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New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2022) | Viewed by 40595

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Guest Editor
Institute of Chemical and Physical Processes of National Research Council, via G. Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy
Interests: environmental acoustics; noise mitigations; noise management; noise measurements; noise mapping; noise action plans; wind turbine noise; road traffic noise; railway noise; airport noise
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health welcomes submissions for a Special Issue of the journal, focused on new indicators for the assessment and prevention of noise nuisance. 

At present, health effects induced by prolonged noise exposure are widely studied for the most diffused noise sources and their effects. Annoyance, sleep disturbance, cardiovascular diseases and learning impairments, are already known through environmental epidemiology studies. Usually, these studies relate the health effects of noise with a regression of an acoustic exposure metrics, which is an average energetic dose over a long time period, such as Leq or Lden. 

Recently, the scientific community started to investigate the possibility that health effects induced by prolonged noise exposure should be studied considering other features of noise too. Among those remarkable effects are its intensity variation over time, impulsivity of events, frequency distribution, and psychoacoustics parameters. Peak levels, maximum levels, and variability can have a significative influence on nuisance perception, and citizens can complain more about single high levels rather than average exposure. This can be the origin of flaws in dose–effects relationships for annoyance or sleep disturbance. 

The subject deserves more attention and, therefore, this Special Issue seeks papers focused on studying new metrics, indicators or evaluation methods for noise exposure and its correlation with annoyance or other health effects, thus not relying only on the average exposure to noise.

Dr. Luca Fredianelli
Prof. Dr. Peter Lercher
Prof. Dr. Gaetano Licitra 
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 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 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

  • noise
  • noise indicators
  • noise metrics
  • psychoacoustic indicators
  • nuisance
  • annoyance
  • sleep disturbance
  • Lden
  • peak noise
  • impulsive events
  • health related quality of life
  • health effects

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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5 pages, 284 KiB  
Editorial
New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance
by Luca Fredianelli, Peter Lercher and Gaetano Licitra
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12724; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912724 - 5 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1881
Abstract
At present, health effects induced by prolonged noise exposure are widely studied to determine the most spread noise sources and their effects [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance)

