E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Sound and Health related Quality of Life"

Quicklinks

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Peter Lercher (Website)

Division of Social Medicine, Medical University Innsbruck, Sonnenburgstraße 16, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Fax: +43 0512 9003 73251
Interests: environmental and social epidemiology; environmental health impact assessment; noise/vibration and air pollution; combined effects; quality of life

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The majority of people in the European Union and other OECD countries is exposed to environmental sound between 50 and 60 dBA, Lden. People exposed to these levels of environmental sound often suffer from impairments of health related quality of life and are usually not protected. Although the WHO has recommended 55 dBA as a guideline for residential areas and the new night-time guideline recommends a range from 40 to 55 dBA (to respect the different economic abilities of countries) enforcable directives are typically set around 60 to 65 dBA. Mainly, because general reduction of sound levels below this intensity range is difficult to achieve by classical acoustic means and non-acoustic factors play an important role in this exposure range. In this edition of "Sound and Health related Quality of Life" papers are welcome which provide further evidence for adverse effects of environmental sound on normal and vulnerable people (seniors, persons with handicaps)in the above mentioned exposure range. This does not exclude papers that show the whole range of sound exposure levels or provide theoretical or methodical input to better understand the contextual nature of the adverse effects (modification by soundscape or non-acoustic factors) and the indispensable need to provide control/coping options and restoration for prevention. Furthermore, papers are welcome which show the positive effects of acoustic designs or soundscape modifications on health related quality of life or support restoration and sustainable planning (effect evaluation is a requirement).

Prof. Dr. Peter Lercher
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • environmental quality of life
  • health related quality of life
  • coping
  • quiet areas
  • sustainability
  • environmental health impact assessment
  • soundscape assessment
  • acoustic design and planning

