Abstract and Keywords
Noise exposure from air, road and rail transport, construction, and industry is a pervasive environmental pollutant. Noise causes annoyance and sleep disturbance and may interfere with cognitive performance in both children and adults. Generally the stress hypothesis is believed to underlie noise effects on health. Evidence for effects of noise on mental health is mixed. Noise exposure is associated with increased report of psychological symptoms, especially anxiety symptoms, increased prescription of minor tranquilizers and hypnotics, and impairment of well-being in both adults and children. On the other hand, community studies have generally not found increased rates of common mental disorders related to noise exposure. There is a need for methodologically stronger longitudinal studies to definitively address whether noise has more serious mental health effects.
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