Research

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24 pages, 8875 KiB  
Article
Does the Macro-Temporal Pattern of Road Traffic Noise Affect Noise Annoyance and Cognitive Performance?
by Beat Schäffer, Armin Taghipour, Jean Marc Wunderli, Mark Brink, Lél Bartha and Sabine J. Schlittmeier
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074255 - 2 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2200
Abstract
Noise annoyance is usually estimated based on time-averaged noise metrics. However, such metrics ignore other potentially important acoustic characteristics, in particular the macro-temporal pattern of sounds as constituted by quiet periods (noise breaks). Little is known to date about its effect on noise [...] Read more.
Noise annoyance is usually estimated based on time-averaged noise metrics. However, such metrics ignore other potentially important acoustic characteristics, in particular the macro-temporal pattern of sounds as constituted by quiet periods (noise breaks). Little is known to date about its effect on noise annoyance and cognitive performance, e.g., during work. This study investigated how the macro-temporal pattern of road traffic noise affects short-term noise annoyance and cognitive performance in an attention-based task. In two laboratory experiments, participants worked on the Stroop task, in which performance relies predominantly on attentional functions, while being exposed to different road traffic noise scenarios. These were systematically varied in macro-temporal pattern regarding break duration and distribution (regular, irregular), and played back with moderate LAeq of 42–45 dB(A). Noise annoyance ratings were collected after each scenario. Annoyance was found to vary with the macro-temporal pattern: It decreased with increasing total duration of quiet periods. Further, shorter but more regular breaks were somewhat less annoying than longer but irregular breaks. Since Stroop task performance did not systematically vary with different noise scenarios, differences in annoyance are not moderated by experiencing worsened performance but can be attributed to differences in the macro-temporal pattern of road traffic noise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance)
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16 pages, 6536 KiB  
Article
A Noise Control Method Using Adaptive Adjustable Parametric Array Loudspeaker to Eliminate Environmental Noise in Real Time
by Yinsheng Li and Wei Zheng
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010269 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3093
Abstract
Long-term exposure to environmental noise is dangerous to human health. Therefore, there is an urgent need to suppress or eliminate environmental noise. Due to the limitation of environmental space, the use of reverse sound waves emitted by loudspeakers for noise elimination has been [...] Read more.
Long-term exposure to environmental noise is dangerous to human health. Therefore, there is an urgent need to suppress or eliminate environmental noise. Due to the limitation of environmental space, the use of reverse sound waves emitted by loudspeakers for noise elimination has been widely used in noise control. However, because of the omni-directionality of sound propagation, a traditional voice coil loudspeaker (VCL) is used as a secondary source (emission reverse sound wave). It is easy to increase the sound pressure in non-target areas and form significant acoustic feedback to the reference source. Therefore, we propose an online secondary path modeling method using an adjustable parametric array loudspeaker (PAL) based on ultrasounds to eliminate environmental noise in real time. According to the different distance of the target, the size of the PAL is adjusted adaptively to realize the noise control of different long-distance targets. The distribution of quiet areas is discussed. The experimental results showed that a PAL as a secondary source had the same noise reduction effect as a traditional VCL, but it had longer propagation distance, smaller sound feedback and a more regular and controllable distribution of quiet areas. These research findings have great potential for improving environmental noise and creating a quiet environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance)
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15 pages, 6424 KiB  
Article
Helicopter Inside Cabin Acoustic Evaluation: A Case Study—IAR PUMA 330
by Marius Deaconu, Grigore Cican, Adina-Cristina Toma and Luminița Ioana Drăgășanu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9716; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189716 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3616
Abstract
This paper presents an inside-cabin acoustic evaluation of the IAR PUMA 330 helicopter, manufactured by IAR S.A. Brasov. In this study, based on the acoustic assessment inside the helicopter, areas with high noise levels are identified. In this regard, several tests were carried [...] Read more.
This paper presents an inside-cabin acoustic evaluation of the IAR PUMA 330 helicopter, manufactured by IAR S.A. Brasov. In this study, based on the acoustic assessment inside the helicopter, areas with high noise levels are identified. In this regard, several tests were carried out in accordance with the ISO 5129 standard. In the first stage of the assessment, a measurement campaign was performed to identify the acoustic leaks from the outside noise sources propagating inside the cabin (in the door area) and the acoustic attenuation of the helicopter structure. These tests were performed on the factory runway, with the helicopter in parked position (ground tests). During the ground tests, the helicopter engines were turned off. The tests consisted of placing two loudspeakers directed towards the helicopter door and generating pink noise. Inside the helicopter, the entire door frame opening was scanned with an intensity probe to identify acoustic leaks areas. The second assessment stage was to determine the areas of the cabin with the highest levels of noise. Within the measurement campaign, 16 microphones were placed inside the cabin, at the level of the passengers’ heads, arranged in seven zones. The tests were carried out with the helicopter engines started, staying at fixed point above the ground (hovering), and then a flight test, in which all the maneuvers necessary for the use of the helicopter were performed (in-flight tests). Based on the measurement results, it was possible to highlight the noise spectral components in each of the seven areas. The noise assessment revealed high noise levels inside the cabin, having as main noise sources the transmission gear and the door area, leading to the need for reducing the noise exposure for passengers and crew, thus the need to reduce noise levels inside the helicopter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance)
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15 pages, 1005 KiB  
Article
Effects of Exposure to Road, Railway, Airport and Recreational Noise on Blood Pressure and Hypertension
by Davide Petri, Gaetano Licitra, Maria Angela Vigotti and Luca Fredianelli
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179145 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 92 | Viewed by 4355
Abstract
Noise is one of the most diffused environmental stressors affecting modern life. As such, the scientific community is committed to studying the main emission and transmission mechanisms aiming at reducing citizens’ exposure, but is also actively studying the effects that noise has on [...] Read more.
Noise is one of the most diffused environmental stressors affecting modern life. As such, the scientific community is committed to studying the main emission and transmission mechanisms aiming at reducing citizens’ exposure, but is also actively studying the effects that noise has on health. However, scientific literature lacks data on multiple sources of noise and cardiovascular outcomes. The present cross-sectional study aims to evaluate the impact that different types of noise source (road, railway, airport and recreational) in an urban context have on blood pressure variations and hypertension. 517 citizens of Pisa, Italy, were subjected to a structured questionnaire and five measures of blood pressure in one day. Participants were living in the same building for at least 5 years, were aged from 37 to 72 years old and were exposed to one or more noise sources among air traffic, road traffic, railway and recreational noise. Logistic and multivariate linear regression models have been applied in order to assess the association between exposures and health outcomes. The analyses showed that prevalence of high levels of diastolic blood pressure (DBP) is consistent with an increase of 5 dB (A) of night-time noise (β = 0.50 95% CI: 0.18–0.81). Furthermore, increased DBP is also positively associated with more noise sensitive subjects, older than 65 years old, without domestic noise protection, or who never close windows. Among the various noise sources, railway noise was found to be the most associated with DBP (β = 0.68; 95% CI: −1.36, 2.72). The obtained relation between DBP and night-time noise levels reinforces current knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance)
