Noise is present almost everywhere and at all times. Many people are affected by high levels of noise, which impairs their health and quality of life. One of the main reasons for this is the increase in traffic and in the number of noise sources, such as leaf blowers and large events. Many people have also become more critical of negative environmental impacts in general and noise in particular. A significant reduction in noise exposure from road, rail and air traffic can only be achieved through the coordinated use of many different instruments: from vehicle and road design to tax legislation and transport and urban planning.

Traffic noise can increase risk of depression and anxiety disorders

View on rails with a suburban train, behind it city panorama

It has been known for a long time that constant noise can lead to cardiovascular diseases. A new study done on behalf of the German Environment Agency shows that incessant traffic noise can also increase the risk of depression. A 10-decibel increase in road, railroad and aircraft noise can raise that risk by up to four, five and eleven percent; the figure for anxiety disorder rises by three to 15 percent. UBA President Dirk Messner said, “Noise is still a grossly underestimated health risk in Germany. Many people are exposed to high levels of noise pollution which is impairing health and cutting quality of life. This is why making our cities quieter and thus more appealing is an important task for researchers and policymakers!” read more

The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment