Aktueller Wissensstand zu Fluglärm und Gesundheit - einschließlich WHO-Reviews und neuer Literatur bis Ende 2018

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Thomas Penzel
  • Ursula Krämer
  • Rainer Höger
  • Sandra Zimmermann
  • H.-Erich Wichmann
Background: A considerable part of the population living close to airports is annoyed or afraid of negative health consequences by aircraft noise. To address these concerns, a review of publications about research results on the health impact of aircraft noise covering the time up to the end of 2018 will be given.

Methods: Two recent reviews of the literature built the basis for this publication. WHO tasked different expert teams with systematic reviews about environmental noise and annoyance, cardiovascular and metabolic effects, sleep, cognition, psychic disorders, hearing loss and tinnitus and pregnancy and birth outcomes. These reviews evaluated association measures gained from the literature published until 2015 and built the basis for updating the European noise guidelines 2018. An expert team managed by Charité systematically evaluated the literature published between 1990 and 2018 using uniform criteria. Additionally to the topics evaluated by WHO relationships between aircraft noise and stress hormones, cancer and economic consequences were evaluated by team Charité.

Results: WHO and Team Charité consistently reported statistically significant and relevant associations between aircraft noise and effects on (1) self-reported annoyance, (2) the cardiovascular system (ischemic heart disease and hypertension), (3) sleep (awakenings, sleep quality) and (4) reading performance in children. The quality judgments of the WHO reviews for the respective effects were based on varying strictness.
Conclusions: Exposure effect relationships have been established for the associations (1) to (4) listed above, which allow population based risk assessments. For effects on other organ systems and other disorders, studies show early indications, but currently the evidence is not sufficient.
Translated title of the contributionUp-to-date knowledge on aircraft noise and health - including WHO reviews and new literature up to the end of 2018
Original languageGerman
JournalUmweltmedizin - Hygiene - Arbeitsmedizin (ecomed Medizin)
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)187-218
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 01.07.2019

    Research areas

  • Business psychology - Noise effects, Aircraft noise, health risks, review, WHO guidelines