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14 pages, 1217 KiB  
Article
Seafarers’ Perception and Attitudes towards Noise Emission on Board Ships
by Luka Vukić, Vice Mihanović, Luca Fredianelli and Veljko Plazibat
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6671; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126671 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 53 | Viewed by 3780
Abstract
Noise has long been neglected as an environmental pollutant and impairment health factor in maritime transport. Recently, acoustic pollution indicates the highest growth in transport external cost unit values. In 2020, questionnaires were submitted to seafarers to examine their noise exposure and perception [...] Read more.
Noise has long been neglected as an environmental pollutant and impairment health factor in maritime transport. Recently, acoustic pollution indicates the highest growth in transport external cost unit values. In 2020, questionnaires were submitted to seafarers to examine their noise exposure and perception on board and attitudes towards noise abatement measures. Responses of 189 participants were processed using descriptive statistics and Likert scale valuation, while their consistency was tested with indirect indicators using linear regression and correlation test. Results show that more than 40% of respondents do not consider noise as a significant environmental problem. The negative perception among respondents with ≥10 years of work experience was much lower (23.53%). Most are aware of the onboard noise harmful effects that can influence their health. Despite that, they use personal protection equipment only sometimes. A higher positive perception was recorded in groups of respondents with a university degree (90%), work experience longer than ten years (82.35%), and monthly income higher than 4000 € (70%). Respondents are not strongly motivated to participate in funding noise mitigation measures, and such a viewpoint is not related to their monthly incomes. The low awareness and motivation regarding acoustic pollution generally shown by the surveyed seafarers should be watched as a threat by the company managers. Better education and awareness are likely to be crucial to change the current state of affairs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance)
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9 pages, 3692 KiB  
Communication
Noise Annoyance in the UAE: A Twitter Case Study via a Data-Mining Approach
by Andrew Peplow, Justin Thomas and Aamna AlShehhi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042198 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4104
Abstract
Noise pollution is a growing global public health concern. Among other issues, it has been linked with sleep disturbance, hearing functionality, increased blood pressure and heart disease. Individuals are increasingly using social media to express complaints and concerns about problematic noise sources. This [...] Read more.
Noise pollution is a growing global public health concern. Among other issues, it has been linked with sleep disturbance, hearing functionality, increased blood pressure and heart disease. Individuals are increasingly using social media to express complaints and concerns about problematic noise sources. This behavior—using social media to post noise-related concerns—might help us better identify troublesome noise pollution hotspots, thereby enabling us to take corrective action. The present work is a concept case study exploring the use of social media data as a means of identifying and monitoring noise annoyance across the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We explored an extract of Twitter data for the UAE, comprising over eight million messages (tweets) sent during 2015. We employed a search algorithm to identify tweets concerned with noise annoyance and, where possible, we also extracted the exact location via Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates) associated with specific messages/complaints. The identified noise complaints were organized in a digital database and analyzed according to three criteria: first, the main types of the noise source (music, human factors, transport infrastructures); second, exterior or interior noise source and finally, date and time of the report, with the location of the Twitter user. This study supports the idea that lexicon-based analyses of large social media datasets may prove to be a useful adjunct or as a complement to existing noise pollution identification and surveillance strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance)
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9 pages, 333 KiB  
Communication
A Taxonomy Proposal for the Assessment of the Changes in Soundscape Resulting from the COVID-19 Lockdown
by César Asensio, Pierre Aumond, Arnaud Can, Luis Gascó, Peter Lercher, Jean-Marc Wunderli, Catherine Lavandier, Guillermo de Arcas, Carlos Ribeiro, Patricio Muñoz and Gaetano Licitra
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4205; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124205 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 6188
Abstract
Many countries around the world have chosen lockdown and restrictions on people’s mobility as the main strategies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These actions have significantly affected environmental noise and modified urban soundscapes, opening up an unprecedented opportunity for research in the field. [...] Read more.
Many countries around the world have chosen lockdown and restrictions on people’s mobility as the main strategies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These actions have significantly affected environmental noise and modified urban soundscapes, opening up an unprecedented opportunity for research in the field. In order to enable these investigations to be carried out in a more harmonized and consistent manner, this paper makes a proposal for a set of indicators that will enable to address the challenge from a number of different approaches. It proposes a minimum set of basic energetic indicators, and the taxonomy that will allow their communication and reporting. In addition, an extended set of descriptors is outlined which better enables the application of more novel approaches to the evaluation of the effect of this new soundscape on people’s subjective perception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance)
14 pages, 4099 KiB  
Article
Field Study of the Interior Noise and Vibration of a Metro Vehicle Running on a Viaduct: A Case Study in Guangzhou
by Lei Yan, Zhou Chen, Yunfeng Zou, Xuhui He, Chenzhi Cai, Kehui Yu and Xiaojie Zhu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2807; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082807 - 19 Apr 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2945
Abstract
The interior noise and vibration of metro vehicles have been the subject of increasing concern in recent years with the development of the urban metro systems. However, there still is a lack of experimental studies regarding the interior noise and vibration of metro [...] Read more.
The interior noise and vibration of metro vehicles have been the subject of increasing concern in recent years with the development of the urban metro systems. However, there still is a lack of experimental studies regarding the interior noise and vibration of metro vehicles. Therefore, overnight field experiments of the interior noise and vibration of a standard B-type metro train running on a viaduct were conducted on metro line 14 of Guangzhou (China). Both the A-weighted sound pressure level and linear sound pressure level were used to evaluate the interior noise signals in order to revel the underestimation of the low-frequency noise components. The results show that the interior noise concentrates in the low-to-middle frequency range. Increasing train speeds have significant effects on the sound pressure level inside the vehicle. However, two obvious frequency ranges (125–250 Hz and 400–1000 Hz) with respective corresponding center frequencies (160 Hz and 800 Hz) of the interior noise are nearly independent of train speed. The spectrum analysis of the vehicle body vibration shows that the frequency peak of the floor corresponds to the first frequency peak of the interior noise spectrum. There are two frequency peaks around 40 Hz and 160 Hz of the sidewall’s acceleration level. The frequency peaks of the acceleration level are also independent of the train speeds. It hopes that the field measurements in this paper can provide a data set for researchers for further investigations and can contribute to the countermeasures for reducing interior noise and vibration of a metro vehicle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

