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 ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 46  |  Page : 7--16

The associations between noise sensitivity, reported physical and mental health, perceived environmental quality, and noise annoyance


1 ZEUS GmbH, Sennbrink 46, 58093 Hagen, Germany
2 Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at TU Dortmund University, Ardeystr 67, 44139 Dortmund, Germany
3 Hoerzentrum Oldenburg GmbH, Marie-Curie-Str.2, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Dirk Schreckenberg
ZEUS GmbH, Sennbrink 46, 58093 Hagen
Germany
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.59995

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One hundred and ninety residents around Frankfurt Airport (46% female; 17-80 years) were interviewed concerning noise annoyance due to transportation noise (aircraft, road traffic), perceived mental and physical health, perceived environmental quality, and noise sensitivity. The aim of the analyses was to test whether noise sensitivity reflects partly general environmental sensitivity and is associated with an elevated susceptibility for the perception of mental and physical health. In this study, the reported physical and mental health variables were not associated with noise exposure but with noise annoyance, and were interpreted to reflect nonspecific codeterminants of annoyance rather than noise effects. Noise sensitivity was found to influence total noise annoyance and aircraft noise annoyance but to a lesser degree annoyance due to road traffic noise. Noise sensitivity was associated with reported physical health, but not with reported mental health. Noise-sensitive persons reported poorer environmental quality in their residential area than less sensitive persons in particular with regard to air traffic (including the facets noise, pollution, and contaminations) and quietness. Other aspects of the perceived quality of the environment were scarcely associated with noise sensitivity. This indicates that noise sensitivity is more specific and a reliable predictor of responses to noise from the dominant source (in this case air traffic) rather than a predictor of the individual perception of the environmental quality in general.






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