Noise, a public health issue too often ignored

Noise a public health issue too often ignored

“Hell is the noise of others”, could have written Jean-Paul Sartre. In a post-lockdown world linked to Covid, the imposed silence has made us aware of its impact on our daily lives. To the point, according to the latest survey of Bruitparif that noise has become the fourth major inconvenience to living in Ile-de-France (after the cost of living, pollution and insecurity).

“Noise pollution is increasing: in the street, in the office and now in the private sphere”, underlines Christian Hugonnet, acoustician and founder of the week of sound, sponsored by Unesco which is held from January 16 to 22 in Paris. In reality, noise has been regularly measured since the Second World War, but the problem was minor: in the 1950s, the French complained about the sound of… typewriters. Today, they no longer support the nuisances of road transport – traffic, sirens, alarms, horns, two-wheelers, etc.

“But our survey points to those related to their homes: neighborhood, garbage collection, even recreational activities around such as in restaurants or cafe terraces”, adds Fanny Mietlicky, director of Bruitparif, who is also worried about the future. aerial noise footprint (drones, flying taxis). Beyond the health consequences with staggering costs (headache, stress, fatigue, depression), it is time to rethink the entire urban fabric so that our cities become livable again.