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Relationships between annoyance and exposure to single and combined noise from railway and road traffic.

Conference paper
Authors Evy Öhrström
Eva M. Andersson
Annbritt Skånberg
Lars Barregård
Published in Inter Noise 2007, Istanbul 28-31 August
Volume Paper no IN07_242
Issue Available on CD
Pages 10
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 10
Language en
Keywords noise, annoyance, combined effects road traffic railway
Subject categories Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified


Environmental noise from traffic is a growing health problem. In many cases people are exposed to several types of noise sources at a time, e.g. road, railway, or aircraft noise, but the knowledge is limited of how combined noise sources affects annoyance. A socio-acoustic survey (n=1 953) was conducted in residential areas exposed to railway and road traffic noise ranging from LAeq,24h 45 - 72 dB (Lden 49 - 79 dB). The proportion annoyed by railway noise was higher in situations with simultaneous and equal exposure to road traffic noise than in situations with only railway noise, and corresponding results were found for annoyance due to road traffic noise. In areas exposed to both railway and road traffic, the proportion annoyed by the total traffic sound environment (total annoyance) was significantly higher than in areas with one dominant noise source (rail or road traffic) with the same total sound exposure (LAeq,24h,tot). This interaction effect was significant from 59 dB and increased gradually with higher sound levels. The main conclusion is that the effects of the total sound exposure, and not only the effects of single sources, should be considered in risk assessments and in noise mitigation activities.

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