High-resolution assessment of road traffic noise exposure in Denmark

Jesse D. Thacher*, Aslak H. Poulsen, Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, Allan Jensen, Kristine Hillig, Nina Roswall, Ulla Hvidtfeldt, Steen S. Jensen, Gregor Levin, Victor H. Valencia, Mette Sørensen

*Corresponding author

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Recent studies show associations between transportation noise and various diseases. However, selection bias remains an inherent limitation in many cohort studies. In this study, we aimed to model road traffic noise exposure across the entire Danish population and investigate its distribution in relation to area-level socioeconomic indicators and green space. Based on the Nordic prediction method, we estimated road traffic noise for all Danish residential addresses, in total 2,761,739 addresses, for the years 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015 at the most and least exposed façades. Area-level sociodemographic variables encompassing education, income, and unemployment were collected and residential green within a 150 m radius buffer at the address level was estimated using high-resolution national land use classification data. Median levels of noise at both the most and least exposed facades across Denmark increased slightly from 1995 to 2015. Correlations between most and least exposed façades varied based on population density and building type, with the highest correlations between the most and least exposed façades found for semidetached homes and lowest for multistory buildings. Increasing median noise levels were observed across increasing levels of higher education, lower income, and higher unemployment. A decreasing trend in median noise levels with increasing levels of green space was observed. In conclusion, we showed that it is feasible to estimate nationwide, address-specific exposure over a long time-period. Furthermore, the low correlations found between most and least exposed façade for multistory buildings, which characterize metropolitan centers, suggests that the most exposed façade estimation used in most previous studies and predicts exposure at the silent façade relatively poorly.

TidsskriftEnvironmental Research
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2020

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (Grant number 7016-00036B ) and the Health Effects Institute ( HEI ) (Assistance Award No. R-82811201 ).

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