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Special Issue "Environmental Noise and Annoyance"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2021) | Viewed by 12401

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Takashi Yano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan
Interests: community response to noise; socio-acoustic survey; environmental noise; annoyance
Prof. Dr. Rainer Guski
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany
Interests: environmental noise and health; quality of life; noise annoyance; auditory perception; audiovisual phenomenal causality; picture perception
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Noise annoyance is a complicated construct affected by not only acoustic but also non-acoustic factors such as personal, situational, and contextual factors. It is also affected by interventions, the change of social infrastructure (i.e., opening or closing runways and new legislation) and social conditions (i.e., natural disasters and pandemics). Annoyance is the second most serious health outcome caused by noise, following sleep effects. The WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for European Region were published in 2018, in which two noise indices, Lden and Lnight, are used. All the guideline values for Lden were recommended by the exposure–response relationships in the WHO systematic review for annoyance. After the publication of the WHO Guidelines, many additional studies were conducted across the world. Annoyance caused by noise varies from hourly to yearly and from regionally to globally. Therefore, social survey data on noise annoyance should be accumulated successively and globally for the next systematic review. We welcome the submission of empirical studies relating to environmental noise annoyance as well as studies pertaining to future noise policies for publication in the Special Issue “Environmental Noise and Annoyance” of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Prof. emer. Takashi Yano
Prof. Dr. Rainer Guski
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 semimonthly 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 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • environmental noise
  • annoyance
  • activity disturbance
  • exposure–response relationships
  • effects of acoustic and non-acoustic factors
  • effects of intervention (i.e., change of infrastructure and social conditions etc.)
  • combined noise annoyance
  • combined effects with other agents

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Article
Representative Exposure–Annoyance Relationships Due to Transportation Noises in Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10935; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010935 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 701
Abstract
This paper focuses on clarifying the relationship between noise exposure and the prevalence of highly annoyed people due to transportation noise in Japan. The authors accumulated 34 datasets, which were provided by Socio-Acoustic Survey Data Archive and derived from the other surveys conducted [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on clarifying the relationship between noise exposure and the prevalence of highly annoyed people due to transportation noise in Japan. The authors accumulated 34 datasets, which were provided by Socio-Acoustic Survey Data Archive and derived from the other surveys conducted in Japan. All the datasets include the following micro-data: demographic factors, exposure, and annoyance data associated with specific noise sources. We performed secondary analyses using micro-data and established the relationships between noise exposure (Lden) and the percentage of highly annoyed people (%HA) for the following noise source: road traffic, conventional railway, Shinkansen railway, civil aircraft, and military aircraft noises. Among the five transportation noises, %HA for the military aircraft noise is the highest, followed by civil aircraft noise and Shinkansen railway noise. The %HA for conventional railway noise was higher than that for road traffic noise. To validate the representativeness of the exposure–response curves, we have discussed factors affecting the difference in annoyance. In addition, comparing the Japanese relationship with that shown in the “Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region,” we revealed that Japanese annoyance is higher than the WHO-reported annoyance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Noise and Annoyance)
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Article
Modeling and Mapping of Combined Noise Annoyance for Aircraft and Road Traffic Based on a Partial Loudness Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8724; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168724 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 798
Abstract
Complex transportation systems often produce combined exposure to aircraft and road noise. Depending on the noise source, the annoyance response is different, and a masking effect occurs between the noise sources within the combined noise. Considering these characteristics, partial loudness was adopted to [...] Read more.
Complex transportation systems often produce combined exposure to aircraft and road noise. Depending on the noise source, the annoyance response is different, and a masking effect occurs between the noise sources within the combined noise. Considering these characteristics, partial loudness was adopted to evaluate noise annoyance. First, a partial loudness model incorporating binaural inhibition was proposed and validated. Second, short- and long-term annoyance models were developed using partial loudness. Finally, the annoyance of combined noise was visualized as a map. These models can evaluate the annoyance by considering both the intensity and frequency characteristics of the noise. In addition, it is possible to quantify the masking effect that occurs between noise sources. Combined noise annoyance maps depict the degree of annoyance of residents and show the background noise effect, which is not seen on general noise maps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Noise and Annoyance)
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Article
Contributors to Neighbour Noise Annoyance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8098; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158098 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 916
Abstract
Noise from neighbours has been shown to be one of the most noise annoying sources in Germany, but research on the influencing factors for the annoyance ratings is scarce. Therefore, we investigated whether different personal and contextual (social, physical) factors contribute to neighbour [...] Read more.
