One in five Europeans suffers from noise pollution considered harmful to their health, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said in a report on Thursday, deploring the EU’s failure to meet its own commitments.
A sign dissuading visitors from making noise File photo
“Notably, the objective set for 2020… of decreasing noise pollution and moving towards the WHO recommended levels for noise exposure will not be achieved,” the agency said in a statement.
It added that in fact “noise pollution is projected to increase because of future urban growth and increased demand for mobility.”
Noise pollution, especially at night, affects public health across Europe, as noise can disrupt sleep, and chronic noise is known to cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects as well as reducing cognitive performance.
According to the EEA, an estimated 113 million people across Europe are affected by long-term traffic noise levels.
In addition, 22 million suffer from noise pollution from trains and four million from aviation.
“In most European countries, more than 50 percent of inhabitants within urban areas are exposed to road noise levels of 55 decibel or higher during the day-evening-night period,” the EEA said, putting them above the 53 decibel recommended by the World Health Organization.
Noise pollution also has a real impact on people’s health.
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