Exposure to noise pollution is continually growing. Even in highly developed countries, traffic noise has been increasing 0.2–0.3 dB(A) a year despite stricter regulations having reduced emission power levels LW of passenger cars, motorcycles and trucks in Europe on average 6, 9, respectively 12 dB(A) in the last 20 years. The decisive immission level is rising particularly due to surging traffic on an increasingly denser grid of streets, roads and highways. Noise disturbance from air traffic has developed similarly: successful noise reduction (ΔL in Eq. (1.1)) at individual sources (LW) has been more than counterbalanced worldwide by their increasing number (n). According to the publications of the Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environmental Agency), see e.g. Ortscheid (2003), the number of people suffering from exposure to noise pollution in Germany has more than doubled from 30 % in 1965 to about 70 % in 2003. The percentage due to motor vehicle traffic, the main culprit, rose between 1988 (Fig. 1.1) and 2002 from 55 to about 65 %, due to air traffic from 37 to close to 40 % and due to rail traffic from 17 to over 20 %, with rising tendency.
KeywordsImpaired Hearing Traffic Noise Noise Pollution Noise Control Sound Absorber
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