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Environ Int. 2011 Feb;37(2):328-34. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2010.10.001. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

Transportation noise and exposed population of an urban area in the Republic of Korea.

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Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Seoul, Seoul 130-743, Republic of Korea.


Using noise prediction models, we explored the transportation noise levels of Youngdeungpo-gu, an urbanized area of Seoul Metropolitan City in the Republic of Korea. In addition, we estimated the population exposed to transportation noise levels and determined how many people are vulnerable to noise levels that would cause serious annoyance and sleep disturbance. Compared with the World Health Organization [WHO] recommended levels, the daytime and nighttime transportation noise levels were still high enough to have the two psychosocial effects on people when considering the recommended levels of the World Health Organization (WHO; 55 decibels [dB[A]] and 40 dB[A] for daytime and nighttime, respectively). Particularly, nighttime transportation noise was discovered to be harmful to a wider area and more people than daytime noise. Approximately 91% of the Youngdeungpo-gu area experienced nighttime transportation noise levels exceeding those recommended by WHO. It was estimated that as much as 80% of the people in the study area were exposed to transportation noise levels >40 dB[A] during nighttime. Taking this into account, there is an urgent need to control and reduce transportation noise levels in Seoul, to protect residents against the potential ill health effects caused by urban transportation.

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