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Noise Health. 2015 May-Jun;17(76):125-33. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.155833.

Noise pollution and annoyance: an urban soundscapes study.

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Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.


Since 1972, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared noise as a pollutant. Over the last decades, the quality of the urban environment has attracted the interest of researchers due to the growing urban sprawl, especially in developing countries. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of noise exposure in six urban soundscapes: Areas with high and low levels of noise in scenarios of leisure, work, and home. Cross-sectional study. The study was conducted in two steps: Evaluation of noise levels, with the development of noise maps, and health related inquiries. 180 individuals were interviewed, being 60 in each scenario, divided into 30 exposed to high level of noise and 30 to low level. Chi-Square test and Ordered Logistic Regression Model (P < 0,005). 70% of the interviewees reported noticing some source of noise in the selected scenarios and it was observed an association between exposure and perception of some source of noise (P < 0.001). 41.7% of the interviewees reported some degree of annoyance, being that this was associated with exposure (P < 0.001). There was also an association between exposure in different scenarios and reports of poor quality of sleep (P < 0.001). In the scenarios of work and home, the chance of reporting annoyance increased when compared with the scenario of leisure. We conclude that the use of this sort of assessment may clarify the relationship between urban noise exposure and health.

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