Quantifying environmental health impacts

Burden of disease from environmental noise - Quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe

Environmental burden of disease from noise in Europe - WHO EURO

WHO Regional Office for Europe

The health impacts of environmental noise are a growing concern. At least one million healthy life years are lost every year from traffic-related noise in the western part of Europe.

This publication summarizes the evidence on the relationship between environmental noise and health effects, including cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance, tinnitus, and annoyance. For each one, the environmental burden of disease methodology, based on exposure–response relationship, exposure distribution, background prevalence of disease and disability weights of the outcome, is applied to calculate the burden of disease in terms of disability-adjusted life-years. Data are still lacking for the rest of the WHO European Region.

This publication provides policy-makers and their advisers with technical support in their quantitative risk assessment of environmental noise. International, national and local authorities can use the procedure for estimating burdens presented here to prioritize and plan environmental and public health policies.

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