The social cost of noise amounts to 155.7 billion euros per year, according to a study published Thursday, July 22 by Ademe (Ecological Transition Agency) and the National Noise Council, which franceinfo reveals to you exclusively. . Road traffic alone represents half the overall cost.
The study sought to assess the cost of noise on health spending in the short and long term, from occupational diseases to loss of life expectancy, as well as its wider consequences on the economy such as property depreciation or the loss of life. loss of productivity. In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that noise was the second environmental factor causing the most damage in Europe, behind pollution: one in five Europeans is chronically exposed to harmful noise levels. health.
Unsurprisingly, transport noise is the most expensive, 106.4 billion euros per year in France, according to the study, or 68.4% of the overall expenditure attributed to noise pollution, the roar of road traffic representing to him only half of total expenses. In second place come neighborhood nuisances (neighbors, but also construction sites, and noise generated by professional activities such as the presence of a bar near your home), they cost 26.3 billion euros per year in France. Finally, noise pollution in work environments would cost French society as a whole 21 billion euros per year.
The study points out that the cost of noise in France has almost tripled in five years, it has increased by 98.3 billion euros since the first study carried out by Ademe in 2016. This is mainly due to the recognition of new health effects of noise (obesity, hypertension, mental health, diabetes) as well as the integration of nuisances that had not been taken into account until now, such as the sound volume of construction sites or that in hospitals.
Finally, the authors of the study call for the cost / benefit ratio of expenditure intended to reduce noise to be taken into account, believing that investing in better protection of the French against noise pollution could ultimately reduce the social cost. overall noise in France. In particular, it recommends reducing speed on expressways, developing ZFEs (low emission zones), improving the acoustic quality of school buildings and applying a “low nuisance site” charter.