Living near a busy road can take years off your life

Photo credit: Steven Arenas

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

The title of this post comes from a recent article in the U.S. edition of the U.K. The Sun tabloid newspaper. Despite the sensationalist language, the Sun basically gets it right. It appears to be relying on information summarized in a 10-year-old article by Mathias Basner and others at the University of Pennsylvania, which has been cited about 3,000 times by other articles. I have cited it in almost every one of my scientific publications.

Most physicians and members of the public don’t know that noise has non-auditory health effects and causes hearing loss, tinnitus and hyperacusis. Transportation noise is the unfortunate soundtrack to the internal combustion engine. Switching to electric vehicles will reduce road traffic and noise, and perhaps even aviation noise.

However, enforcement of existing noise regulations can make roads, rails and the skies quieter right now. A quieter world will be a better and healthier world for all.

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