GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service

Amsterdam, Netherlands

GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service

Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Bakker R.H.,University of Groningen | Pedersen E.,Halmstad University | van den Berg G.P.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service | Stewart R.E.,University of Groningen | And 2 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2012

Purpose of the research: The present government in the Netherlands intends to realize a substantial growth of wind energy before 2020, both onshore and offshore. Wind turbines, when positioned in the neighborhood of residents may cause visual annoyance and noise annoyance. Studies on other environmental sound sources, such as railway, road traffic, industry and aircraft noise show that (long-term) exposure to sound can have negative effects other than annoyance from noise. This study aims to elucidate the relation between exposure to the sound of wind turbines and annoyance, self-reported sleep disturbance and psychological distress of people that live in their vicinity. Data were gathered by questionnaire that was sent by mail to a representative sample of residents of the Netherlands living in the vicinity of wind turbines. Principal results: A dose-response relationship was found between immission levels of wind turbine sound and selfreported noise annoyance. Sound exposure was also related to sleep disturbance and psychological distress among those who reported that they could hear the sound, however not directly but with noise annoyance acting as a mediator. Respondents living in areas with other background sounds were less affected than respondents in quiet areas. Major conclusions: People living in the vicinity of wind turbines are at risk of being annoyed by the noise, an adverse effect in itself. Noise annoyance in turn could lead to sleep disturbance and psychological distress. No direct effects of wind turbine noise on sleep disturbance or psychological stress has been demonstrated, which means that residents, who do not hear the sound, or do not feel disturbed, are not adversely affected. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Health Canada, Environmental and Radiation Health science Directorate, University of Toronto, Carleton University and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Sleep | Year: 2016

To investigate the association between self-reported and objective measures of sleep and wind turbine noise (WTN) exposure.The Community Noise and Health Study, a cross-sectional epidemiological study, included an in-house computer-assisted interview and sleep pattern monitoring over a 7 d period. Outdoor WTN levels were calculated following international standards for conditions that typically approximate the highest long-term average levels at each dwelling. Study data were collected between May and September 2013 from adults, aged 18-79 y (606 males, 632 females) randomly selected from each household and living between 0.25 and 11.22 kilometers from operational wind turbines in two Canadian provinces. Self-reported sleep quality over the past 30 d was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Additional questions assessed the prevalence of diagnosed sleep disorders and the magnitude of sleep disturbance over the previous year. Objective measures for sleep latency, sleep efficiency, total sleep time, rate of awakening bouts, and wake duration after sleep onset were recorded using the wrist worn Actiwatch2 from a subsample of 654 participants (289 males, 365 females) for a total of 3,772 sleep nights.Participant response rate for the interview was 78.9%. Outdoor WTN levels reached 46 dB(A) with an arithmetic mean of 35.6 and a standard deviation of 7.4. Self-reported and objectively measured sleep outcomes consistently revealed no apparent pattern or statistically significant relationship to WTN levels. However, sleep was significantly influenced by other factors, including, but not limited to, the use of sleep medication, other health conditions (including sleep disorders), caffeine consumption, and annoyance with blinking lights on wind turbines.Study results do not support an association between exposure to outdoor WTN up to 46 dB(A) and an increase in the prevalence of disturbed sleep. Conclusions are based on WTN levels averaged over 1 y and, in some cases, may be strengthened with an analysis that examines sleep quality in relation to WTN levels calculated during the precise sleep period time.


van den Berg F.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service | Verhagen C.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service | Uitenbroek D.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2014

The relation between responses to survey questions on noise annoyance and self-reported sleep disturbance has been analysed to gain insight in its dependency on noise source or noise type and on individual characteristics. The results show a high correlation between responses (scores 0-10) with Pearson's correlation coefficient close to 0.8 for respondents who report hearing the source. At the same level of annoyance, scooters and neighbours are associated with more sleep disturbance, air and road traffic with less. The relation between Annoyance (A) and Sleep Disturbance (SD) is also significantly related to age, the use of sleeping drugs, and living alone. However, the differences in the A-SD relations with respect to source and characteristic are small. Noise-related sleep disturbance is associated more strongly to noise annoyance than it is to noise exposure. For transportation noise both scores are more often equal when the annoyance score is 7 or higher; this change in scoring behaviour could be an indication for a change to severe annoyance. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


van den Berg F.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service | Verhagen C.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service | Uitenbroek D.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2015

Negative perceptions such as fear or worry are known to be an important determinant of annoyance. Annoyance caused by noise and odour has been analysed in relation to worry about safety or health due to environmental hazards, using responses to a health survey. In the survey area high environmental impacts come from air and road traffic. The survey results show a correlation between worry due to the airport or passing aircraft and noise and odour annoyance from aircraft (correlation coefficient (c.c.) close to 0.6). For the relation between worry about a busy street and annoyance from road traffic the correlation is lower (c.c. 0.4–0.5). Worries about different situations, such as living below sea level, close to an airport, busy street or chemical industry, are highly correlated (c.c. 0.5–0.9), also for situations that are not obviously related. Personal factors can also lead to more worry: being female, above 35 years of age, having a high risk for anxiety/depression and being in bad health increase the odds for being worried. The results thus suggest that worry about safety or health is correlated to both personal and environmental factors. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Van Den Berg F.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service
41st International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2012, INTER-NOISE 2012 | Year: 2012

Two main features of the traffic policy in Amsterdam are the recognition of cycling as an important means of transport, and the restriction of large traffic volumes to the primary traffic network. There were a number of reasons for this, such as traffic safety, improved traffic flow, the possibilities to accommodate traffic (especially in the historical city centre), the relative high historical and present use of bicycles, as well as in more recent decades the noise and air pollution associated with motorized road traffic. The policy did leave space for busy urban roads, but as a result areas outside the noise zones have remained fairly quiet. A further improvement is the introduction of quiet road surfaces, reducing noise levels at all dwellings. A new, local policy was introduced in 2006 that stressed the need for quiet when dwellings are exposed to noise from a busy (rail) road or industry. If so, a dwelling should have a quiet facade. The effect of such a policy is now investigated in a European project.