Noise from neighbours has been shown to be one of the most noise annoying sources in Germany, but research on the influencing factors for the annoyance ratings is scarce. Therefore, we investigated whether different personal and contextual (social, physical) factors contribute to neighbour noise annoyance to better understand the neighbour noise annoyance situation. A population-representative survey in four areas in Germany was conducted, with each area further stratified according to their density of agglomeration (inner city, urban outskirt, rural area). Randomly selected residents from each area were invited by mail to participate in the study, either online or via a paper–pencil mode. Noise annoyance was assessed for different noise sources (e.g., neighbourhood, road, railway, aircrafts, different types of industry). In total, 1973 questionnaires were completed. We identified several factors to be predictive of neighbour noise annoyance: satisfaction with the neighbourhood, relationship with neighbours, residential satisfaction, noise sensitivity, and density of agglomeration for people living in the inner city in comparison to rural areas. Particularly, social aspects such as the relationship with neighbours and satisfaction with the neighbourhood have been shown to affect neighbour noise annoyance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Noise and Annoyance)
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Article
Effects of Noise and Vibration Due to the Hokuriku Shinkansen Railway on the Living Environment: A Socio-Acoustic Survey One Year after the Opening
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7794; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157794 - 22 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
One year after the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen (high-speed) railway, in 2016, we conducted a social survey targeting the residents of detached houses along the rail. Noise and vibration exposure levels were estimated at outdoor points closest to the noise source side [...] Read more.
One year after the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen (high-speed) railway, in 2016, we conducted a social survey targeting the residents of detached houses along the rail. Noise and vibration exposure levels were estimated at outdoor points closest to the noise source side of the houses. Of the 1980 people contacted, there were 1022 valid respondents. The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between noise and vibration exposure and community responses. The results demonstrated that the noise annoyance and daily activity disturbances of residents living in areas without a conventional railway are higher than those of residents living in areas running parallel to a conventional railway line. This tendency was remarkable, especially for areas with high vibration exposure caused by the Shinkansen railway. There was no difference between before and after the opening of the Shinkansen railway in the evaluation of housing satisfaction, or regarding the preference for the residential area and quietness around the house. However, since the survey before the opening was conducted only in the Ishikawa site, it will be necessary to conduct before-and-after surveys in areas where there are no conventional railways, and where the speed of the Shinkansen is fast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Noise and Annoyance)
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Article
Pooling and Comparing Noise Annoyance Scores and “High Annoyance” (HA) Responses on the 5-Point and 11-Point Scales: Principles and Practical Advice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7339; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147339 - 09 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 838
Abstract
The use of different noise annoyance scales across studies and socio-acoustic surveys, in particular the popular 5-point verbal and 11-point numerical scales, has made the evaluation, comparison, and pooling of noise annoyance responses among studies a taxing issue. This is particularly the case [...] Read more.
The use of different noise annoyance scales across studies and socio-acoustic surveys, in particular the popular 5-point verbal and 11-point numerical scales, has made the evaluation, comparison, and pooling of noise annoyance responses among studies a taxing issue. This is particularly the case when “high annoyance” (HA) responses need to be compared and when the original studies used different scales; thus, there are different so-called cutoff points that define the part of the scale that indicates the HA status. This paper provides practical guidance on pooling and comparing the respective annoyance data in both the linear and logistic regression context in a statistically adequate manner. It caters to researchers who want to carry out pooled analyses on annoyance data that have been collected on different scales or need to compare exposure–HA relationships between the 5-point and 11-point scales. The necessary simulation of a cutoff point non-native to an original scale can be achieved with a random assignment approach, which is exemplified in the paper using original response data from a range of recent noise annoyance surveys. A code example in the R language is provided for easy implementation of the pertinent procedures with one’s own survey data. Lastly, the not insignificant limitations of combining and/or comparing responses from different noise annoyance scales are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Noise and Annoyance)
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Article
Subjective Evaluation on the Annoyance of Environmental Noise Containing Low-Frequency Tonal Components
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7127; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18137127 - 03 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1464
Abstract
Recently in Japan, noises from wind turbines and domestic use heat sources sometimes cause an increase in noise annoyance owing to low-frequency tonal components. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the tonal components on the annoyance of the [...] Read more.
