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J Nippon Med Sch. 2004 Feb;71(1):5-10.

The effect of noise on the health of children.

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Department of Hygiene and Public Health, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8602, Japan.


The effects of noise on health, especially that of children, were reviewed. (1) From the point of view of disturbance of daily living, subjective recognition of "noisiness" is an important issue in relation to the study of noise. Concerning the effects of airplane noise on school children, while no effects on the hearing level were detected, a significant increase in the complaint of "noisiness" was observed. (2) Exposure of pregnant women to airplane noise was found to be associated with a decrease in the body weight of newborn babies. Moreover, the height of 3-year-old boys and girls was found to be significantly decreased in association with increase in the environmental noise. (3) Noise levels that seemed to have some influence on the sleep of adults did not affect the sleep of children. (4) In a group of children living in noisy districts exhibiting poor academic performance, the academic performance seemed to become progressively worse as the school grade advanced. (5) No consensus has been arrived at in regard to headphone-induced hearing impairment. Researches and studies effective enough to influence policy decisions must be continually conducted in the future, with appropriate control for related factors.

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