Published Papers (10 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-10
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Development of a Quantitative Methodology to Assess the Impacts of Urban Transport Interventions and Related Noise on Well-Being
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(6), 5792-5814; doi:10.3390/ijerph120605792
Received: 30 January 2015 / Revised: 7 May 2015 / Accepted: 15 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (744 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Well-being impact assessments of urban interventions are a difficult challenge, as there is no agreed methodology and scarce evidence on the relationship between environmental conditions and well-being. The European Union (EU) project “Urban Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in China and Europe” [...] Read more.
Well-being impact assessments of urban interventions are a difficult challenge, as there is no agreed methodology and scarce evidence on the relationship between environmental conditions and well-being. The European Union (EU) project “Urban Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in China and Europe” (URGENCHE) explored a methodological approach to assess traffic noise-related well-being impacts of transport interventions in three European cities (Basel, Rotterdam and Thessaloniki) linking modeled traffic noise reduction effects with survey data indicating noise-well-being associations. Local noise models showed a reduction of high traffic noise levels in all cities as a result of different urban interventions. Survey data indicated that perception of high noise levels was associated with lower probability of well-being. Connecting the local noise exposure profiles with the noise-well-being associations suggests that the urban transport interventions may have a marginal but positive effect on population well-being. This paper also provides insight into the methodological challenges of well-being assessments and highlights the range of limitations arising from the current lack of reliable evidence on environmental conditions and well-being. Due to these limitations, the results should be interpreted with caution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
Open AccessArticle The Negative Affect Hypothesis of Noise Sensitivity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(5), 5284-5303; doi:10.3390/ijerph120505284
Received: 28 February 2015 / Accepted: 7 May 2015 / Published: 18 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (750 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Some studies indicate that noise sensitivity is explained by negative affect, a dispositional tendency to negatively evaluate situations and the self. Individuals high in such traits may report a greater sensitivity to other sensory stimuli, such as smell, bright light and pain. [...] Read more.
Some studies indicate that noise sensitivity is explained by negative affect, a dispositional tendency to negatively evaluate situations and the self. Individuals high in such traits may report a greater sensitivity to other sensory stimuli, such as smell, bright light and pain. However, research investigating the relationship between noise sensitivity and sensitivity to stimuli associated with other sensory modalities has not always supported the notion of a common underlying trait, such as negative affect, driving them. Additionally, other explanations of noise sensitivity based on cognitive processes have existed in the clinical literature for over 50 years. Here, we report on secondary analyses of pre-existing laboratory (n = 74) and epidemiological (n = 1005) data focusing on the relationship between noise sensitivity to and annoyance with a variety of olfactory-related stimuli. In the first study a correlational design examined the relationships between noise sensitivity, noise annoyance, and perceptual ratings of 16 odors. The second study sought differences between mean noise and air pollution annoyance scores across noise sensitivity categories. Results from both analyses failed to support the notion that, by itself, negative affectivity explains sensitivity to noise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
Open AccessArticle Auditory Recognition of Familiar and Unfamiliar Subjects with Wind Turbine Noise
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 4306-4320; doi:10.3390/ijerph120404306
Received: 10 February 2015 / Revised: 13 March 2015 / Accepted: 20 March 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
PDF Full-text (1063 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Considering the wide growth of the wind turbine market over the last decade as well as their increasing power size, more and more potential conflicts have arisen in society due to the noise radiated by these plants. Our goal was to determine [...] Read more.
Considering the wide growth of the wind turbine market over the last decade as well as their increasing power size, more and more potential conflicts have arisen in society due to the noise radiated by these plants. Our goal was to determine whether the annoyance caused by wind farms is related to aspects other than noise. To accomplish this, an auditory experiment on the recognition of wind turbine noise was conducted to people with long experience of wind turbine noise exposure and to people with no previous experience to this type of noise source. Our findings demonstrated that the trend of the auditory recognition is the same for the two examined groups, as far as the increase of the distance and the decrease of the values of sound equivalent levels and loudness are concerned. Significant differences between the two groups were observed as the distance increases. People with wind turbine noise experience showed a higher tendency to report false alarms than people without experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
Open AccessArticle The Relation between Self-Reported Worry and Annoyance from Air and Road Traffic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 2486-2500; doi:10.3390/ijerph120302486
Received: 18 November 2014 / Revised: 10 February 2015 / Accepted: 11 February 2015 / Published: 25 February 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (378 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Negative perceptions such as fear or worry are known to be an important determinant of annoyance. Annoyance caused by noise and odour has been analysed in relation to worry about safety or health due to environmental hazards, using responses to a health [...] Read more.
Negative perceptions such as fear or worry are known to be an important determinant of annoyance. Annoyance caused by noise and odour has been analysed in relation to worry about safety or health due to environmental hazards, using responses to a health survey. In the survey area high environmental impacts come from air and road traffic. The survey results show a correlation between worry due to the airport or passing aircraft and noise and odour annoyance from aircraft (correlation coefficient (c.c.) close to 0.6). For the relation between worry about a busy street and annoyance from road traffic the correlation is lower (c.c. 0.4–0.5). Worries about different situations, such as living below sea level, close to an airport, busy street or chemical industry, are highly correlated (c.c. 0.5–0.9), also for situations that are not obviously related. Personal factors can also lead to more worry: being female, above 35 years of age, having a high risk for anxiety/depression and being in bad health increase the odds for being worried. The results thus suggest that worry about safety or health is correlated to both personal and environmental factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
Open AccessArticle The Association between Road Traffic Noise Exposure, Annoyance and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12652-12667; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212652
Received: 23 May 2014 / Revised: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 28 November 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (927 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study is to investigate the relationships between road traffic noise exposure, annoyance caused by different noise sources and validated health indicators in a cohort of 1375 adults from the region of Basel, Switzerland. Road traffic noise exposure for [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to investigate the relationships between road traffic noise exposure, annoyance caused by different noise sources and validated health indicators in a cohort of 1375 adults from the region of Basel, Switzerland. Road traffic noise exposure for each study participant was determined using modelling, and annoyance from various noise sources was inquired by means of a four-point Likert scale. Regression parameters from multivariable regression models for the von Zerssen score of somatic symptoms (point symptom score increase per annoyance category) showed strongest associations with annoyance from industry noise (2.36, 95% CI: 1.54, 3.17), neighbour noise (1.62, 95% CI: 1.17, 2.06) and road traffic noise (1.53, 95% CI: 1.09, 1.96). Increase in modelled noise exposure by 10 dB(A) resulted in a von Zerssen symptom score increase of 0.47 (95% CI: −0.01, 0.95) units. Subsequent structural equation modelling revealed that the association between physical noise exposure and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is strongly mediated by annoyance and sleep disturbance. This study elucidates the complex interplay of different factors for the association between physical noise exposure and HRQOL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