22 pages, 2732 KiB  
Review
Airborne Sound Power Levels and Spectra of Noise Sources in Port Areas
by Samuele Schiavoni, Francesco D’Alessandro, Davide Borelli, Luca Fredianelli, Tomaso Gaggero, Corrado Schenone and Giorgio Baldinelli
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 10996; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191710996 - 2 Sep 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2284
Abstract
Airborne port noise has historically suffered from a lack of regulatory assessment compared to other transport infrastructures. This has led to several complaints from citizens living in the urban areas surrounding ports, which is a very common situation, especially in countries facing the [...] Read more.
Airborne port noise has historically suffered from a lack of regulatory assessment compared to other transport infrastructures. This has led to several complaints from citizens living in the urban areas surrounding ports, which is a very common situation, especially in countries facing the Mediterranean sea. Only in relatively recent years has an effort been made to improve this situation, which has resulted in a call for and financing of numerous international cooperation research projects, within the framework of programs such as EU FP7, H2020, ENPI-CBC MED, LIFE, and INTERREG. These projects dealt with issues and aspects of port noise, which is an intrinsically tangled problem, since several authorities and companies operate within the borders of ports, and several different noise sources are present at the same time. In addition, ship classification societies have recently recognized the problem and nowadays are developing procedures and voluntary notations to assess the airborne noise emission from marine vessels. The present work summarizes the recent results of research regarding port noise sources in order to provide a comprehensive database of sources that can be easily used, for example, as an input to the noise mapping phase, and can subsequently prevent citizens’ exposure to noise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance)
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14 pages, 348 KiB  
Review
Challenges of the Use of Sound Emergence for Setting Legal Noise Limits
by Guillaume Dutilleux, Truls Gjestland and Gaetano Licitra
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4517; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224517 - 15 Nov 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3774
Abstract
In the vast majority of legislation on environmental noise, the metric used for expressing limit values is based on sound pressure levels. But some countries have introduced sound emergence limit values where the compliance of a noise-generating activity is defined as a maximum [...] Read more.
In the vast majority of legislation on environmental noise, the metric used for expressing limit values is based on sound pressure levels. But some countries have introduced sound emergence limit values where the compliance of a noise-generating activity is defined as a maximum allowable difference between the sound pressure level with and without the regulated activity operating. This paper investigates the foundations and the merits of this kind of differential noise limit values. Our review of literature indicates that there is very little evidence supporting the use of differential noise limits over absolute ones. Moreover, while sound emergence limits seem to originate from consideration about audibility of the regulated noise source, they appear to give little insight into what is audible and what is not. Furthermore, both the definition and the practical measurement of sound emergence raise several challenges that compromise reproducibility. In addition, first, the reference to background noise makes it very difficult first to ascertain the conformity of noisy installations in the long run, second to effectively protect the community from excessive noise and third to evaluate conformity on the basis of simulations. When switching to another metric is not an option the paper makes recommendations toward a more reliable use of sound emergence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Indicators for the Assessment and Prevention of Noise Nuisance)
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