Measurement and Monetary Valuation of Traffic Noise Pollution by the Top-Down Method in Tabriz City

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Background: Noise pollution is one of the most important problems of both developed and developing countries, especially in the recent decades, and is being exacerbated with industrialization and population growth. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to measure traffic noise pollution in Tabriz city and to evaluate its associated costs by applying the top-down method. Awareness about health costs associated with traffic noise could have great impacts on decision-making for traffic noise control measures. Materials and Methods: In order to obtain the noise level (Lden) at various hours of each day, noise level was first measured at 35 stations in 10 Regions of the city, during the morning, afternoon and night. Second, to obtain the number of people with a certain level of exposer to noise (Lden), the annoyance levels due to traffic noise were assessed by collecting a questionnaire from 300 residents. Results: Based on the study results, divisions eight, nine and two of the city (refer to the municipal division of the cities in Iran) had the highest Lden value, with 74.5, 73.5 and 71 dB, respectively. Also, the questionnaire results indicated that 60% of the residents declared medium and high level of annoyance, due to traffic noise. Finally, the calculated cost was equal to 119 926 467 Euros (€). However most costs, namely € 24 727 290, were allocated to region three with the highest population, in spite of a relatively low Lden (68.4 dB). Conclusions: Since traffic noise pollution is a high cost for Tabriz residents, extensive preventive measures and comprehensive control programs by managers and city authorities as unavoidable necessities are suggested. The measures have to be taken by urban managers and decision-makers to reduce the health impact of traffic noise on Tabriz residents.