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Traffic noise kills...

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  • Christopher Miller
    The toll from traffic noise, from a post today at Copenhagenize.com. http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/09/traffic-noise-kills.html
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2009
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      The toll from traffic noise, from a post today at Copenhagenize.com.

      http://www.copenhagenize.com/2009/09/traffic-noise-kills.html

      =========================================================

      Traffic Noise Kills

      Between 200 and 500 people in Denmark die every year because of the
      noise generated by traffic.

      A recent Swedish study of 30,000 people in the province of Skåne has
      confirmed what many other studies have suggested. That the noise
      generated by traffic causes higher blood pressure and increases the
      risk of heart disease, strokes and blood clots.

      "We have determined that at noise levels over 60 decibels there is a
      connection between high blood pressure in the young and the middle-
      aged and that it's an important risk factor in relation to heart
      disease and strokes", says Theo Bodin from the University Hospital in
      Lund.

      Normally traffic noise is considered harmful when the levels are over
      55-59 decibels - dB(A) - on average in a 24 hour period, and very
      harmful if the level is over 65 decibels.

      For example, a level of 58 decibels is what you'd get 200 metres from
      a road with 20,000 cars each day.

      The results of the Swedish study show that it is the age group 40-60
      years and young adults that are most affected by the noise of traffic.

      When a person is exposed to traffic noise, the sounds trigger a
      reaction in the form of stress, which affects the nervous system.
      This, in turn, affects the body's endocrine glands and stress hormones
      are released into the blood. In order to handle the 'attack' the body
      reacts with higher pulse and blood pressure which increases the risk
      of heart disease.

      A Danish study in the same vein is in the works, involving 57,000
      people. It is expected to wrap up in a year and a half.

      According to the Danish Environmental Agency (Miljøstyrelsen) there
      are 700,000 Danish homes that are in the 55+ decibel zone. Among them
      there are 150,000 homes exposed to more than 65 decibels.

      On the positive side, persons between 60-80 aren't affected as much.
      Possibly because of reduced hearing but also because they have become
      used to the noise.

      On the negative side, it is estimated that between 200 and 500 die
      each year in Denmark due to noise-related illnesses.

      A previous post here on Copenhagenize.com covers how traffic kills ten
      times more people than traffic accidents.

      Fortunately, we have cycling to tackle these issues.



      =========================================================

      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada



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