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Journal Article


Tobollik M, Hintzsche M, Wothge J, Myck T, Plass D. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019; 16(13): e16132304.


German Environment Agency, Section Exposure Assessment and Environmental Health Indicators, Corrensplatz 1, 14195 Berlin, Germany.


(Copyright © 2019, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)






Traffic noise is nearly ubiquitous and thus can affect the health of many people. Using the German noise mapping data according to the Directive 2002/49/EC of 2017 and exposure-response functions for ischemic heart disease, noise annoyance and sleep disturbance assessed by the World Health Organization's Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region the burden of disease due to traffic noise is quantified. The burden of disease is expressed in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and its components. The highest burden was found for road traffic noise, with 75,896 DALYs when only considering moderate evidence. When including all available evidence, 176,888 DALYs can be attributable to road traffic noise. The burden due to aircraft and railway noise is lower because fewer people are exposed. Comparing the burden by health outcomes, the biggest share is due to ischemic heart disease (90%) in regard to aircraft noise, however, the lowest evidence was expressed for the association between traffic noise and ischemic heart disease. Therefore, the results should be interpreted with caution. Using alternative input parameters (e.g., exposure data) can lead to a much higher burden. Nevertheless, environmental noise is an important risk factor which leads to considerable loss of healthy life years.

Language: en


DALY; Germany; aircraft noise; burden of disease; disability-adjusted life year; environmental noise; railway noise; road traffic noise; traffic noise


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