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Indicator: Population exposure to traffic noise

A graph shows the proportion of people exposed to traffic noise above 55 decibels during the day and above 50 decibels at night, as observed in the 2012 and 2017 noise mappings. It differentiates between road, aircraft and rail traffic noise.

According to the 2017 noise mapping, about 13.2 % of the total population was adversely affected by night-time noise. This is 0.6 percentage points less compared to 2012.The 2017 noise mapping further showed that 19.1% of the population was exposed to a noise level of above 65 decibels during the day. This is about 2.3 percentage points less than in 2012.The main source of noise is road traffic. R... read more

Sustainability | Strategies | International matters

Underwater noise

blue whale in the ocean

Whales and seals depend on their sense of hearing for survival. Man-made underwater sounds can impair their hearing in both the short and long term, displace them from vital habitats, cause a change in important patterns of behaviour and thereby deteriorate the survival capacity of these marine mammals. read more

Transport | Noise

Noise annoyance

Noise is a subjective phenomenon that is difficult to measure as such. A sound turns to noise when acoustic or sound pressure is accompanied by psychological stress. read more

Transport | Noise

Damage to hearing

An excess of sound, whether in intensity or duration, can generate adverse effects or permanent damage to the hearing. Hearing can be damaged to the point of clinical deafness, and short- or long-term ringing in the ears (tinnitus) can result. This can be brought about either by exposure to continuous sound or by short-lived sound peaks. Such high levels of sound are not only found in the workplac... read more


The Umweltbundesamt

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