Road noise a bigger problem than previously thought

Sleep deprivation, obesity and stress are just some of the concerns

If you’re in the market for a new home, beware of settling down near busy roads and motorways.

Noise pollution affects people living near popular routes far more than previously believed, according to a new report from the road authority Vejdirektoratet (here in Danish).

“We can see that neighbours to motorways are two to three times as affected by the noise pollution than we thought,” Jakob Fryd, an engineer and researcher with Vejdirektoratet, told DR Nyheder.

“People who live next to motorways are far more affected than people who live next to city roads.”

READ MORE: Aarhus Municipality mulling plans to shoot noisy gulls

Road to poor health
And the noise can be downright unhealthy. The noise can lead to sleep problems, but also stress and cardiovascular issues.

According to the Environment Ministry, 600 Danes suffer noise-related strokes every year and 200-500 die annually due to noise-related illnesses.

“Being exposed to traffic noise can increase the risk of getting a blood clot in the heart and high blood pressure,” said Mette Sørensen, a senior researcher for cancer fighting organisation Kræftens Bekæmpelse.

“It can also lead to obesity and diabetes, and there could be a connection with breast cancer.”