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Environmental noise pollution relates to noise caused by road, rail and airport traffic, industry, construction, as well as some other outdoor activities.

Prolonged exposure to noise can lead to serious health effects mediated by the human endocrine system and by the brain, such as sleep disturbance, cardiovascular diseases, annoyance (a feeling of discomfort affecting general well-being), cognitive impairment and mental health problems. It can also cause direct effects such as tinnitus.

The effects of exposure to noise impact EU economies. They lead to a loss of productivity of workers whose health and well-being are affected by noise, put a burden on health care systems and cause a substantial depreciation of real-estate value.

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