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WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Quality of Life, Wellbeing and Mental Health

1
Acoustics, Ove Arup & Partners, 13 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 4BQ, UK
2
Institute of Hygiene and Medical Ecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade 11000, Serbia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112400
Received: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 October 2018 / Published: 29 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue WHO Noise and Health Evidence Reviews)
This systematic review assesses the quality of the evidence across studies on the effect of environmental noise (road traffic noise, aircraft noise, railway noise, wind-turbine noise) on quality of life, wellbeing and mental health. Quantitative studies of noise effects on children and adults published from January 2005 up to October 2015 were reviewed. A total of 29 papers were identified. 90% of the papers were of cross-sectional design, with fewer studies of longitudinal or intervention design. Outcomes included depression and anxiety, medication use and childhood emotional problems. The quality of the evidence across the studies for each individual noise source was assessed using an adaptation of the GRADE methodology. Overall, given the predominance of cross-sectional studies, most evidence was rated as very low quality, with evidence of effects only being observed for some noise sources and outcomes. These ratings reflect inconsistent findings across studies, the small number of studies and a lack of methodological robustness within some domains. Overall, there are few studies of clinically significant mental health outcomes; few studies of railway noise exposure; and studies of large samples are needed. The lack of evidence for noise effects across studies for many of the quality of life, wellbeing and mental health domains examined does not necessarily mean that there are no effects: rather, that they have not yet been studied robustly for different noise sources. View Full-Text
Keywords: road traffic noise; aircraft noise; railway noise; wind-turbine noise; quality of life; wellbeing; depression; anxiety; mental health road traffic noise; aircraft noise; railway noise; wind-turbine noise; quality of life; wellbeing; depression; anxiety; mental health
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Clark, C.; Paunovic, K. WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Quality of Life, Wellbeing and Mental Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2400.

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