Published the new EEA report “Noise in Europe – 2020”

Road traffic is the top source of noise pollution in Europe, the new EEA report Noise in Europe – 2020″ says, with noise levels projected to rise in both urban and rural areas over the next decade due to urban growth and increased demand for mobility. Rail, aircraft and industry round up the other top sources of environmental noise pollution.

The report provides an update of noise pollution trends over the 2012-2017 period. It also provides an outlook of future noise projections as well as the associated health impacts in Europe, based on new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on the health effects from exposure to noise. Building on the previous EEA assessment of noise in Europe from 2014, the report also looks at actions being taken to manage and reduce noise exposure and reviews progress made to meet the EU objectives on noise pollution set by EU legislation, including the Environmental Noise Directive and the EU’s 7th Environmental Action Programme (EAP).

An estimated 113 million people are affected by long-term day-evening-night traffic noise levels of at least 55 decibels (dB(A)). In most European countries, more than 50 % of inhabitants within urban areas are exposed to road noise levels of 55 dB or higher during the day-evening-night period. According to the World Health Organization, health impacts are likely to occur at this level. The EU considers long-term exposure to noise levels over 55 decibels as high.
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