Can traffic noise and air pollution cause high blood pressure?

Traffic noise can be one of the most annoying and disruptive sounds. Nobody wants to be trying to drift off to sleep only to hear loud sirens or cars screeching by on the streets nearby. However, new research shows that the noises can actually have a more serious physical impact on people. We want to have a closer look at the findings and what they mean in terms of noise control.

The study

Researchers used UK Biobank data from almost 250,000 people to examine the impact of noise pollution on blood pressure. At the beginning of the study, all the participants aged between 40 to 69 had good health with no signs of hypertension. The study tracked them for a median of 8.1 years with differing levels of exposure to noise traffic based on their address. In this time, over 21,000 developed it.

The major finding was that people with addresses living near road traffic noise were the most likely to develop hypertension. There was a dose-dependent relationship. So, the higher the amount of noise, the bigger the risk of health problems.

It was also found that people had the highest risk if they had exposure to traffic noise and air pollution. Pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and fine particles from exhaust gases can have a big impact on heart health.

Why does it happen?

While the study shows there is a link, there is no clear reason why noise causes it. However, the theory is that the sound increases stress on the body. In turn that can lead physiological changes such as adrenaline triggers, nerves firing, and inflammation. It can result in an elevation in blood pressure.

What is the impact?

High blood pressure can cause a number of health problems. For example, it increases the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. It can also cause kidney disease and even damage the eyes.

Noise control is very important

The potential health impacts of exposure to traffic noise mean it is important to look at ways to mitigate it. There are lots of options at home and at work. For example, you can look to reduce or block it. Insulating materials can work wonders. Hearing protection can be very useful too.

Some industries have a very high risk of exposing employees to traffic noise because they involve massive vehicles and people in close proximity to them. It could be logistics, warehousing, or mechanics. Businesses here should take extra steps to protect employees.

Talk to Ventx

We know a great deal about the physical toll noise can have on people in different workplaces. Our goal is to help lessen it by providing reliable noise control solutions. We specialise in silencers, designing a range of models for different needs. They can make various systems and plant quieter.

So, if you need help, please contact us.