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UCL Ear Institute & Action on Hearing Loss Libraries


Information on the UCL Ear Institute & Action on Hearing Loss Libraries


Fireworks = Noise & Pollution, and Pollution = Hearing Loss

By H Dominic W Stiles, on 5 November 2019

I know some people love fireworks but they are not good.  Fireworks are damaging to the environment.  They contain metals and salts, that are blasted directly into the atmosphere.  They are also disturbing to animals, both domestic and wild.  Pollution is itself a threat to hearing.

Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. “The Chemistry of Firework Colors.” ThoughtCo, Nov. 4, 2019, thoughtco.com/chemistry-of-firework-colors-607341



Pollution and Hearing Loss

Choi HG, Min C, Kim SY.

Air pollution increases the risk of SSNHL: A nested case-control study using meteorological data and national sample cohort data.

Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 4;9(1):8270. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-44618-0.

Free PMC Article


Fuks KB, Wigmann C, Altug H, Schikowski T.

Road Traffic Noise at the Residence, Annoyance, and Cognitive Function in Elderly Women.

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 May 20;16(10). pii: E1790. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16101790.

Free PMC Article


Mona GG, Chimbari MJ, Hongoro C.

A systematic review on occupational hazards, injuries and diseases among police officers worldwide: Policy implications for the South African Police Service.

J Occup Med Toxicol. 2019 Jan 21;14:2. doi: 10.1186/s12995-018-0221-x. eCollection 2019. Review.

Free PMC Article


Bayat A, Saki N, Nikakhlagh S, Mirmomeni G, Raji H, Soleimani H, Rahim F.

Is COPD associated with alterations in hearing? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2018 Dec 28;14:149-162. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S182730. eCollection 2019.

Free PMC Article


Miguel V, Cui JY, Daimiel L, Espinosa-Díez C, Fernández-Hernando C, Kavanagh TJ, Lamas S.

The Role of MicroRNAs in Environmental Risk Factors, Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, and Mental Stress.

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2018 Mar 20;28(9):773-796. doi: 10.1089/ars.2017.7175. Epub 2017 Jun 30. Review.

Free PMC Article


Noise and Fireworks

Engel O, Müller HW, Klee R, Francke B, Mills DS.,

Effectiveness of imepitoin for the control of anxiety and fear associated with noise phobia in dogs.

J Vet Intern Med. 2019 Sep 30. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15608. [Epub ahead of print]

Free Article


Riemer S.,

Not a one-way road-Severity, progression and prevention of firework fears in dogs.

PLoS One. 2019 Sep 6;14(9):e0218150. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218150. eCollection 2019.

Free PMC Article


Bhatt JM, Lin HW, Bhattacharyya N.,

Epidemiology and gender differences in pediatric recreational and firearms noise exposure in the USA.

Laryngoscope. 2019 May 9. doi: 10.1002/lary.27958. [Epub ahead of print]


Garaga R, Kota SH.,

Characterization of PM10 and Impact on Human Health During the Annual Festival of Lights (Diwali).

J Health Pollut. 2018 Dec 1;8(20):181206. doi: 10.5696/2156-9614-8.20.181206. eCollection 2018 Dec.

Free PMC Article


Dowd MD., Fireworks-Related Injury in Children.

Pediatr Ann. 2018 Jun 1;47(6):e227-e229. doi: 10.3928/19382359-20180522-02.


Maccariello CEM, Franzini de Souza CC, Morena L, Dias DPM, Medeiros MA.,

Effects of acupuncture on the heart rate variability, cortisol levels and behavioural response induced by thunder sound in beagles.

Physiol Behav. 2018 Mar 15;186:37-44. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.01.006. Epub 2018 Jan 9.


Korpivaara M, Laapas K, Huhtinen M, Schöning B, Overall K.,

Dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel for noise-associated acute anxiety and fear in dogs-a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study.

Vet Rec. 2017 Apr 8;180(14):356. doi: 10.1136/vr.104045. Epub 2017 Feb 17.


Tanaka T, Inaba R, Aoyama A.,

Noise and low-frequency sound levels due to aerial fireworks and prediction of the occupational exposure of pyrotechnicians to noise.

J Occup Health. 2016 Nov 29;58(6):593-601. Epub 2016 Sep 30.


Pollution and Fireworks

Tanda S, Ličbinský R, Hegrová J, Goessler W.,

Impact of New Year’s Eve fireworks on the size resolved element distributions in airborne particles.

Environ Int. 2019 Jul;128:371-378. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.04.071. Epub 2019 May 8.

Free Article


Greven FE, Vonk JM, Fischer P, Duijm F, Vink NM, Brunekreef B.,

Air pollution during New Year’s fireworks and daily mortality in the Netherlands.

Sci Rep. 2019 Apr 5;9(1):5735. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-42080-6.

Free PMC Article


Yao L, Wang D, Fu Q, Qiao L, Wang H, Li L, Sun W, Li Q, Wang L, Yang X, Zhao Z, Kan H, Xian A, Wang G, Xiao H, Chen J.

The effects of firework regulation on air quality and public health during the Chinese Spring Festival from 2013 to 2017 in a Chinese megacity.

Environ Int. 2019 May;126:96-106. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.01.037. Epub 2019 Feb 20.

Free Article


Garaga R, Kota SH.,

Characterization of PM10 and Impact on Human Health During the Annual Festival of Lights (Diwali).

J Health Pollut. 2018 Dec 1;8(20):181206. doi: 10.5696/2156-9614-8.20.181206. eCollection 2018 Dec.

Free PMC Article


Lai Y, Brimblecombe P.,

Regulatory effects on particulate pollution in the early hours of Chinese New Year, 2015.

Environ Monit Assess. 2017 Aug 23;189(9):467. doi: 10.1007/s10661-017-6167-0.

Free PMC Article


Song Y, Wan X, Bai S, Guo D, Ren C, Zeng Y, Li Y, Li X.,

The Characteristics of Air Pollutants during Two Distinct Episodes of Fireworks Burning in a Valley City of North China.

PLoS One. 2017 Jan 3;12(1):e0168297. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168297. eCollection 2017.

Free PMC Article


Baranyai E, Simon E, Braun M, Tóthmérész B, Posta J, Fábián I.

The effect of a fireworks event on the amount and elemental concentration of deposited dust collected in the city of Debrecen, Hungary.

Air Qual Atmos Health. 2015;8(4):359-365. Epub 2014 Aug 27.

Free PMC Article

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.

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 –