According to a new report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), road traffic is the top source of noise pollution in Europe, with rail, aircraft and industry the other main sources of environmental noise pollution.
The report provides an update of noise pollution trends over the 2012-2017 period. Additionally, the report estimates future noise projections as well as the associated health impacts in Europe, based on new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on the health effects from exposure to noise. Building on the previous EEA assessment of noise in Europe from 2014, the report also looks at actions taken to manage and reduce noise exposure and reviews progress made to meet EU objectives on noise pollution.
Long-term exposure to noise has significant health impacts. On the basis of the new WHO information, the EEA estimates that such exposure causes 12,000 premature deaths and contributes to 48,000 new cases of ischemic heart disease per year across Europe. It is also estimated that 22 million people suffer chronic high annoyance and 6.5 million people suffer chronic high sleep disturbance.