Recently in Japan, noises from wind turbines and domestic use heat sources sometimes cause an increase in noise annoyance owing to low-frequency tonal components. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the tonal components on the annoyance of the environmental noise. The authors conducted an auditory test in the laboratory to evaluate the annoyance of tonal noise using a seven-step rating method. The stimuli were composed of a broadband noise modeling of the environmental noise (25, 30, and 35 dB) and a low-frequency tonal component. With the tonal component added to the broadband noise, the frequency and tonal audibility were varied to 40, 50, 100, 200, and 400 Hz and 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 dB, respectively. The amount of increase in annoyance owing to the addition of the tonal component was quantitatively evaluated as a tonal adjustment by comparing it with broadband noise. As a result, tonal adjustment ranged from 0 to 7 dB, and the higher the tonal frequency, the larger the value. For the test background noise level, the lower the background noise level of the test sound, the greater the value. This trend suggests that the influence of tonal components on subjective impressions is stronger in quiet environments such as residential areas. This result may provide a basis for the evaluation method, which varies the penalty in the noise evaluation according to the frequency of the pure tones and the noise level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Noise and Annoyance)
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Article
Effects of Nocturnal Aircraft Noise and Non-Acoustical Factors on Short-Term Annoyance in Primary School Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6959; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136959 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 820
Abstract
Children are considered at higher risk for harmful noise effects due to their sensitive development phase. Here, we investigated the effects of nocturnal aircraft noise exposure on short-term annoyance assessed in the morning in 51 primary school children (8–10 years) living in the [...] Read more.
Children are considered at higher risk for harmful noise effects due to their sensitive development phase. Here, we investigated the effects of nocturnal aircraft noise exposure on short-term annoyance assessed in the morning in 51 primary school children (8–10 years) living in the surrounding community of Cologne-Bonn Airport. Child-appropriate short-term annoyance assessments and associated non-acoustical variables were surveyed. Nocturnal aircraft noise exposure was recorded inside the children’s bedrooms. Exposure–response models were calculated by using random effects logistic regression models. The present data were compared with those from a previous study near Cologne-Bonn Airport in adults using very similar methodology. Short-term annoyance reaction in children was not affected by the nocturnal aircraft noise exposure. Non-acoustical factors (e.g., the attitude that “aircraft are dangerous” or noise sensitivity), however, significantly impacted on children’s short-term annoyance. In contrast to children, the probability of moderate to high annoyance in adults increased with the number of aircraft flyovers during the time in bed. It is concluded that short-term annoyance from nocturnal aircraft noise in children is mainly determined by non-acoustical factors. Unlike in adults, acoustical factors did not play a significant role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Noise and Annoyance)
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Article
The Effect of an Alternative Definition of “Percent Highly Annoyed” on the Exposure–Response Relationship: Comparison of Noise Annoyance Responses Measured by ICBEN 5-Point Verbal and 11-Point Numerical Scales
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126258 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1010
Abstract
Since the development of the 5-point verbal and 11-point numerical scales for measuring noise annoyance by the ICBEN Team 6, these scales have been widely used in socio-acoustic surveys worldwide, and annoyance responses have been easily compared internationally. However, both the top two [...] Read more.
Since the development of the 5-point verbal and 11-point numerical scales for measuring noise annoyance by the ICBEN Team 6, these scales have been widely used in socio-acoustic surveys worldwide, and annoyance responses have been easily compared internationally. However, both the top two categories of the 5-point verbal scale and the top three ones of the 11-point numerical scale are correspond to high annoyance, so it is difficult to precisely compare annoyance responses. Therefore, we calculated differences in day–evening–night-weighted sound pressure levels (Lden) by comparing values corresponding to 10% highly annoyed (HA) on Lden_%HA curves obtained from measurements in 40 datasets regarding surveys conducted in Japan and Vietnam. The results showed that the Lden value corresponding to 10% HA using the 5-point verbal scale was approximately 5 dB lower than that of the 11-point numerical scale. Thus, some correction is required to compare annoyance responses measured by the 5-point verbal and the 11-point numerical scales. The results of this study were also compared with those of a survey in Switzerland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Noise and Annoyance)
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Article
How Does a Community Respond to Changes in Aircraft Noise? A Comparison of Two Surveys Conducted 11 Years Apart in Ho Chi Minh City
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4307; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084307 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1008
Abstract
There have been many arguments about findings of an increase in noise annoyance over time and a recommendation of stricter limits on aircraft noise levels to protect the health of residents around airports. It is crucial to examine if the established exposure–response relationship [...] Read more.
