Non-auditory Effects Caused by Environmental Noise Pollution

Authors

1 Assistant professor, Department of Ergonomics, Faculty of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), Shahid Behesti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.

2 M.Sc. in Ergonomics, Faculty of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), Shahid Behesti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Noise pollution is one of the prominent environmental problems affecting human health especially in developing countries. The impacts of noise on health should not be underestimated. Exposure to acoustical stimuli impairs not only the function of auditory system but also that of many other systems of human body. Previous investigations revealed that noise exposure could result in sleep disturbance, cardiovascular diseases, endocrine disorders, cognitive deterioration and mental health problems. Although in an overall view, some of these effects can be more confidently attributed to the noise, but - in other cases - the influence of psychophysiological, social, occupational, personal characteristics, … is caused to ambiguous points and lack of expected coordination in previous findings. Cardio-vascular and cognitive changes due to noise exposure, particularly in different age and sex groups, are still unclear. Indeed, given the current conditions of simultaneous exposure to noise and other environmental contaminants, especially in large cities, formation of a new field of research based on the potential combined effects should be considered. These serious and chronic non-auditory complaints have recently come under specific scrutiny by investigators. The present study was conducted to review the existed scientific evidences in order to identify the state of the current knowledge about the non-auditory field of noise consequences and to determine the future direction for further researches.

Keywords