Environmental Noise Affects Children's Mental Health

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 2nd, 2002, 5:36 pm #1

http://www.theage.com.au/breaking/2002/ ... M3S1D.html

Environmental noise affects children's mental health: study
LONDON, May 29 PA|Published: Wednesday May 29, 12:24 PM

Noise from roads and railways has a detrimental effect on children's mental health, according to a new British study published today.

A research team found the higher the levels of environmental noise, the greater the impact on mental health.

Children who were born prematurely or who were underweight at birth appeared to be particularly vulnerable, researchers said.

The study, published in the latest edition of the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, involved more than 1,400 children in two parallel research projects.

The children were aged between eight and 11 years and lived in 31 locations in Austria's Tyrol region.

The area comprises small mountain towns and villages and has a mix of industry, small business and farmland, as well as a busy transit route connecting the country's north and south.

Researchers led by Dr Peter Lercher, at the Institute of Hygiene and Social Medicine in Innsbruck, looked at each child's birth record and obtained reports from their teachers on their academic performance and behaviour.

The children were also asked how often they felt anxious, stressed or depressed and if they had sleep problems.

The researchers found environmental noise significantly affected how the children behaved in class, their social behaviour and how easily they were distracted.

In their study the research team said: "Ambient levels of noise in the community are associated with decreased mental health in elementary school children.

"Furthermore, children with low birth weight and pre-term delivery may be at greater risk of noise related mental health outcomes."

The study found these youngsters were more susceptible to behavioural problems than children born to term, so the adverse effects of environmental noise could have an added impact on them.
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How many senators would allow THEIR children and grandchildren to live under a flight path?


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