Volume 126, Issue 2, August 2009
Index of content:
- NOISE: ITS EFFECTS AND CONTROL 
126(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3158834View Description Hide Description
This study investigates the association between night time road traffic noise exposure and self-reported sleep problems. Logistic regression was performed in a large population based cohort study (GLOBE), including over 18 000 subjects, to study the association between exposure at the dwelling façade and sleep problems. Measures of sleep problems were collected by questionnaire with two questions: “Do you in general get up tired and not well rested in the morning?” and “Do you often use sleep medication or tranquilizers?” After adjustment for potential confounders, a significant association was found between noise exposure and the risk of getting up tired and not rested in the morning. Although prevalence of medication use was higher at higher noise levels compared to the reference category , after adjustment for covariates this association was not significant. Long-term road traffic noise exposure is associated with increased risk of getting up tired and not rested in the morning in the general population. This result extends the earlier established relationship between long-term noise exposure and self-reported sleep disturbance assessed with questions that explicitly referred to noise and indicates that road traffic noise exposure during the night may have day-after effects.
126(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3160293View Description Hide Description
The increasing number and size of wind farms call for more data on human response to wind turbinenoise, so that a generalized dose-response relationship can be modeled and possible adverse health effects avoided. This paper reports the results of a 2007 field study in The Netherlands with 725 respondents. A dose-response relationship between calculated -weighted sound pressure levels and reported perception and annoyance was found. Wind turbinenoise was more annoying than transportation noise or industrial noise at comparable levels, possibly due to specific sound properties such as a “swishing” quality, temporal variability, and lack of nighttime abatement. High turbine visibility enhances negative response, and having wind turbines visible from the dwelling significantly increased the risk of annoyance. Annoyance was strongly correlated with a negative attitude toward the visual impact of wind turbines on the landscape. The study further demonstrates that people who benefit economically from wind turbines have a significantly decreased risk of annoyance, despite exposure to similar sound levels. Response to wind turbinenoise was similar to that found in Sweden so the dose-response relationship should be generalizable.
126(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3158599View Description Hide Description
The current study examines the propagation of sound in street canyons with geometrically reflecting surfaces. An image source method is a popular numerical model to estimate the propagation of sound energy in a street canyon. This numerical model calculates the total sound energy received at a field point by summing the contributions from individual image sources incoherently. The discrete image source model is generalized by replacing rows of point sources with their respective line sources. An integral formulation is derived, which can be evaluated exactly to give a simple analytical solution. The expression permits rapid computations of the sound energy due to a point source placed in a street canyon. The transient sound energy at a receiver point is also examined. It has been demonstrated that the transient sound energy can be expressed in terms of a standard exponential integral. The Schroeder integration method is then used to calculate the reverberation times, which allow a straightforward assessment of the acoustic environment in street canyons. Indoor and outdoor experiments were conducted to validate the proposed integral formulation. The analytical formulas were also compared with numerical results based on the standard image source method and with published experimental data.
126(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3158601View Description Hide Description
An approach is proposed to shed light on the mechanisms underlying human perception of environmental sound that intrudes in everyday living. Most research on exposure-effect relationships aims at relating overall effects to overall exposure indicators in an epidemiological fashion, without including available knowledge on the possible underlying mechanisms. Here, it is proposed to start from available knowledge on audition and perception to construct a computational framework for the effect of environmental sound on individuals. Obviously, at the individual level additional mechanisms (inter-sensory, attentional, cognitive, emotional) play a role in the perception of environmental sound. As a first step, current knowledge is made explicit by building a model mimicking some aspects of human auditory perception. This model is grounded in the hypothesis that long-term perception of environmental sound is determined primarily by short notice-events. The applicability of the notice-event model is illustrated by simulating a synthetic population exposed to typical Flemish environmental noise. From these simulation results, it is demonstrated that the notice-event model is able to mimic the differences between the annoyance caused by road traffic noise exposure and railway traffic noise exposure that are also observed empirically in other studies and thus could provide an explanation for these differences.