There have been many arguments about findings of an increase in noise annoyance over time and a recommendation of stricter limits on aircraft noise levels to protect the health of residents around airports. It is crucial to examine if the established exposure–response relationship is suitable for designing future aircraft noise regulations. This study was focused on identifying changes in response to noise over time by comparing community responses from two surveys conducted in 2008 and 2019 at Tân Sơn Nhất (TSN) international airport. Annoyance was found to significantly reduce in 2019 compared to 2008; however, changes in sleep quality were relatively small. Unexpectedly, a gradual increase in the annoyance due to aircraft noise was not found. Results of multiple regression analysis indicated that differences in the reaction of the residents to noise in the two studies were significantly attributed to nonacoustic factors. Noise sensitivity and dissatisfaction with the living environment (e.g., inconvenience in accessing workplace) considerably affect noise annoyance, whereas noise sensitivity, age, and dissatisfaction with the green environment of living areas affect sleep quality. These findings suggest the fulfillment of desired living environment as effective measures for mitigating noise impacts on residents in the vicinity of busy airports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Noise and Annoyance)
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Review

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Review
Health Effects Related to Wind Turbine Sound: An Update
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9133; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179133 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
Commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, an update of an earlier narrative review was prepared for the literature published between 2017 and mid-2020 about the effects of wind turbine sound on the health of local residents. Specific attention was hereby [...] Read more.
Commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, an update of an earlier narrative review was prepared for the literature published between 2017 and mid-2020 about the effects of wind turbine sound on the health of local residents. Specific attention was hereby given to the health effects of low-frequency sound and infrasound. The Netherlands Institute for Public Health and the Environment and Mundonovo sound research collected the scientific literature on the effect of wind turbines on annoyance, sleep disturbance, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic effects, as well as mental and cognitive impacts. It also investigated what is known about annoyance from visual aspects of wind turbines and other non-acoustic factors, such as the local decision-making process. From the literature study, annoyance again came forward as the most important consequence of sound: the louder the sound (in dB) of wind turbines, the stronger the annoyance response was. The literature did not show that “low-frequency sound” (sound with a low pitch) results in extra annoyance on top of normal sound. Results of scientific research for other health effects are either not available or inconsistent, and we can conclude that a clear association with wind turbine related sound levels cannot be confirmed. There is evidence that long-term effects are related to the annoyance people experience. These results confirm earlier conclusions. There is increasing evidence that annoyance is lower when people can participate in the siting process. Worries of residents should be addressed in an early stage, by involving them in the process of planning and decision making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Noise and Annoyance)
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Review
Aircraft Noise Distribution as a Fairness Dilemma—A Review of Aircraft Noise through the Lens of Social Justice Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7399; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147399 - 11 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1268
Abstract
Aircraft noise exposure is a health risk and there is evidence that noise annoyance partly mediates the association between noise exposure and stress-related health risks. Thus, approaches to reduce annoyance may be beneficial for health. Annoyance is influenced by manifold non-acoustic factors and [...] Read more.
Aircraft noise exposure is a health risk and there is evidence that noise annoyance partly mediates the association between noise exposure and stress-related health risks. Thus, approaches to reduce annoyance may be beneficial for health. Annoyance is influenced by manifold non-acoustic factors and perceiving a fair and trustful relationship between the airport and its residents may be one of them. The distribution of aircraft noise exposure can be regarded as a fairness dilemma: while residents living near an airport may seem to have some advantages, the majority of residents living under certain flight routes or in their immediate proximity suffer from the disadvantages of the airport, especially the noise. Moreover, a dilemma exists between the airport’s beneficial economic impact for a region and the physical and psychological integrity of residents. Aircraft noise exposure through the lens of social justice research can help to improve our understanding of noise annoyance. Research indicates that the fairness perceptions of the parties involved can be enhanced by (a) improving individual cost–benefit ratios, (b) providing a fair procedure for deciding upon the noise distribution, and (c) implementing fair social interaction with residents. Based on the review of evidence from social justice research, we derive recommendations on how fairness aspects can be integrated into aircraft noise management with the purpose of improving the relationship between the airport and its residents, to reduce annoyance, and to enhance the acceptance of local aviation and the airport as a neighbor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Noise and Annoyance)
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