Horner, B. Annoyance – A Clinical Misnomer?

Presented at the First International Symposium on Adverse Health Effects from Wind Turbines,
October 29-31, 2010
Brett Horner, BA. CMA

“”Annoyance” has been the term used to describe the community’s collective feelings about noise ever since the early noise surveys in the 1950s and 1960s, although some have suggested that this term tends to minimize the impact. While “aversion” or “distress” might be more appropriate descriptors, their use would make comparisons to previous research difficult.

It should be clear, however, that annoyance can connote more than a slight irritation; it can mean a significant degradation in the quality of life.”  (Suter 1991)

The US Environmental Protection Agency states: … “annoyance” can have major consequences, primarily to one’s overall health. (www.epa.gov/air/noise.html)

The World Health Organisation acknowledges noise induced annoyance to be an adverse health effect. (WHO 1999)

“It is common knowledge that noise is a psycho-social stressor that can affect physiological functioning.” (Babisch 2003)

“The results of the LARS study -with regard to criteria for causal relations confirmed, on an epidemiological level, an increased health risk from chronic noise annoyance. It has to be assumed that chronic noise annoyance is not only connected with a risk for cardiovascular symptoms like bronchitis as well as arthritis and migraine. With this background, it is urgent that noise in residential areas is reduced to an acceptable level.” (Niemann H et.al.2006)

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