Did you know? Noise pollution costs the British economy around £20 billion annually in economic, social, and health costs1.
Noise pollution may be an undetectable threat, but it is one of the largest ecological causes of ill health, second only to air pollution2.
Simply try and listen to the noise around you and you will realise that noise pollution is everywhere — whether it is the sounds of the people around you, or of busy traffic on the streets — and it is difficult to avoid.
Noise pollution is so harmful that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one million lives are lost every year as result of exposure to environmental noise3.
costs of noise pollution
A range of health problems and issues can be linked with noise pollution. Intrinsically, a significant negative impact to the economy can be observed.
For example, heart disease derived from exposure to daytime traffic noise costs approximately £1,183 million per annum. In The Meantime, from traffic/leisure noise and hearing loss from loud music cost £52 million per annum and £38 million per annum respectively4.
At the same time, daytime and night-time noise can result in slower learning in children, which is £252 million per year4.
There are also further costs related with loss of amenity. This refers to the conscious displeasure of those exposed to the noise. Such circumstances include noise pollution affecting house price value, sleep disruption, or the amount of measures to reduce exposure to noise pollution. Loss of amenity from noise pollution is priced at approximately £2-3 billion a year1.
Honestly, sleep disruption is one of the most common effects of noise pollution. When your sleep is disrupted, your imagination and memory become impaired, along with your psychomotor skills and sense of decision making.
Research proves that people residing near airports or roads with busy traffic report a higher rate of headaches, take more sleeping pills and sedatives, and are susceptible to minor accidents due to their confused and fatigued state.
As a result, noise pollution has a harmful impact on efficiency through a mixture of distraction, tiredness, and interruption of communication. This loss of efficiency sums to approximately £2 billion a year1.
Noise complaints are costly too
Given the overwhelming amount of discontent that noise pollution brings us, it’s no wonder that noise complaints also contribute considerably to the cost of noise pollution in both time and money.
A 2012 UK government report analysed the cost of making a complaint, both in terms of time and in terms of monetary cost and noticed that the average incident costs a complainant 4-8 hours and the local authority 4-7 hours. Nevertheless, these numbers can get up to 28-57 hours for the complainant and 67-135 hours for the local authority in the most demanding scenarios (which can consist of 10 complaints, diary sheets, visits, notices, 10 complaints, visits, prosecutions, witness statements and court appearances).
Furthermore, the average case costs the local authority £180-£360 to deal with, while the least challenging scenario (complaint and no further action) costs £50-£100, and the most challenging scenario costs £3,400-£6,8106.
Ultimately, noise pollution has a cost on the economy. We need to acknowledge it as a more serious problem and implement better procedures and processes for alleviating its negative impacts. A perfect approach is to make use of the right Acoustic Solution and products, which have noise reduction and sound absorption qualities that can isolate noise.
By diminishing the negative impacts of noise pollution, we can put a lesser amount of weight on the environment, our bodies, and planet.
Reducing exposure by having the right acoustic products such as our Alpha panels, Echo panels, not only reduces absorption but also helps our planet as some of our products are eco friendly and are made from recycled content.
By installing Acoustic solutions in buildings, homes and in our settings, we are able to optimise the sound quality of the space, allowing to reduce exposure to noise pollutions to create the best output we possibly could.
European Environment Agency, 2014.
Coghlan, Andy, 2011, “Noise kills, and blights lives in Europe”
World Health Organization, 2011, “Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise: Quantification of Healthy Life Years Lost in Europe”
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs UK, 2008, “An Economic Valuation of Noise Pollution –developing a tool for policy appraisal”.
Bureau Veritas, 2012, “Estimating the Cost of Complaints about Noise Nuisance”
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