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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2012, Article ID 235618, 7 pages
Research Article

Involuntary and Persistent Environmental Noise Influences Health and Hearing in Beirut, Lebanon

1Council for International Exchange of Scholars, A Division of the Institute of International Education, 3007 Tilden Street NW, Suite 5-L, Washington, DC 20008, USA
2College of Nursing, Florida State University, Vivian M. Duxbury Hall, 98 Varsity Way, P.O. Box 3064310, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4310, USA
3School of Nursing, American University of Beirut, P.O. Box 11-0236, Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon

Received 9 June 2011; Revised 31 July 2011; Accepted 11 August 2011

Academic Editor: Mohammad Mehdi Amin

Copyright © 2012 Marjaneh M. Fooladi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. This study was conducted to assess the effects of involuntary and persistent noise exposure on health and hearing among Lebanese adults in Beirut, Lebanon, where people are exposed to noise from construction sites, power generators, honking cars, and motorcycles. Methods. Using a descriptive and exploratory design with mixed methods, participants were surveyed, interviewed, and tested for hearing while street noise levels were measured near their residents and work places. Results. Self-reports of 83 Lebanese adult, who lived and worked in Beirut, helped identify common patterns in experiences such as irritability, anger, headaches, and sleep disturbances due to noise annoyance. Of those tested, 30% suffered from high-frequency hearing impairment. Our results showed that environmental sound dB had increased by 12% and sound intensity by 400% above the maximum standard level when compared to the WHO report of 1999. Conclusion. Environmental noise contributes to premature hearing loss and potentiates systemic diseases among Lebanese.