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WHO and JRC publish new guidance to assess the health impact of noise

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A step-by-step guidance on how to calculate the burden of cardiovascular diseases and sleep disturbance from noise

A pdf icon report providing new guidance to assess the health impact of noise from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) is now available to national and local authorities across Europe. This study has been complemented by a report on the pdf icon Assessment of needs for capacity-building for health risk assessment of environmental noise (case studies).

Published last Friday, the report provides each European country a hands-on technical tool to assess their citizens’ years of life lost due to premature death or poor health and disability. It is a step forward from the pdf icon Burden of disease from environmental noise published by WHO and JRC in 2011. 

Last September the JRC also published a reference report on pdf icon Common Noise Assessment Methods in Europe (CNOSSOS-EU): a methodological framework ensuring comparability of data on noise exposure in Europe, a prerequisite to set up EU policies to reduce noise pollution.

Read more: JRC article "How does noise impact on your health?"


Noise pollution is considered a threat to public health and one of the most frequently perceived environmental health issues in Europe. One in three individuals is annoyed during the daytime and one in five suffers disturbed sleep at night because of traffic noise. Evidence indicates that those chronically exposed to high levels of noise have an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction. Urbanisation, economic growth and motorized transport are the major driving forces for exposure to environmental noise and its effects on health.

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