Traffic noise is the second biggest environmental problem in the EU, according to WHO. After air pollution, noise is affecting health the most.Most of us are not aware that cars today produce as much noise on the outside as they did 40 years ago. However, heavy vehicles have become somewhat quieter. The number of people exposed to noise pollution in our cities remains high. Traffic noise is today linked to stress-related health problems such as stroke and heart disease.
Excessive noise damages thousands of cells in the ear leading to an immediate loss of hearing, which happens in explosions and wars. Constant exposure to noise may lead to a gradual damage of the cells and a gradual loss of hearing. Deafness may even result from a bullet fired or an explosion.Records on workers in Sweden indicate that many are exposed to loud machinery noise daily. About 5,000 people suffered hearing loss in 1973 and the figure rose to 16,000 in 1977. An official report of the Environment Affairs Council in US issued in 1970 indicated that about 16 million industrial workers faced the risk of losing their jobs due to the weakness in their hearing abilities.
The fetus floats on fluids that protect it from jerking movements, but barely from noise. It can hear internal sounds (the mother’s heart beat, the movement of the intestines, and the air in her lungs) as well as external sounds (the mother’s voice and any surrounding sounds or voices). Studies indicate that the fetus experiences muscular spasms if the mother is exposed to excessive noise.