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A Simulated Environment Experiment on Annoyance Due to Combined Road Traffic and Industrial Noises
Open AccessArticle

Annoyance from Road Traffic, Trains, Airplanes and from Total Environmental Noise Levels

Department of Environmental Health and Occupational Health, School of Public Health, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
Public Health Department of Montreal, Montreal, QC H2L 1M3, Canada
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel 4002, Switzerland
University of Basel, Basel 4003, Switzerland
National Institute of Public Health of Quebec, Montreal, QC H3C 2B9, Canada
Public Health Research Institute, University of Montreal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ronny Klaeboe, Peter Lercher and Mariola Sliwinska-Kowalska
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 90;
Received: 12 July 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 29 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Combined Health Effects of Environmental Exposures)
There is a lack of studies assessing the exposure-response relationship between transportation noise and annoyance in North America. Our aims were to investigate the prevalence of noise annoyance induced by road traffic, trains and airplanes in relation to distance to transportation noise sources, and to total environmental noise levels in Montreal, Canada; annoyance was assessed as noise-induced disturbance. A telephone-based survey among 4336 persons aged >18 years was conducted. Exposure to total environmental noise (A-weighted outdoor noise levels—LAeq24h and day-evening-night equivalent noise levels—Lden) for each study participant was determined using a statistical noise model (land use regression—LUR) that is based on actual outdoor noise measurements. The proportion of the population annoyed by road traffic, airplane and train noise was 20.1%, 13.0% and 6.1%, respectively. As the distance to major roads, railways and the Montreal International Airport increased, the percentage of people disturbed and highly disturbed due to the corresponding traffic noise significantly decreased. When applying the statistical noise model we found a relationship between noise levels and disturbance from road traffic and total environmental noise, with Prevalence Proportion Ratios (PPR) for highly disturbed people of 1.10 (95% CI: 1.07–1.13) and 1.04 (1.02–1.06) per 1 dB(A) Lden, respectively. Our study provides the first comprehensive information on the relationship between transportation noise levels and disturbance in a Canadian city. LUR models are still in development and further studies on transportation noise induced annoyance are consequently needed, especially for sources other than road traffic. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental noise; exposure; annoyance; transportation; Canada environmental noise; exposure; annoyance; transportation; Canada
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Ragettli, M.S.; Goudreau, S.; Plante, C.; Perron, S.; Fournier, M.; Smargiassi, A. Annoyance from Road Traffic, Trains, Airplanes and from Total Environmental Noise Levels. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 90.

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