Investigating changes in noise pollution due to the COVID-19 lockdown: The case of Dublin, Ireland

December 15, 2022 9:09 pm Published by

Noise pollution is considered to be the third most hazardous pollution after air and water pollution by the World
Health Organization (WHO). Short as well as long-term exposure to noise pollution has several adverse effects on
humans, ranging from psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression, hypertension, hormonal dysfunction,
and blood pressure rise leading to cardiovascular disease. One of the major sources of noise pollution is road
traffic and the WHO reports that around 40 % of Europe’s population are currently exposed to high noise/sound
levels. This study investigates sound levels in Dublin, Ireland before and after the lockdown imposed as a result of
the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis was performed using measured hourly data from 12 noise monitoring
stations between January and May, 2020. More than 80 % of the stations recorded high sound levels for more
that 60 % of the time before the lockdown in Dublin. However, a significant reduction in hourly average
equivalent sound and hourly minimum sound levels was observed at all stations during the lockdown period and
this can be attributed to reductions in both road and air traffic movements.

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This post was written by dfkogler