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J Acoust Soc Am. 1978 Aug;64(2):377-405.

Synthesis of social surveys on noise annoyance.


Since noise was first recognized as a serious environmental pollutant, a number of social surveys have been conducted in order to assess the magnitude of the problem and to develop suitable noise ratings, such that, from a measurement of certain physical characteristics of community noise, one could reliably predict the community's subjective response to the noise. Recently, the author has reviewed the data from social surveys concerning the noise of aircraft, street traffic, expressway traffic, and railroads. Going back to the original published data, the various survey noise ratings were translated to day-night average sound level, and an independent judgment was make, where choice was possible, as to which respondents should be counted as "highly annoyed." The results of 11 of these surveys show a remarkable consistency. It is proposed that the average of these curves is the best currently available relationship for predicting community annoyance due to transportation noise of all kinds.

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