Open AccessArticle Hypotension and Environmental Noise: A Replication Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 8661-8688; doi:10.3390/ijerph110908661
Received: 11 June 2014 / Revised: 21 July 2014 / Accepted: 12 August 2014 / Published: 26 August 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (570 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Up to now, traffic noise effect studies focused on hypertension as health outcome. Hypotension has not been considered as a potential health outcome although in experiments some people also responded to noise with decreases of blood pressure. Currently, the characteristics of these [...] Read more.
Up to now, traffic noise effect studies focused on hypertension as health outcome. Hypotension has not been considered as a potential health outcome although in experiments some people also responded to noise with decreases of blood pressure. Currently, the characteristics of these persons are not known and whether this down regulation of blood pressure is an experimental artifact, selection, or can also be observed in population studies is unanswered. In a cross-sectional replication study, we randomly sampled participants (age 20–75, N = 807) from circular areas (radius = 500 m) around 31 noise measurement sites from four noise exposure strata (35–44, 45–54, 55–64, >64 Leq, dBA). Repeated blood pressure measurements were available for a smaller sample (N = 570). Standardized information on socio-demographics, housing, life style and health was obtained by door to door visits including anthropometric measurements. Noise and air pollution exposure was assigned by GIS based on both calculation and measurements. Reported hypotension or hypotension medication past year was the main outcome studied. Exposure-effect relationships were modeled with multiple non-linear logistic regression techniques using separate noise estimations for total, highway and rail exposure. Reported hypotension was significantly associated with rail and total noise exposure and strongly modified by weather sensitivity. Reported hypotension medication showed associations of similar size with rail and total noise exposure without effect modification by weather sensitivity. The size of the associations in the smaller sample with BMI as additional covariate was similar. Other important cofactors (sex, age, BMI, health) and moderators (weather sensitivity, adjacent main roads and associated annoyance) need to be considered as indispensible part of the observed relationship. This study confirms a potential new noise effect pathway and discusses potential patho-physiological routes of actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Music Listening Behavior, Health, Hearing and Otoacoustic Emission Levels
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 7592-7607; doi:10.3390/ijerph110807592
Received: 18 June 2014 / Revised: 9 July 2014 / Accepted: 14 July 2014 / Published: 25 July 2014
PDF Full-text (689 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examined the relationship between hearing levels, otoacoustic emission levels and listening habits related to the use of personal listening devices (PLDs) in adults with varying health-related fitness. Duration of PLD use was estimated and volume level was directly measured. Biomarkers [...] Read more.
This study examined the relationship between hearing levels, otoacoustic emission levels and listening habits related to the use of personal listening devices (PLDs) in adults with varying health-related fitness. Duration of PLD use was estimated and volume level was directly measured. Biomarkers of health-related fitness were co-factored into the analyses. 115 subjects ages 18–84 participated in this study. Subjects were divided into two sub-groups; PLD users and non-PLD users. Both groups completed audiological and health-related fitness tests. Due to the mismatch in the mean age of the PLD user versus the non-PLD user groups, age-adjusted statistics were performed to determine factors that contributed to hearing levels. Age was the most significant predictor of hearing levels across listening and health-related fitness variables. PLD user status did not impact hearing measures, yet PLD users who listened less than 8 hours per week with intensities of less than 80 dBA were found to have better hearing. Other variables found to be associated with hearing levels included: years listening to PLD, number of noise environments and use of ear protection. Finally, a healthy waist-to-hip ratio was a significant predictor of better hearing, while body mass index approached, but did not reach statistical significance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
Open AccessArticle Noise Producing Toys and the Efficacy of Product Standard Criteria to Protect Health and Education Outcomes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(1), 47-66; doi:10.3390/ijerph110100047
Received: 1 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 6 December 2013 / Published: 19 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An evaluation of 28 commercially available toys imported into New Zealand revealed that 21% of these toys do not meet the acoustic criteria in the ISO standard, ISO 8124-1:2009 Safety of Toys, adopted by Australia and New Zealand as AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2010. [...] Read more.
An evaluation of 28 commercially available toys imported into New Zealand revealed that 21% of these toys do not meet the acoustic criteria in the ISO standard, ISO 8124-1:2009 Safety of Toys, adopted by Australia and New Zealand as AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2010. While overall the 2010 standard provided a greater level of protection than the earlier 2002 standard, there was one high risk toy category where the 2002 standard provided greater protection. A secondary set of toys from the personal collections of children known to display atypical methods of play with toys, such as those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), was part of the evaluation. Only one of these toys cleanly passed the 2010 standard, with the remainder failing or showing a marginal-pass. As there is no tolerance level stated in the standards to account for interpretation of data and experimental error, a value of +2 dB was used. The findings of the study indicate that the current standard is inadequate in providing protection against excessive noise exposure. Amendments to the criteria have been recommended that apply to the recently adopted 2013 standard. These include the integration of the new approaches published in the recently amended European standard (EN 71) on safety of toys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
Open AccessArticle Linking Traffic Noise, Noise Annoyance and Life Satisfaction: A Case Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1895-1915; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051895
Received: 2 February 2013 / Revised: 15 April 2013 / Accepted: 17 April 2013 / Published: 7 May 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (419 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The primary purpose of this study was to explore the link between rail and road traffic noise and overall life satisfaction. While the negative relationship between residential satisfaction and traffic noise is relatively well-established, much less is known about the effect of [...] Read more.
The primary purpose of this study was to explore the link between rail and road traffic noise and overall life satisfaction. While the negative relationship between residential satisfaction and traffic noise is relatively well-established, much less is known about the effect of traffic noise on overall life satisfaction. Based on results of previous studies, we propose a model that links objective noise levels, noise sensitivity, noise annoyance, residential satisfaction and life satisfaction. Since it is not clear whether a bottom-up or top-down relationship between residential satisfaction and life satisfaction holds, we specify models that incorporate both of these theoretical propositions. Empirical models are tested using structural equation modeling and data from a survey among residents of areas with high levels of road traffic noise (n1 = 354) and rail traffic noise (n2 = 228). We find that traffic noise has a negative effect on residential satisfaction, but no significant direct or indirect effects on overall life satisfaction. Noise annoyance due to road and rail traffic noise has strong negative effect on residential satisfaction rather than on overall life satisfaction. These results are very similar for the road and railway traffic contexts and regardless of whether the model assumes the top-down or bottom-up direction of the causation between life satisfaction and residential satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
Figures

