How Noise Impacts Our Health And Calls For Sound Design


Julian Treasure, chairman of The Sound Agency, gave an intriguing TED talk on how our increasingly noisy world impacts our health, even costing lives.

He made various notable references to stats that clearly convey the magnitude of the consequences of noise.

  • According to the European Union, noise is reducing the health and quality of life of 25 percent of the population in Europe
  • Two percent of the European population – i.e. approx 16 million people – are having their sleep devastaded by noise
  • Noise kills around 200 000 people a year in Europe
  • 10 million Americans suffer from Noise-Induced Hearing Disorder (NIHD)
  • 16% of American teenagers – roughly one in six – suffer from NIHD as a result of head phone abuse
  • One American university study found that 61% of college freshmen already had damaged hearing as a result of head phone abuse

We fully support Julian Treasure’s call to action. That we, as citizens, should speak up and take a stewarding role for the sound around us. We need to consciously protect our ears and actively take part in designing soundscapes around us that are soothing and beautiful – in our homes, at work etc.

Quiet Cars - An Introductory Guide to a Quieter Ride (eBook and online community)