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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 24  |  Page : 21--33

Nocturnal awakenings due to aircraft noise*. Do wake-up reactions begin at sound level 60 dB(A)?

1 Interdisciplinary Research Network Noise and Health, Berliner Zentrum Public Health, Berlin, Germany
2 Robert-Koch-Institut, Berlin FG22 Section Environmental Medicine, Germany

Correspondence Address:
C Maschke
Pücklerstraße 30, 10997 Berlin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15703138

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Night-time wake-up thresholds at noise levels of 60 dB(A) are frequently employed in Germany to establish "noise polluted areas". The criterion is, however, based on an incorrect processing of statistical data gathered from an evaluation of literature performed by Griefahn et al. (1976). This finding has emerged from an extensive revision of the study. Using appropriate statistical methods, maximum levels of under 48 dB(A) are assessed as waking-up thresholds at ear level in sleeping persons, in contrast to maximum levels of 60 dB(A) calculated by Griefahn et al. in 1976. The linear dose-response relationship, which in the course of the revision could be derived from the early publications, agrees with the results of more recent literature evaluations. The present contribution is not intended to give rise to the question whether in the interest of medical prevention it is reasonable to develop night-time protective policies merely founded on noise levels marking the "statistical" onset of nocturnal wake-up reactions. In this context, emphasis is laid on the deformation of the biological rhythm of sleep.


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