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Reproductive Outcomes Associated with Noise Exposure — A Systematic Review of the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 7931-7952; doi:10.3390/ijerph110807931
Received: 17 April 2014 / Revised: 8 July 2014 / Accepted: 16 July 2014 / Published: 6 August 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Introduction: High noise exposure during critical periods in gestation is a potential stressor that may result in increased risk of implantation failure, dysregulation of placentation or decrease of uterine blood flow. This paper systematically reviews published evidence on associations between reproductive [...] Read more.
Introduction: High noise exposure during critical periods in gestation is a potential stressor that may result in increased risk of implantation failure, dysregulation of placentation or decrease of uterine blood flow. This paper systematically reviews published evidence on associations between reproductive outcomes and occupational and environmental noise exposure. Methods: The Web of Science, PubMed and Embase electronic databases were searched for papers published between 1970 to June 2014 and via colleagues. We included 14 epidemiological studies related to occupational noise exposure and nine epidemiological studies related to environmental noise exposure. There was some evidence for associations between occupational noise exposure and low birthweight, preterm birth and small for gestational age, either independently or together with other occupational risk factors. Five of six epidemiologic studies, including the two largest studies, found significant associations between lower birthweight and higher noise exposure. There were few studies on other outcomes and study design issues may have led to bias in assessments in some studies. Conclusions: There is evidence for associations between noise exposure and adverse reproductive outcomes from animal studies. Few studies in have been conducted in humans but there is some suggestive evidence of adverse associations with environmental noise from both occupational and epidemiological studies, especially for low birthweight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
IJERPH Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
ijerph@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to IJERPH
Back to Top