Qualitative aspects of traffic noise in Tabriz city, Iran: effects, habituation, and possible improvements

  • O. Ahmadi
  • I. DianatEmail author
Original Paper


Noise is one of the most important environmental pollutants that endanger human health. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects, habituation to noise, and possible improvement of traffic noise subjectively. Data were collected using questionnaires from 300 citizens in Tabriz, Iran. Subjective noise level was relatively high and had considerable influence on citizens’ satisfaction, performance, and health. Satisfaction with traffic noise was lower in males and decreased with increasing age. Males were also more likely to complain about the interference of traffic noise with their performance than females. Habituation to noise was relatively low and was not associated with living area and demographic characteristics. The use of double-glazed windows and more investment and use of public transport were rated as the most appropriate solutions for improving traffic noise. The findings highlight the role of qualitative studies for reducing the negative health consequences of exposure to traffic noise.


Annoyance Concentration Habituation to noise Performance Satisfaction Subjective assessments Urban area 



The authors wish to thank all who supported this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests.


The authors declare that there was no funding for this research.


  1. Abo-Qudais S, Abu-Qdais H (2005) Perceptions and attitudes of individuals exposed to traffic noise in working places. Build Environ 40:778–787CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Babisch W, Ising H, Gallacher J (2003) Health status as a potential effect modifier of the relation between noise annoyance and incidence of ischaemic heart disease. Occup Environ Med 60:739–745CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Babisch W, Beule B, Schust M, Kersten N, Ising H (2005) Traffic noise and risk of myocardial infarction. Epidemiology 16:33–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Babisch W, Neuhauser H, Thamm M, Seiwert M (2009) Blood pressure of 8–14 year old children in relation to traffic noise at home—Results of the German Environmental Survey for Children (GerES IV). Sci Total Environ 407:5839–5843CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Banbury SP, Berry DC (2005) Office noise and employee concentration: identifying causes of disruption and potential improvements. Ergonomics 48:25–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barbosa ASM, Cardoso MRA (2005) Hearing loss among workers exposed to road traffic noise in the city of São Paulo in Brazil. Auris Nasus Larynx 32:17–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bodin T, Albin M, Ardö J, Stroh E, Östergren P-O, Björk J (2009) Road traffic noise and hypertension: results from a cross-sectional public health survey in southern Sweden. Environ Health 8:38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davies WJ et al (2013) Perception of soundscapes: an interdisciplinary approach. Appl Acoust 74:224–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. de Kluizenaar Y, Janssen SA, van Lenthe FJ, Miedema HM, Mackenbach JP (2009) Long-term road traffic noise exposure is associated with an increase in morning tiredness. J Acoust Soc Am 126:626–633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dianat I, Sedghi A, Bagherzade J, Jafarabadi MA, Stedmon AW (2013) Objective and subjective assessments of lighting in a hospital setting: implications for health, safety and performance. Ergonomics 56:1535–1545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dianat I, Vahedi A, Dehnavi S (2016) Association between objective and subjective assessments of environmental ergonomic factors in manufacturing plants. Int J Ind Ergon 54:26–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fastl H (2004) Audio-visual interactions in loudness evaluation. In: Proceedings of the 18th international congress on acoustics, Citeseer, pp 1161–1166Google Scholar
  13. Fritschi L, Brown L, Kim R, Schwela D, Kephalopolous S (2011) Conclusions [Burden of disease from environmental noise: Quantification of healthy years life lost in Europe]. World Health OrganisationGoogle Scholar
  14. Gan WQ, Davies HW, Koehoorn M, Brauer M (2012) Association of long-term exposure to community noise and traffic-related air pollution with coronary heart disease mortality. Am J Epidemiol 175:898–906CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gidlöf-Gunnarsson A, Öhrström E (2007) Noise and well-being in urban residential environments: the potential role of perceived availability to nearby green areas. Landsc Urban Plan 83:115–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gidlöf-Gunnarsson A, Öhrström E, Forssén J (2012) The effect of creating a quiet side on annoyance and sleep disturbances due to road traffic noise. In: Proceedings of inter-noise 2012, August 19–22 2012, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
  17. Hong JY, Jeon JY (2014) The effects of audio–visual factors on perceptions of environmental noise barrier performance. Landsc Urban Plan 125:28–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jakovljevic B, Paunovic K, Belojevic G (2009) Road-traffic noise and factors influencing noise annoyance in an urban population. Environ Int 35:552–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jean P (2009) Sound transmission through opened windows. Appl Acoust 70:41–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Méline J, Van Hulst A, Thomas F, Karusisi N, Chaix B (2013) Transportation noise and annoyance related to road traffic in the French RECORD study. Int J Health Geogr 12:44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Murphy E, King EA (2014) An assessment of residential exposure to environmental noise at a shipping port. Environ Int 63:207–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Öhrström E, Skånberg A, Svensson H, Gidlöf-Gunnarsson A (2006) Effects of road traffic noise and the benefit of access to quietness. J Sound Vib 295:40–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ouis D (2001) Annoyance from road traffic noise: a review. J Environ Psychol 21:101–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pathak V, Tripathi B, Kumar Mishra V (2008) Evaluation of traffic noise pollution and attitudes of exposed individuals in working place. Atmos Environ 42:3892–3898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Paunović K, Belojević G, Jakovljević B (2014) Noise annoyance is related to the presence of urban public transport. Sci Total Environ 481:479–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Salomons EM, Polinder H, Lohman WJ, Zhou H, Borst HC, Miedema HM (2009) Engineering modeling of traffic noise in shielded areas in cities. J Acoust Soc Am 126:2340–2349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sandberg U, Ejsmont JA (2002) Tyre/road noise reference book. Informex, Kisa: SwedenGoogle Scholar
  28. Schmidt FP et al (2013) Effect of nighttime aircraft noise exposure on endothelial function and stress hormone release in healthy adults. Eur Heart J 34:3508–3514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Schreckenberg D, Meis M, Kahl C, Peschel C, Eikmann T (2010) Aircraft noise and quality of life around Frankfurt airport. Int J Environ Res Public Health 7:3382–3405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Shepherd D, Welch D, Dirks KN, Mathews R (2010) Exploring the relationship between noise sensitivity, annoyance and health-related quality of life in a sample of adults exposed to environmental noise. Int J Environ Res Public Health 7:3579–3594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sørensen M et al (2011) Road traffic noise and stroke: a prospective cohort study. Eur Heart J 32:737–744CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sørensen M, Andersen ZJ, Nordsborg RB, Becker T, Tjønneland A, Overvad K, Raaschou-Nielsen O (2013) Long-term exposure to road traffic noise and incident diabetes: a cohort study. Environ Health Perspect (Online) 121:217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Spiegel K, Tasali E, Penev P, Van Cauter E (2004) Brief communication: sleep curtailment in healthy young men is associated with decreased leptin levels, elevated ghrelin levels, and increased hunger and appetite. Ann Intern Med 141:846–850CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Stansfeld SA (1992) Noise, noise sensitivity and psychiatric disorder: epidemiological and psychophysiological studies, vol 22. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  35. Urban J, Máca V (2013) Linking traffic noise, noise annoyance and life satisfaction: a case study. Int J Environ Res Public Health 10:1895–1915CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Van Renterghem T, Forssén J, Attenborough K, Jean P, Defrance J, Hornikx M, Kang J (2015) Using natural means to reduce surface transport noise during propagation outdoors. Appl Acoust 92:86–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Occupational Health and ErgonomicsTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran

Personalised recommendations