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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3246-3263; doi:10.3390/ijerph120303246

City Dweller Responses to Multiple Stressors Intruding into Their Homes: Noise, Light, Odour, and Vibration

Environmental Psychology, Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Academic Editors: Peter Lercher, Ronny Klaeboe and Mariola Sliwinska-Kowalska
Received: 18 August 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2015 / Accepted: 3 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Combined Health Effects of Environmental Exposures)
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Abstract

Urban densification increases exposure to noise, light, odour, and vibration in urban dwellings. Exposure from combined environmental stressors intruding into the home could increase the risk of adverse effects on wellbeing, even when the exposure is at a relatively low level. This study assesses the prevalence of annoyance with a combination of potential environmental stressors common in urban areas and the association with wellbeing. A questionnaire was sent by mail to residents in five areas in Halmstad (Sweden) with similar socioeconomic and housing characteristics but different exposure (response rate 56%; n = 385). Of the respondents, 50% were annoyed to some degree by at least one of the suggested stressors, most commonly by noise and vibration from local traffic. Structural equation modelling showed that annoyance led to lowered quality of life via the mediating construct residential satisfaction, which in turn was influenced by place attachment and perceived restoration possibilities in the dwelling. Stress had a negative impact on quality of life, but was not directly correlated to annoyance. Stress was however correlated with sensitivity. The findings suggest that dose-response relationships for environmental stressors should be studied in a broader context of environmental and individual factors. Also relatively low levels of exposure should be mitigated, especially if several stressors are present. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental stressors; noise; vibration; odour; light; annoyance; place attachment; general health; sensitivity; quality of life environmental stressors; noise; vibration; odour; light; annoyance; place attachment; general health; sensitivity; quality of life
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pedersen, E. City Dweller Responses to Multiple Stressors Intruding into Their Homes: Noise, Light, Odour, and Vibration. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 3246-3263.

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