ising
Rheinstr. 69, D-14612 Falkensee
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15703136

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Reactions to noise-induced communication disturbance of 42 men during a seminar were investigated. Stress reactions with or without road traffic noise (L m = 60 dB(A)) were compared. Traffic noise was played back via loudspeakers during one day in the seminar room. The following parameters were measured: Fatigue and mental tension by questionnaire; blood pressure and heart rate; excretion of adrenaline, noradrenaline and cAMP from the collected urine. The same subjects participated in a laboratory test where the blood pressure was measured during 5 minutes of rest and after 5 minutes of exposure to intermittent white noise (L m =97 dB(A)). It was found that the noise in the field experiment caused psychological and physiological stress effects in half of the subjects. Increased mental tension was correlated to increases as well as decreases of the blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure reactions were stronger than the reactions of diastolic blood pressure. Noise sensitive subjects reacted stronger than the others. In the short-term laboratory test, systolic blood pressure increases were smaller than the diastolic increases. At the end of the 5 minutes noise exposure only the diastolic blood pressure increases were significant. There was no correlation between the blood pressure reactions in the two different noise exposure experiments. There existed a positive correlation between noise sensitivity and the systolic blood pressure increases during the seminar, whilst the correlation, between noise sensitivity and systolic blood pressure increases in the laboratory exposure, was negative. From these results we conclude that short-term noise exposure experiments do not provide information about the effects of long-term real life exposure to environmental noise. Potential health effects of chronic noise-induced disturbances of activities are discussed.


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