The study conducted in Sweden on 5,075 people who are exposed daily to air pollution since 1999 to road, rail and air traffic, showed that nearly 70% had been exposed to more than 45 decibels of noise.
WHO figures show that the usual urban exposure to air pollution is normally 45 percent and it advises less than 40 decibels of noise outside bedrooms at night to avoid air pollution’s effect on health.
Though it was believed that air pollution has no direct adverse effect on obesity or a bulging stomch, new research finds a direct link between noise and mid-riff bulge and it increases if there is more noise pollution.
Lead researcher Goran Pershagen now links the noise exposure’s effect on metabolism in the body including cardiovascular functions, sleeplessness, stress and increase the harmonel levels of cortisol that leads to more fat.
In a report on the burden of diseases from noise from the WHO Europe earlier, it was found that over 1 million healthy years of life are lost every year in the western European region, due to traffic-noise. It means one in three people experience annoyance and one in five face sleeplessness due to noise from roads, railways and airports.
The WHO EURO report also said noise pollution heigtens the risk of cardiovascular dieases and high blood pressure. After the report, WHO has revised its guidelines at the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, held in Parma, Italy in 2010.
Anne Stauffer, Deputy Director at Health and Environment Alliance, says:”Noise pollution is a critical public health problem. We hope that now the EU has the evidence, policy makers will make changes in transport and other legislation that will better protect citizens’ health.”