Not all noise is bad, as any lover of loud music would agree. But unwanted noise, otherwise known as noise pollution, poses a real threat to human health and wellbeing.
Noise can affect your sleep, raise your heart rate and blood pressure, and even have an impact on motor skills and cognitive functions . According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), 10,000 deaths in Europe every year can be attributed to noise. And the annual cost of noise pollution in Europe has been estimated at USD 52 billion dollars .
In response, the EEA and World Health Organization have set targets for the maximum noise levels that Europeans should be exposed to. They recommend night-time levels of no more than 40dB (one-third of EU citizens currently experience 55dB), and 65dB during the day. Some municipalities are picking up on this, putting restrictions on noise levels, for example at late-night events.