Sonic doom: how noise pollution kills thousands each year

Richard Godwin, writing in The Guardian:

“… a 2015 German study that found that people living next to noisy roads were 25% more likely to have symptoms of depression than people in quieter areas, even when adjusting for socioeconomic factors.”

“Shortly after I sat down to read up on the auditory and non-auditory effects of noise on health in the Lancet, the drilling began – an angry, jagged, intermittent frenzy of metal on plaster. Our downstairs neighbours have been refurbishing their flat for the past eight weeks or so, removing ceilings, walls and any domestic contentment for us upstairs.
So, I went to a cafe. The espresso machine and staff training session I could bear. It was the three-year-old running around screaming that finally made me flee. So I went to the library. Remember when the thing about libraries was that you had to zip it? Now they play host to an everlasting Hop Little Bunnies music session. “They’re so still … are they ill …” Argh!

I never wanted to be the sort of person who got angry about noise. But there is something about noise that turns you into that person. One of the things that prompted our family to move from London to Bristol was our then three-year-old walking down our old road (Green Lanes in Haringey) going: “It’s so noisy!” It’s not simply that noise accelerates the grumpification process. It is a pollutant, with well-established effects on multiple aspects of physical and mental health, from cardiovascular disease to depression. …”

Read more here.

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