Towards an complete Health Impact Assessment for Noise in Europe

Invited paper

Annemarie Van Beek


Wednesday 3 june, 2015, 15:00 - 15:20

0.8 Rome (118)

Noise exposure data reported for the European Noise Directive (END) forms a good start for an health impact assessment (HIA) in Europe. We combined the END data delivered until August 2013 with information about exposure-relations and demographic and disease incidence data of 33 European countries to carry out a health impacts assessment for noise from roads, railways, aircrafts and industry. We estimated that about 9.1 million adults are highly annoyed and 3.7 million highly sleep disturbed due to community noise. Furthermore noise contributes to about 910 thousand additional cases of hypertension in 2012, 43 thousand hospital admissions per year and about 10 thousand premature deaths per year related to coronary heart disease and stroke. 90 Percent of the impact is related to road traffic noise. Uncertainties may influence the reported numbers, but the incompleteness of the dataset is a factor that leads to a structural underestimation of health impact. Even in the case that the data delivery is complete, it will not cover all exposure to noise in Europe. The END does not address exposure of dwellings in agglomerations < 100.000 inhabitants and other sources than the major sources. Furthermore the END does not address exposure to levels lower than 55 dB Lden, while effects also occur at these lower levels. Starting from expert guesses, we focused on the development of a method that will lead to an estimate of heath impact based on a full exposure distribution for road traffic in the European Union. We will impute exposure data that is not yet available (gap filling) and estimate exposure data that is not addressed by the END (extrapolation of noise exposure).

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