Special Issue "Noise and Quality of Life"
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2010)
Prof. Dr. Peter Lercher
Division of Social Medicine, Medical University Innsbruck, Sonnenburgstraße 16, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
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Interests: environmental and social epidemiology; environmental health impact assessment; noise/vibration and air pollution; combined effects; quality of life
The assessment of the effects of noise on health can shortly be characterized:
- Focus on simple, physical noise indicators (dBA,Leq,24hrs)
- Focus on more severe health outcomes
- Focus on the main effects only – thus ignoring the importance of other moderating and mediating factors.
In contrast, noise survey research showed the importance of contextual factors (e.g. housing, neighborhoods, area layout, other environmental pollution) contributing as much to the variance in annoyance as the noise indicator does. Health survey research also found associations between subjectively assessed "acoustic quality of the environment" and better "functional health".
PUBLIC HEALTH IMPORTANCE & NEW REQUIREMENTS
Most people live in residential sound environments where severe health effects are not yet observed - nevertheless people are dissatisfied because the sound environment interferes with their intentions in daily life.
Sustainable planning perspectives (environmental zoning, "sensitive areas", "supportive environments") require a deeper understanding of the relations between noise, sound and the environment which shape health and sustainable living.Therefore, research should be broadened:
- to include exposure indicators which better characterize the sound environment
- to include health impairments related to the perceived quality of life
- to include supportive qualities of the sound environment within a specific community context.
- quality of life
- sound environment
- quiet areas
- environmental health impact assessment
- soundscape assessment
- noise indicators