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The Environmental Burden of Disease due to transportation noise in Flanders (Belgium) 2004


  • Stassen, Stien

    () (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium)

  • Collier, Pieter
  • Torfs, Rudi


Exposure to environmental noise due to rail, road and air traffic affects public health. Cardiovascular diseases, sleep disturbance and annoyance are the most-reported harmful effects of noise exposure in scientific literature. In this article, the transportation noise burden of disease in Flanders is quantified based on the disability adjusted life year methodology (DALY), combining the burden due to premature death and disability in a single index. The estimation relies on relevant health statistics, exposure-response relationships and the distribution of exposure. The estimated number of DALYs due to environmental noise in Flanders 2004 was 20 517, corresponding to 1.7% of the total burden of disease in Flanders or 21.8% of the total environmental burden of disease in Flanders due to particular matter, ozone, carcinogenic air pollutants (i.e. lead, ultra violet radiation, benzene, radon, nickel, arsenic and polyaromatic hydrocarbons) and noise. The results establish that traffic- related noise exposure has a large impact on public health. Nevertheless, the results must be interpreted carefully because of the rather large uncertainty range attributable to the variety in exposure level, the uncertainty in exposureresponse functions and the choice of severity weight.

Suggested Citation

  • Stassen, Stien & Collier, Pieter & Torfs, Rudi, 2008. "The Environmental Burden of Disease due to transportation noise in Flanders (Belgium) 2004," Working Papers 2008/04, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:hub:wpecon:200804

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