More than 100 million people in Europe are exposed to harmful levels of environmental noise pollution.
Long-term exposure to environmental noise contributes to 48 000 new cases of heart disease and 12 000 premature deaths every year in Europe. In addition, 22 million people suffer chronic high annoyance, and 6.5 million suffer chronic high sleep disturbance.
One million healthy years of life are lost every year due to the effects of noise on health, including annoyance, sleep disturbance and ischaemic heart disease. Annoyance and sleep disturbance account for the bulk of the burden of disease linked to noise.
The European Environment Agency states the health risks due to exposure to environmental noise in Europe using three indicators to measure, monitor and communicate the impacts of noise pollution on health:
1. exposure to noise above recommended levels established by the World Health Organization;
2. number of people suffering health effects from exposure to noise;
3. burden of disease from noise.
The indicators are derived from data submitted to the EEA under the EU Environmental Noise Directive and will be used to inform the development of future targets to reduce the health impacts of noise.