Van den Berg F.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service | Verhagen C.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service
41st International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2012, INTER-NOISE 2012 | Year: 2012

Health surveys are carried out periodically in The Netherlands by regional or local Public Health Services. Every four years the GGD (Municipal Health Service) Amsterdam sends questionnaires to a representative part of the population of Amsterdam and, separately, five other municipalities in its work area. In the most recent survey in those five municipalities a number of questions addressed the local environment and its perceived effects. One of the important issues is the effect of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in terms of noise, air pollution and safety. 70% of the respondents state they live close to the airport. The survey results show a strong correlation between worry about safety or health because of the airport or passing aircraft and annoyance (from noise and odour) of aircraft. 11% of those not worried about living close to a route are highly annoyed by the sound en 1% by the odour of aircraft. For those that are highly worried these percentages are 74% and 23%. This is not a new insight: fear or worry is known to be an important determinant of annoyance. We will present the results of our analysis, including personal factors that possibly influence the relation between worry and annoyance.


Van Den Berg F.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service | Janssen A.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service
Proceedings - European Conference on Noise Control | Year: 2012

In the Netherlands health surveys are carried out periodically by regional or local public health services. Every four years the GGD Amsterdam (Amsterdam public health service) sends questionnaires to a representative part of the population of the six municipalities in its work area. The city of Amsterdam is surveyed separately. In the most recent survey in the five other municipalities two questions addressed noise effects. One was the internationally standardized question on noise annoyance for a number of noise sources, the other the internationally standardized question on sleep disturbance for the same noise sources. For both questions the response was a score between 0 and 10 for each source: road, rail, air traffic, mopeds, airport, industries, neighbours. The results show there is a high correlation between both scores. For each source Pearson's correlation coefficient was close to 0.8 when based on respondents who could hear the source in question. When including respondents who could not hear the source, the correlations were lower, though most were over 0.6. The average score on the annoyance question was for most sources less than one unit higher than the average score on the sleep disturbance question. There is no clear difference between relatively continuous sounds (road traffic, industries) and sound consisting of separate events (aircraft, mopeds). Thus the results raise the question whether the two questions really measure different qualities. If not, here may be need for a better question to probe sleep disturbance. © European Acoustics Association.


Van Den Berg F.,GGD AMSTERDAM Public Health Service
Annual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society 2013, Acoustics 2013: Science, Technology and Amenity | Year: 2013

Sound from modern wind turbines is predominantly aerodynamic noise with most audible sound energy at medium and higher frequencies. Wind turbine sound is relatively annoying, probably due to acoustical characteristics, such as amplitude modulation, that increase the risk for annoyance and disturbed sleep. Other health effects, all resembling stress symptoms to at least some degree, are attributed to infrasound, but this is not supported by existing knowledge of noise or noise annoyance and the claims lack substantiation. There is certainly room for the reduction of noise and noise annoyance, perhaps at the expense of maximum energy yield. Copyright © (2013) by the Australian Acoustical Society.


Van Den Berg F.,GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service
42nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2013, INTER-NOISE 2013: Noise Control for Quality of Life | Year: 2013

The national Dutch Noise Act stipulates limits for road traffic noise levels. When a new road or dwelling is built and the noise level at a dwelling façade complies with a preferred limit, no restrictions apply. If the noise level does not exceed a second maximum limit, the authorities can grant an exemption from the preferred limit. Levels exceeding the maximum limit are not permitted, though a façade with sufficient noise insulation and without open parts ('deaf façade') is possible if there is a 'quiet' (not exposed) façade. The municipality of Amsterdam formulated a policy to address this issue, as did some other European cities. As urban traffic noise levels usually exceed the preferred limit, the aim of this policy was to warrant a measure of environmental quality. One of the important elements of the policy is that there is a quiet side in the case of an exemption or a ̀deaf' façade. The request for such an exemption is put before a committee of officials that can advise to grant the exemption and discuss the planning and building details in relation to legal and local policy requirements. The paper will explain this policy in more detail and give examples.


PubMed | GGD Amsterdam Public Health Service
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health | Year: 2015

Negative perceptions such as fear or worry are known to be an important determinant of annoyance. Annoyance caused by noise and odour has been analysed in relation to worry about safety or health due to environmental hazards, using responses to a health survey. In the survey area high environmental impacts come from air and road traffic. The survey results show a correlation between worry due to the airport or passing aircraft and noise and odour annoyance from aircraft (correlation coefficient (c.c.) close to 0.6). For the relation between worry about a busy street and annoyance from road traffic the correlation is lower (c.c. 0.4-0.5). Worries about different situations, such as living below sea level, close to an airport, busy street or chemical industry, are highly correlated (c.c. 0.5-0.9), also for situations that are not obviously related. Personal factors can also lead to more worry: being female, above 35 years of age, having a high risk for anxiety/depression and being in bad health increase the odds for being worried. The results thus suggest that worry about safety or health is correlated to both personal and environmental factors.

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