If you think that loud traffic noise is only bothersome and can somehow be blocked out, then you’re in for quite a surprise. A recently published cardiological study reveals that not only is traffic noise bothersome, but it could also kill you.
Should You Be Concerned about Loud Traffic Noise?
You should, according to a study published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology. The study points out that loud background noises such as sirens, exhausts, and horns could potentially prove a serious health issue.
Previous papers revealed that traffic noises could disrupt the normal sleep cycle which, in turn, could lead to various health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues. In addition to sleep-related issues, the authors of the study point out that loud traffic noises could also elicit a hormonal stress response which, over time, can irreversibly damage the heart muscle.
Thomas Münzel, the lead author of the study, pointed out that several years ago, people would find loud traffic somewhat annoying. However, since the upscale of the automotive industry, traffic sounds are not only bothersome but potentially fatally as well.
Although there is no direct correlation between sounds and heart issues, Münzel, who has studied for some time the effects of sound pollution on the human body, surmised that phonic pollution should be considered a risk factor.
More than that, the new study pointed out that everything over 60 decibels can potentially be harmful. For comparison, a car’s exhaust backfiring or honking in traffic can produce a 70-decibel noise. Prevention-wise, Münzel stated that sleep quality could be significantly improved by using a noise dampening machine.
Unfortunately, the study’s lead author commented, that white noise machines are only temporary solutions, as lawmakers have to take matters into their own hands in order to reduce noise pollution.
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