Noise is a public health issue that is too often ignored

“Hell is the noise of others,” Jean-Paul Sartre might have written. In a post-Covid lockdown world, the imposed silence has made us aware of its impact on our daily lives. By the way, according to the latest survey by Bruitparif, noise has become the fourth main disadvantage to life in Ile-de-France (after cost of living, pollution and insecurity).

“Noise pollution is increasing: in the street, in the office and now in the private sphere,” emphasizes Christian Hugonnet, acoustician and founder of the UNESCO-sponsored Sound Week, which takes place from 16 to 22 January in Paris. In fact, noise has been regularly measured since World War II, but the problem was minor: in the 1950s, the French complained about the sound of…typewriters. Today, they no longer support the inconveniences of road transport – traffic jams, sirens, alarms, horns, two-wheelers, etc.

“But our research points to what is connected to their home: neighborhood, garbage disposal, even recreational activities around, for example, in restaurants or on cafe terraces,” adds Fanny Mitlicki, director of Bruitparif, who also worries about the future. drones, flying taxis). Beyond the health consequences at staggering costs (headache, stress, fatigue, depression), it’s time to rethink the entire urban fabric to make our cities livable again.

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