Below are some resources on noise and its effects on health and environment. These and more specific, industry sector resources may be found on the Program pages.

General Information -  Noise & Health - Scientific Studies 

  • Ambient Noise Is “The New Secondhand Smoke”(2019). This review by Dr Dan Fink, QC Health Advisor and Founder of The Quiet Coalition, evaluates the evidence on noise levels and their effects on auditory and non-auditory health in the Fall issue of Acoustics Today. 

  • Environmental Noise and the Cardiovascular System (2018). This review article from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology by cardiologist Thomas Munzel and associates, focuses on the mechanisms and the epidemiology of noise-induced cardiovascular diseases and explains how noise damages the cardiovascular system. 

  • Too Loud! For Too Long!(2017). This report from the US Centers for Disease Control describes sources of harmful environmental noise, highlighting lawn and garden equipment, and includes a powerful infographic. 

  • What is a Safe Noise Level for the Public?(2016) In this 2016 article by Dr. Dan Fink in the American Journal of Public Health, he dispels the notion that the 85-decibel occupational noise threshold is a safe level for the public. The actual level is much lower. 

  • Auditory and non-auditory effects of noise on health(2014). A comprehensive scientific review article by Dr. Mathias Basner in  The Lancet, a premier medical journal, describing the effects of noise on hearing as well as non-hearing health — for example, blood pressure and heart disease. 

Fact Sheets and Flyers

 

Guidelines 

  • Guidelines for Community Noise. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1999. Berglund B, Lindvall T, Schwela DH (Eds). Nearly 20 years old but still the most recent guidelines out there. This provide a rich compendium of information on what constitutes safe noise levels in a wide variety of indoor and outdoor settings as well the scientific rationale being them. Well worth a careful read. 

Noise & Learning - Peer Reviewed Studies 

Supporting healthier urban environments with a sound and noise curriculum for students (2019) This article in journal, Cities & Health, introduces readers to the Sound and Noise Module developed in conjunction with New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection.

The effect of elevated train noise on reading ability (1975). One of the first articles to document the impact of noise on children's learning, co-authored by environmental psychologist and noise expert, Dr. Arline Bronzaft. 

The effect of a noise abatement program on reading ability (1981). An article by Dr. Arline Bronzaft, on how reduction in noise can positively impact children's learning. 

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