IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 1314: Exposure–Response Functions for the Effects of Traffic Noise on Self-Reported Annoyance and Sleep Disturbance in Finland: Effect of Exposure Estimation Method (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Large variations in transportation noise tolerance have been reported between communities. In addition to population sensitivity, exposure–response functions (ERFs) for the effects of transportation noise depend on the exposure estimation method used. In the EU, the new CNOSSOS-EU method will change the estimations of exposure by changing the assignment of noise levels and populations to buildings. This method was officially used for the first time in the strategic noise mapping performed by Finnish authorities in 2017. Compared to the old method, the number of people exposed to traffic noise above 55 dB decreased by 50%. The main aim of this study, conducted in the Helsinki Capital Region, Finland, was to evaluate how the exposure estimation method affects ERFs for road traffic noise. As an example, with a façade road traffic noise level of 65 dB, the ERF based on the highest façade noise level of the residential building resulted in 5.1% being highly annoyed (HAV), while the ERF based on the exposure estimation method that is similar to the CNOSSOS-EU method resulted in 13.6%. Thus, the substantial increase in the health effect estimate compensates for the reduction in the number of highly exposed people. This demonstrates the need for purpose–fitted ERFs when the CNOSSOS-EU method is used to estimate exposure in the health impact assessment of transportation noise.