Noise and Health

The programme on noise and health reviews the main health effects on noise from a dose-effect perspective and identifies the needs of specific vulnerable groups. Working in close co-operation with other WHO programmers, the programme develops indicators for noise and health, analyses exposure-response relationships for different health effects and studies the long-term effects of night exposure to noise ( long-term sleep disturbance and cardiovascular problems ).

Noise in the environment or community seriously affects people, interfering with the daily activities at school or work and at home and during leisure time. WHO guidelines identify the main health risks of noise:
  • hearing impairment including tinnitus
  • pain and hearing fatigue ( auditory effects)
  • sleep disturbance
  • segregation of stress hormones
  • cardiovascular effects
  • performances at work or school decrements
  • interference with speech communication
  • interferences with social behavior ( aggressiveness, protest and helpfulness ) and
  • annoyance ( non-auditory effects )
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe:
S. Scherfigsvej 2100.Copenhagen.Denmark
TE: 45-39-171717
Fax: 45-39-171818