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J Pregnancy Child Health. 2014 Oct;1(1). pii: 105.

Assessment of Noise Exposure to Children: Considerations for the National Children's Study.

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Environmental Health Scientist, Westat, Rockville, USA.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Risk Science Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


Evidence has been accruing to indicate that young children are vulnerable to noise in their physical environment. A literature review identified that, in addition to hearing loss, noise exposure is associated with negative birth outcomes, reduced cognitive function, inability to concentrate, increased psychosocial activation, nervousness, feeling of helplessness, and increased blood pressure in children. While increasing attention has been given to the health effects of noise in children, research about noise exposure is sparse and often the measure of exposure is simply proximity to a noise source. The U.S. National Children's Study (NCS) provides a unique opportunity to investigate noise exposures to pregnant women and children using a number of assessment modalities at different life stages. Measurement of noise levels in homes and other environments, personal dosimetry measurements made over a period of days, and questionnaires addressing sources of noise in the environment, annoyance to noise, perceived noise level, use of head phones and ear buds, noisy activity exposures, and occupational exposures, are planned for evaluation within the NCS Vanguard pilot study. We describe the NCS planned approach to addressing noise exposure assessment in study visits over a child's lifetime.


Birth cohort; Children; Exposure assessment; National Children's Study; Noise

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