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Road Traffic Noise Exposure in Gothenburg 1975–2010

Journal article
Authors Mikael Ögren
Lars Barregård
Published in PLoS ONE
Volume 11
Issue 5
Pages e0155328
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages e0155328
Language en
Keywords acoustics, traffic noise, noise exposure
Subject categories Environmental medicine


Traffic noise exposure within a city varies over time and space. In this study, we developed a modified noise calculation method and used this method together with population and traffic data to estimate the time trend of noise exposure for the population in Gothenburg, Sweden, from 1975 to 2010. The noise calculation method was based on the standard Nordic method for road traffic noise with modifications using area-level statistics for population and building structures instead of precise geocoding of each inhabitant. Noise emission per vehicle was assumed to be constant over the period. The results show an increase in noise exposure over time. The number of inhabitants exposed at an equivalent level above 55 dB increased from 93000 to 146000 inhabitants between 1975 and 2010, and the percentage of the population exposed at this level increased from 22% to 29% over the same period. Traffic increase (1.4% per year) and population increase/concentration (0.50% per year) were approximately equally important factors behind this increase in exposure.

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