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International Research on the Effects of Noise on Children

A number of studies have addressed the potential effects of noise exposure on children. Some studies suggest children may be more sensitive to noise than adults. However, there are no internationally accepted standards for childrens exposure to loud noise.

Defence 2012-13 noise monitoring report completed by ViPAC Engineers Scientists Pty Ltd is available here (12.5MB).

A collection of studies on this topic are listed below:

Association of Acoustical Consultants guidelines for child care centre acoustic assessment (2013)

Australian Standard. AS 2021 (2000). Acoustics. Aircraft noise intrusion—building siting and construction. Department for Education. Building Bulletin 93. Acoustic Design of Schools – Performance standards. December 2014.

Babisch W. Updated exposure-response relationship between road traffic noise and coronary heart diseases: A meta-analysis. Noise Health 2014;16:1–9.

Basner M, Müller U, Griefahn B. (2010). Practical guidance for risk assessment of traffic noise effects on sleep. Appl Acoust 71: 518–22.

Basner, M., Babisch, W., Davis, A., Brink, M., Clark, C., Janssen, S., et al. (2014). Auditory and non-auditory effects of noise on health. Lancet, 383, 1325-1332.

British Standard 8233 (2014). Guidance on sound insulation and noise reductions for buildings.

Clark C (2015). Aircraft noise effects on Health, Airports Commission

Clark, C., Martin, R., van Kempen, E., Alfred, T., Head, J., Davies, H.W., et al. (2006). Exposure-effect relations between aircraft and road traffic noise exposure at school and reading comprehension – The RANCH project. American Journal of Epidemiology, 163, 27-37.

Dang-Vu TT, McKinney SM, Buxton OM, Solet JM, Ellenbogen JM. (2010). Spontaneous brain rhythms predict sleep stability in the face of noise. Curr Biol 20: R626–27.

Darcy AE, Hancock LE, Ware EJ. (2008). A descriptive study of noise in the neonatal intensive care unit: ambient levels and perceptions of contributing factors. Adv Neonatal Care.8:S16.

Department for Education. (2015). Acoustic design of schools: performance standards. Building Bulletin 93.: Department for Education, UK.

DNWG (2013). Department of Defense Noise Working Group, Technical Bulletin: Speech interference from aircraft noise, USA.

Haines, M.M., Stansfeld, S.A., Brentnall, S., Head, J., Berry, B., Jiggins, M., et al. (2001a). The West London Schools Study: the effects of chronic aircraft noise exposure on child health. Psychological Medicine, 31, 1385-1396.

Haines, M.M., Stansfeld, S.A., Job, R.F., Berglund, B., & Head, J. (2001b). Chronic aircraft noise exposure, stress responses, mental health and cognitive performance in school children Psychological Medicine, 31, 265-277.

Kuh, D. & Ben-Shlomo, Y. (2004). A Life course Approach to Chronic Disease Epidemiology. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Muzet A. (2007) Environmental noise, sleep and health. Sleep Med Rev 11: 135–42.

Nogueira Mde F, Di Piero KC, Ramos EG, Souza MN, Dutra MV. (2011). Noise measurement in NICUs and incubators with newborns: a systematic literature review. Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 19:212–221.

NORAH Study on Noise-Related Annoyance, Cognition and Health: a transportation noise effects monitoring program in Germany (2015) D. Schreckenberg, T. Eikmann, F. Faulbaum, E. Haufe, C. Herr, M. Klatte, M. Meis, U. Möhler, U. Müller, J. Schmitt, A. Seidler, E. Swart, H. Zeeb, A. zur Nieden, R. Guski available at

Paunović, K., Stansfeld, S., Clark, C., & Belojević, G. (2011). Epidemiological studies on noise and blood pressure in children: Observations and suggestions. Environment International, 37, 1030-1041.

Seabi, J., Cockcroft, K., Goldschagg, P. (2013). Longitudinal effects of exposure to chronic aircraft noise on children’s activities. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 4(9), 1046-1054.

Seabi, J. (2013). An epidemiological prospective study of children’s health and annoyance reactions to aircraft noise exposure in South Africa, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10, 2760-2777.

Seabi, J., Cockcroft, K., Goldschagg, P., Greyling, M. (In Press). A prospective follow-up study of the effects of chronic aircraft noise exposure on learners’ reading comprehension in South Africa. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology.British Standards Institution.

Sharp, B., Connor, T.L., McLaughlin, D., Clark, C., Stansfeld, S.A., & Hervey, J. (2014). Assessing aircraft noise conditions affecting student learning. In A.C.R. Program (Ed.): Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.

Stansfeld, S.A., Clark, C., Cameron, R.M., Alfred, T., Head, J., Haines, M.M., et al. (2009). Aircraft and road traffic noise exposure and children's mental health Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29, 203-207.

Stansfeld, S., & Clark, C. (2015). Health effects of noise exposure in children. Current Environmental Health Reports.

S A Stansfeld, B Berglund, C Clark, I Lopez-Barrio, P Fischer, E Öhrström, M M Haines, J Head, S Hygge, I van Kamp, B F Berry, on behalf of the RANCH study team* Lancet 2005; 365: 1942–49

van Kempen, E.E., van Kamp, I., Stellato, R.K., Lopez-Barrio, I., Haines, M.M., Nilsson, M.E., et al. (2009). Children's annoyance reactions to aircraft and road traffic noise. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 125, 895-904.

Van Kamp I, Davies H (2013) Noise and health in vulnerable groups: a review. Noise Health 15: 153-159. (3a).

Van Kamp I, Lam KC, Brown AL, Wong TW, Law CW (2012) Sleep-disturbance and quality of sleep in relation to night time noise exposure. J Acoust Soc Am 131: 3222.

Viet SM, Dellarco M, Dearborn DG, Neitzel R (2014) Assessment of Noise Exposure to Children: Considerations for the National Children’s Study. J Preg Child Health 1:105.

Wachman EM, Lahav A. (2011). The effects of noise on preterm infants in the NICU. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 96:F305–309.

WHO. (2000). Guidelines for Community Noise. Geneva: World Health Organization, Europe.

WHO. (2009). Night Noise Guidelines for Europe. World Health Organization, Europe.

WHO. (2011). Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise. World Health Organization, Europe