Association between Ambient Noise Exposure and School Performance of Children Living in An Urban Area: A Cross-Sectional Population-Based Study
- 437 Downloads
Most of the studies investigating the effects of the external noise on children’s school performance have concerned pupils in schools exposed to high levels due to aircraft or freeway traffic noise. However, little is known about the consequences of the chronic ambient noise exposure at a level commonly encountered in residential urban areas. This study aimed to assess the relationship between the school performance of 8- to 9-year-old-children living in an urban environment and their chronic ambient noise exposure at home and at school. The children’s school performances on the national standardized assessment test in French and mathematics were compared with the environmental noise levels. Children’s exposure to ambient noise was calculated in front of their bedrooms (Lden) and schools (LAeq,day) using noise prediction modeling. Questionnaires were distributed to the families to collect potential confounding factors. Among the 746 respondent children, 586 were included in multilevel analyses. On average, the LAeq,day at school was 51.5 dB (SD= 4.5 dB; range = 38–58 dB) and the outdoor Lden at home was 56.4 dB (SD= 4.4 dB; range = 44–69 dB). LAeq,day at school was associated with impaired mathematics score (p = 0.02) or impaired French score (p = 0.01). For a + 10 dB gap, the French and mathematics scores were on average lower by about 5.5 points. Lden at home was significantly associated with impaired French performance when considered alone (p < 10−3) and was borderline significant when the combined home-school exposure was considered (p = 0.06). The magnitude of the observed effect on school performance may appear modest, but should be considered in light of the number of people who are potentially chronically exposed to similar environmental noise levels.
KeywordsEnvironmental noise exposure Ambient noise Children School performance Urban area
- 1.World Health Organization. Night noise guidelines for Europe. Copenhagen: World Health Organization; 2009:162. Available at: http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/environment-and-health/noise/publications/2009/night-noise-guidelines-for-europe. Accessed December 12, 2011.
- 2.World Health Organization. Burden of disease from environmental noise. Quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe. Copenhagen: World Health Organization; 2011:108. Available at: http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/environment-and-health/noise/publications/2011/burden-of-disease-from-environmental-noise.-quantification-of-healthy-life-years-lost-in-europe. Accessed December 12, 2011.
- 3.Clark C, Stansfeld SA. The effect of transportation noise on health and cognitive development: a review of recent evidence. Int J Comp Psychol. 2007; 20(2): 145–158.Google Scholar
- 6.Hygge S. Noise and Cognition in Children. In: Encyclopedia of Environmental Health. Burlington, VT: Elsevier; 2011:146–151. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780444522726002610. Accessed August 3, 2012.
- 19.Lercher P. Combined Noise Exposure at Home. In: Jerome O. Nriagu, ed. Encyclopedia of Environmental Health. Burlington, VT: Elsevier; 2011:764–777. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780444522726002543. Accessed November 17, 2012.
- 20.European Environment Agency. Transport at a crossroads: TERM 2008: indicators tracking transport and environment in the European Union. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities; 2009.Google Scholar
- 27.Pujol S, Houot H, Berthillier M, et al. Modélisation de l’exposition au bruit en milieu urbain et études épidémiologiques: quelles sources sonores ? In: Actes des Neuvièmes rencontres de Théo Quant. Besançon: Foltête J.-C.; 2009:10. Available at: http://thema.univ-fcomte.fr/theoq/pdf/2009/TQ2009%20ARTICLE%2067.pdf. Accessed October 24, 2013.
- 28.European Commission. Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliement and of the Concil of 25 June 2002 related to the assesment and management of environmental noise.; 2002.Google Scholar
- 29.CSTB. MITHRA 5.0, manuel technique.; 2002.Google Scholar
- 30.Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (INSEE). Les nomenclatures des professions et catégories socio-professionnelles (CSP) 2003 - Niveau 1 - Liste des catégories socioprofessionnelles agrégées. 2003. Available at: http://www.insee.fr/fr/methodes/default.asp?page=nomenclatures/pcs2003/liste_n1.htm. Accessed November 16, 2012.
- 31.Goldstein H. Multilevel Statistical Models. 2nd ed. London: Edward Arnold; 1995.Google Scholar
- 32.Rasbash J, Charlton C, Jones K, Pillinger R. Bristol University | Centre for Multilevel Modelling | Manual supplement for MLwiN 2.14. 2009. Available at: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmm/software/mlwin/download/manuals.html. Accessed January 26, 2012.
- 33.Cornelie P. Les réponses des élèves de CE2 à l’évaluation de septembre 2006. 2006. Available at: http://test.evace26.education.gouv.fr/sitearchive/archive2006/cfscore.htm. Accessed November 26, 2012.
- 34.Eriksson C, Nilsson ME, Stenkvist D, Bellander T, Pershagen G. Residential traffic noise exposure assessment: application and evaluation of European Environmental Noise Directive maps. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2012:1–8. doi:10.1038/jes.2012.60.
- 35.Evans GW, Lepore SJ. Non-auditory effects of noise on children: a critical review. Life Course Institute, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University; 1993.Google Scholar
- 42.Clark C, Crombie R, Head J, van Kamp I, van Kempen E, Stansfeld SA. Does Traffic-related Air Pollution Explain Associations of Aircraft and Road Traffic Noise Exposure on Children’s Health and Cognition? A Secondary Analysis of the United Kingdom Sample From the RANCH Project. Am J Epidemiol. 2012; 176(4): 327–337. doi:10.1093/aje/kws012.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar