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Archive for the 'Noise' Category

Wind turbines and sleep – a short literature search

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 7 September 2016

After tweeting a recent article on wind turbine noise and sleep (the third below) I thought it might be timely to look at some recent articles in Medline.  Some of these are freely available – follow the links to PubMed to see the abstracts or the articles where available.  It will not have escaped some of you that wind turbines can also affect wildlife.  There is one particular article just out that surveys the literature with regard the cetaceans, freely available, Consolidating the State of Knowledge: A Synoptical Review of Wind Energy’s Wildlife Effects.

As ever, when you consider how valuable an article it is, examine it critically, for example sample size, whether it is original research or a review article, and so on.  This wiki page may help if you are new to this.

Jalali L, Nezhad-Ahmadi MR, Gohari M, Bigelow P, McColl S.  The impact of psychological factors on self-reported sleep disturbance among people living in the vicinity of wind turbines. Environ Res. 2016 Jul;148:401-10. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.04.020. Epub 2016 Apr 29.

Michaud DS, Feder K, Keith SE, Voicescu SA, Marro L, Than J, Guay M, Denning A, McGuire D, Bower T, Lavigne E, Murray BJ, Weiss SK, van den Berg F.  Exposure to wind turbine noise: Perceptual responses and reported health effects. J Acoust Soc Am. 2016 Mar;139(3):1443-54. doi: 10.1121/1.4942391.

Kageyama T, Yano T, Kuwano S, Sueoka S, Tachibana H. Exposure-response relationship of wind turbine noise with self-reported symptoms of sleep and health problems: A nationwide socioacoustic survey in Japan.Noise Health. 2016 Mar-Apr;18(81):53-61. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.178478.

Michaud DS, Feder K, Keith SE, Voicescu SA, Marro L, Than J, Guay M, Denning A, Murray BJ, Weiss SK, Villeneuve PJ, van den Berg F, Bower T. Effects of Wind Turbine Noise on Self-Reported and Objective Measures of Sleep.Sleep. 2016 Jan 1;39(1):97-109. doi: 10.5665/sleep.5326.

Abbasi M, Monazzam MR, Akbarzadeh A, Zakerian SA, Ebrahimi MH. Impact of wind turbine sound on general health, sleep disturbance and annoyance of workers: a pilot- study in Manjil wind farm, Iran.  J Environ Health Sci Eng. 2015 Oct 12;13:71. doi: 10.1186/s40201-015-0225-8. eCollection 2015.

Feder K, Michaud DS, Keith SE, Voicescu SA, Marro L, Than J, Guay M, Denning A, Bower TJ, Lavigne E, Whelan C, van den Berg F.  An assessment of quality of life using the WHOQOL-BREF among participants living in the vicinity of wind turbines.Environ Res. 2015 Oct;142:227-38. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2015.06.043. Epub 2015 Jul 11.

Onakpoya IJ, O’Sullivan J, Thompson MJ, Heneghan CJ. The effect of wind turbine noise on sleep and quality of life: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.Environ Int. 2015 Sep;82:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2015.04.014. Epub 2015 May 16. Review.

Schmidt JH, Klokker M. Health effects related to wind turbine noise exposure: a systematic review.PLoS One. 2014 Dec 4;9(12):e114183. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114183. eCollection 2014. Review.

Magari SR, Smith CE, Schiff M, Rohr AC. Evaluation of community response to wind turbine-related noise in western New York state.Noise Health. 2014 Jul-Aug;16(71):228-39. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.137060.

Knopper LD, Ollson CA, McCallum LC, Whitfield Aslund ML, Berger RG, Souweine K, McDaniel M.  Wind turbines and human health.Front Public Health. 2014 Jun 19;2:63. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2014.00063. eCollection 2014. Review.

Pawlaczyk-Łuszczyńska M, Dudarewicz A, Zaborowski K, Zamojska-Daniszewska M, Waszkowska M.  Evaluation of annoyance from the wind turbine noise: a pilot study. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2014 Jun;27(3):364-88. doi: 10.2478/s13382-014-0252-1. Epub 2014 May 13.

Rubin GJ, Burns M, Wessely S.  Possible psychological mechanisms for “wind turbine syndrome”. On the windmills of your mind.Noise Health. 2014 Mar-Apr;16(69):116-22. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.132099.

Roberts JD, Roberts MA.  Wind turbines: is there a human health risk? J Environ Health. 2013 Apr;75(8):8-13, 16-7.

Hume KI, Brink M, Basner M. Effects of environmental noise on sleep. Noise Health. 2012 Nov-Dec;14(61):297-302. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.104897. Review.

Nissenbaum MA, Aramini JJ, Hanning CD.  Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health. Noise Health. 2012 Sep-Oct;14(60):237-43. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.102961.

Chapman S. Editorial ignored 17 reviews on wind turbines and health. BMJ. 2012 May 15;344:e3366; author reply e3367. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e3366. No abstract available.

