NOISE – Facts & Figures

Around one in five people hear noise from their neighbours and almost half of those are annoyed by it. Six out of ten people who are annoyed by the noise do not complain, whilst 23% complain directly to the neighbour, 12% complain to the police and 8% complain to their local authority (compared with 28%, 8% and 7% respectively in 2002/3).

Mori 2006

Complaints from domestic premises about noise account for three quarters of all noise complaints. They have increased almost five times between 1984/5 and 2004/5 and almost 20% between 2000/1 and 2004/5, according to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health statistics.

Defra 2006

Soldiers learning to play the bagpipes have been told they must wear ear plugs and limit practice sessions to 24 minutes a day outdoors or 15 minutes indoors. This follows a study by the Army Medical Directorate showing that the sound could reach 111 decibels outside, slightly louder than a pneumatic drill, and 116 inside, as loud as a chainsaw.

The Scotsman 2006

Between 2005 and 2006 14% of British residents were woken up by noise from neighbours, and over one in ten (11%) have been kept awake by noise from neighbours.

Mori 2006

In a recent survey 22% of people cited noise as the most common cause of problems between neighbours, followed by anti-social behaviour (14%) and harassment (10%).

Neighbours from Hell 2006

Over a third of British residents say that noise has a negative impact on their quality of life. And between 2005 and 2006 1% of British residents claimed to have moved house because of noisy neighbours.

Mori 2006

Children in London schools are regularly exposed to noise that exceeds World Health Organisation Guidelines, and this can adversely affect their performance at school.

South Bank University 05/02

A Californian man is suing Apple, claiming his iPod, which can reach 128 decibels, presents a health risk.

BBC 02/06

Roughly one in ten people (9%) in Britain are exposed to noise from pubs, clubs, and entertainment venues. A higher proportion of people are exposed in Scotland (15%), the West Midlands (14%) and Wales (13%). And around half (47%) of those exposed in Britain find it annoying.

Mori 2006

During the World Cup 2006, the audience roar following a goal in a football stadium reached 110dBA, which is comparable to the noise levels of a nightclub. The blaring of horns reached levels as high as 130 dBA

Deafness Research 06/06

Written by Stephen Young

© Sound Service (Oxford) Ltd 2004