There is something as dangerous as pollution: traffic noise

There is something as dangerous as pollution: traffic noise

1,700 cases of cardiovascular diseases, more than 1,300 cases of hypertension, about 850 cases of stroke and 740 cases of depression, among others, per year is what could be prevented only in Barcelona if international recommendations were followed. Are we talking about pollution? No, the noise produced by the traffic .

The noise problem

The problem of noise seems even more worrisome than that of air pollution and sedentary lifestyles, according to data from a new study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a center promoted by the ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation.

The research, published in the journal Environment International , has been carried out using an analysis tool (Urban Planning and Transportation Health Impacts Assessment, or UTOPHIA, for its acronym in English).

The citizens of Barcelona are exposed to a daily average of 65.1 decibels (dB) during the day and 57.6 decibels at night, thus exceeding the levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which are of 55 dB and 40 dB, respectively. According to Natalie Mueller , a researcher at ISGlobal and first author of the study:

Traffic noise is a major health problem that causes discomfort and sleep disturbances for many people. There is evidence that exposure to noise at night is particularly harmful because it affects the regeneration processes that occur in the body during the sleep phase. Additionally, traffic noise is associated with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.