Bakker RH, Pedersen E, van den Berg GP, Stewart RE, Lok W, Bouma J. Impact of wind turbine sound on annoyance, self-reported sleep disturbance and psychological distress. Sci Total Environ. 2012 May 15;425:42-51. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.03.005. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

Shepherd D, McBride D, Welch D, Dirks KN, Hill EM.  Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health-related quality of life.Noise Health. 2011 Sep-Oct;13(54):333-9. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.85502.

Knopper LD, Ollson CA. Health effects and wind turbines: a review of the literature. Environ Health. 2011 Sep 14;10:78. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-10-78. Review.

Pedersen E, Persson Waye K.  Wind turbine noise, annoyance and self-reported health and well-being in different living environments. Occup Environ Med. 2007 Jul;64(7):480-6. Epub 2007 Mar 1.

French Soldiers learn to lip read, circa 1920

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 13 June 2014

In the British Deaf Times for March-April 1922 (p.21) we read that the Duke and Duchess of Portland attended a tea for deafened ex-servicemen in Nottingham.   The former soldiers followed proceedings by lip-reading.

The lip-reading classes held in Nottingham and Mansfield have afforded instruction to 173 ex-service men, and keen disappointment is felt at an intimation the the Ministry of Pensions is likely to stop the grant, for there are many more afflicted who need similar instruction. Some 230 men in the East Midland region have been reported to Nottingham, and there are about 60 more known to be deaf, but who have not been reported. […]
It is impossible to over-estimate the benefit offered. The high percentage of ex-service ment in this region is considered to be due to the fact that Medical Boards and aural specialists have been particularly keen in recommending cases, and that the teachers here have a happy faculty for teaching deaf men.

There is a fair bit of material on deafness in the military in the First World War and all the way through to modern conflicts, but no one has as far as I am aware written anything about the scale of the problem in the post war years and how people managed to cope.

The photographs here show a teacher in France working with deafened soldiers in Nantes. We do not know the name of the teacher, but I believe he would be easily identifiable, so if you know who he is please add a comment below. The pictures show, in a pre-audiometric testing era, the ways in which hearing was tested and lip-reading taught.

French soldiers 6

Deaf soldiers Nantes 1 001The idea in the first image is to test the ability to lip-read from an angle.French Soldiers 4French Soldiers 3

French soldiers 2French Soldiers 5Here we see various hearing tests. Finally Deaf Soldier Nates 3 AH 001I particularly wonder why lip-reading ancient history was one of the lessons!

Noise Action Week – Recent Articles on Noise and Health

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 22 May 2014

This week two awareness weeks coincide, both within our area of interest and coverage, namely Deaf Awareness Week and Noise Action Week.

Deaf Awareness Week is themed this year on “Equality In Communication For All” .

Noise Action Week “is an annual opportunity to focus the attention of communities on the problems excessive noise can cause for us all – at home, at work, at study and at leisure.”

Below is a list of recent articles on various aspects of noise and health, from noise mapping, to noise pollution and environmental noise.  Click on the links for abstracts or access to full articles where available:

Kephalopoulos S et al.  Advances in the development of common noise assessment methods in Europe: The CNOSSOS-EU framework for strategic environmental noise mapping.  The Science of the Total Environment, 2014 Jun 1;482-483:400-10. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.02.031. Epub 2014 Feb 28.

Kim, S.J.et al.  Exposure-Response Relationship Between Aircraft Noise and Sleep Quality: A Community-based Cross-sectional Study  (2014) Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives, Article in Press 

Turunen, M.et al.  Indoor environmental quality in school buildings, and the health and wellbeing of students (2014) International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health,  Article in Press

Hooper, R.E.  Acoustic shock controversies  (2014) Journal of Laryngology and Otology, Article in Press

Holzman, D.C.  Fighting noise pollution: A public health strategy (2014) Environmental Health Perspectives, 122 (2), pp. A58

Banerjee, D. et al.  Association between road traffic noise and prevalence of coronary heart disease (2014) Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 186 (5), pp. 2885-2893

Basner, M. et al  Auditory and non-auditory effects of noise on health (2014) The Lancet, 383 (9925), pp. 1325-1332

Sygna, K. et al.  Road traffic noise, sleep and mental health (2014) Environmental Research, 131, pp. 17-24

Seltenrich, N.  Wind turbines: A different breed of noise? (2014) Environmental Health Perspectives, 122 (1), pp. A20-A25.

Effect of fireworks on hearing/measuring noise

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 2 November 2012

Many people find fireworks intrusive and some find them painful because of conditions such as hyperacusis. Here are some articles on percussive noise and hearing. This is an area that has not seen much research recently, but one journal worth noting is Noise and Health.

Books / Reports:

Hinton, J. How to map noise. Pp. 3-7. In. Prasher, D (ed.) Noise Pollution and Health. (2003) NRN Publications, London.

