Night noise affects well-being

Courtesy photo by Ollyy/
Courtesy photo by Ollyy/

By USAG Stuttgart Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division

Environmental noise can have negative effects on human health and well-being.

The World Health Organization, concerned about the health effects of the exposure to night-time noise, publishes guidelines for night noise for European countries.

According to the WHO website, “ … annual average night exposure should not exceed 40 decibels (dB), corresponding to the sound from a quiet street in a residential area. Persons exposed to higher levels over the year can suffer mild health effects such as sleep disturbance and insomnia. Long-term average exposure to levels above 55 dB, similar to the noise from a busy street, can trigger elevated blood pressure and heart attacks.”

WHO researchers estimate that one in five Europeans is regularly exposed to sound exceeding 55dB at night.