Noise caused by means of transport affects our health

Noise caused by means of transport affects our health - Sociedad, Actualidad

It is well known that transport is one of the most important in terms of CO2 emissions and is therefore a major contributor to global warming. In fact, negative impacts on the environment start earlier, during the construction of infrastructures modifying the landscape and natural elements. In addition to air pollution, we must not forget noise, a public health problem.  Science indicates that traffic noise causes as much disease as air pollution.  Traffic noise, together with construction noise, is the most disturbing for Spaniards and, of course, has adverse effects on people's well-being and health. The main source of noise in urban environments continues to be traffic, which is the cause of more than 80 percent of the noise pollution registered in Spanish cities.

A recently published scientific study states that traffic noise accelerates the ageing of urban birds (Frontiers in Zoology).  Specifically, researchers have observed that this annoying noise can decrease the length of telomeres, the end of chromosomes, which stabilize the life span of cells.

Another recent scientific study published in a cardiology journal (Journal of the American College of Cardiology) determines that road and air traffic noise can increase the development of heart pathologies. And all this in addition to other effects on hearing and health, or the quality of our sleep, for example. A study by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid stated in 2016 that excessive road noise is related to some daily causes of death recorded in the capital of Spain. High noise levels promote stress mechanisms that can cause cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic disorders.

Some solutions

Key will be traffic regulation, and all kinds of rules that help to set lower speed limits, and reduce their intensity in inhabited areas, design more pedestrian zones and other measures such as the development of sound-absorbing asphalts and low-noise tyres that help to reduce noise. Electric cars are also very welcome in this regard. Even increased double-row surveillance will help reduce such annoying protest beeps.

In Madrid, such measures have led to a noticeable reduction in noise in those areas of the city where road traffic has been greatly reduced, such as the districts that make up the central almond. In the districts where the reduction in traffic has not been so pronounced, the noise, although it has decreased, has done so to a lesser extent.

Source: Envejecimiento En Red