Kerr, G. The effects of blast on the ear. Pp. 279-290 In. Luxon, L and Prasher, D. Noise and its effects. (2007) John Wiley & sons Ltd, Chichester.

Chapters & Articles:

Cornacchia, L and Lovotti, P.
Canalolithiasis due to a firework explosion: A case report.  Audiological Medicine. 2006;
4(2); 82-84.

Fleischer, G; Hoffmann, E; Muller, R et al.
Toy pistols and their effects on hearing.  HNO. 1998; 46(9); 815-820.
(Article in German)

Gupta, D and Vishwakarma, SK.
Toy weapons and firecrackers- a source of hearing loss.  Laryngoscope. 1989; 99(3); 330-334

Maglieri, DJ and Henderson, HR
Noise from aerial bursts of fireworks.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 1973; 54(5); 1224-7

Just T, Pau HW, Kaduk W, Hingst V.
[Danger from exploding fireworks and blank firearms].  HNO. 2000 Dec;48(12):943-8.
(Article in German)

Plontke, S; Herrman, C and Zenner, HP.
Hearing damage through fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Questionnaire on the incidence of blast trauma and explosion trauma in Germany at the end of the year, 1998/1999.  HNO. 1999; 47(12); 1017-1019.
(Article in German)

Plontke, SKR; Dietz, K; Pfeffer, C et al.
The incidence of acoustic trauma due to New Year’s firecrackers.  European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. 2002; 259(5); 247-252.
(Article in German)

Plontke, S; Scheiderbauer, H; Vonthein, R et al.
Recovery of normal auditory threshold after hearing damage from fireworks and signalling pistols.  HNO. 2003; 51(3); 245-250.
(Article in German)

Smoorenburg, GF.
Risk of noise-induced hearing loss following exposure to Chinese firecrackers.  Audiology. 1993; 32(6); 333-343.

van de Weyer PS, Praetorius M, Tisch M.

[Update: blast and explosion trauma].HNO. 2011 Aug;59(8):811-8.

(Article in German)

Noise and health

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 9 February 2012

Having mentioned recent research that considers the effects of noise from ships, I should add a short note on the serious effects on humans of noise and the related stress. The chief journal for the subject is Noise and Health, and it is freely available.

Below are a few articles from recent years that discuss some of the implications of noise on human health. The first article says epidemiological studies suggest that long-term exposure to transport noise increases the risk for cardiovascular disorders, but that the effect of transport noise on blood pressure and hypertension is uncertain. The second article says “Exposure to residential road traffic noise was associated with a higher risk for stroke among people older than 64.5 years of age.” The last three articles, all from Noise and Health, look at noise and hypertension. A Swedish article say one study, “a cross-sectional study assessing self-reported hypertension, has shown a 30% risk increase per 5 dB(A) noise increase.” The second article looks at the history of noise and health research in Germany, and says “the newer German noise studies demonstrate a clear association between residential exposure to traffic noise (particularly night noise) and cardiovascular outcomes.” The last article, contrastingly, say “The impact of environmental noise on public health, in The Netherlands, is limited: Less than 1% of the myocardial infarction cases per year are attributable to long-term exposure to road traffic noise.” Disentangling the different factors involved is likely to make this sort of research difficult and contentious.

1. Exposure to road traffic and railway noise and associations with blood pressure and self-reported hypertension: a cohort study.
Sørensen M, Hvidberg M, Hoffmann B, Andersen ZJ, Nordsborg RB, Lillelund KG, Jakobsen J, Tjønneland A, Overvad K, Raaschou-Nielsen O.
Environ Health

. 2011 Oct 28;10:92.

PMID: 22034939 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article
Related citations


2. Road traffic noise and stroke: a prospective cohort study.
Sørensen M, Hvidberg M, Andersen ZJ, Nordsborg RB, Lillelund KG, Jakobsen J, Tjønneland A, Overvad K, Raaschou-Nielsen O.
Eur Heart J

. 2011 Mar;32(6):737-44. Epub 2011 Jan 25.

PMID: 21266374 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Related citations


3. Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise: research in Sweden.
Bluhm G, Eriksson C.
Noise Health

. 2011 May-Jun;13(52):212-6. Review.

PMID: 21537104 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free Article
Related citations


4. Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise: research in Germany.
Maschke C.
Noise Health

. 2011 May-Jun;13(52):205-11. Review.

PMID: 21537103 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free Article
Related citations


5. Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise: research in The Netherlands.
Kempen E.
Noise Health

. 2011 May-Jun;13(52):221-8. Review.

PMID: 21537106 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free Article
Related citations

Ocean Noise Is A Whale Of A Stressor – Science News

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 8 February 2012

Ocean Noise Is A Whale Of A Stressor – Science News.

This story explains how whales can be affected by the noise of ships. The original article is freely available here –