It is estimated that around 57 million people (12% of the population) in 25 EU coun- tries are annoyed by road traffic noise with approximately 24 million (42%) of those being severely annoyed. In addition, rail traffic noise is estimated to cause annoyance in about 5.5 million people (1% of the European population), 2 million of who are severely annoyed (den Boer and Schroten, 2007).
"environmental noise is quite a serious public health issue throughout the world. Much of the research that has been conducted on the health effects of noise in the last two decades have had Europe or the United States as its main geographic focus. However, the implications of the emerging body of evidence for public health policy throughout the world are significant. While the EU, in particular, is leading the way in terms of assessment and mitigation of excessive environmental noise exposure, it is important that other nations follow that lead in order to prevent noise pollution becoming an even more prominent public health issue. Overall, the evidence suggests that environmental noise should be placed at the forefront of national and international health policies in order to prevent unnecessary adverse health impacts on the general population. This involves attempting to mitigate against the harmful effects of environmental noise on citizens. In this regard, the WHO (2009) has recently suggested that night-time noise levels above 40 dB(A) should be mitigated against to protect public health. This implies that policymakers should strive towards achieving levels below this figure" (Environmental noise pollution - Enda Murphy & Eoin King (Silencio Advisors))