Personal tools

Get notifications on new reports and products. Frequency: 3-4 emails / month.
Sign up to receive our reports (print and/or electronic) and quarterly e-newsletter.
Follow us
Twitter icon Twitter
Facebook icon Facebook
YouTube icon YouTube channel
RSS logo RSS Feeds

Write to us Write to us

For the public:

For media and journalists:

Contact EEA staff
Contact the web team

Call us Call us


Phone: (+45) 33 36 71 00
Fax: (+45) 33 36 71 99


Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sound and independent information
on the environment

You are here: Home / Media / News / EEA draws the first map of Europe's noise exposure

EEA draws the first map of Europe's noise exposure

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has launched the most comprehensive map of noise exposure to date, revealing the extent to which European citizens are exposed to excessive acoustic pollution.

Find noise sources in Europe

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has launched the most comprehensive map of noise exposure to date, revealing the extent to which European citizens are exposed to excessive acoustic pollution.

The NOISE (Noise Observation and Information Service for Europe) database provides, at the click of a mouse, a picture of the numbers of people exposed to noise generated by air, rail and road traffic across Europe and in 102 large urban agglomerations.

Noise is ubiquitous but its role as a key form of pollution with serious human health consequences is still underestimated. Prolonged exposure to even low levels of noise can trigger hypertension and disrupt sleep.

A first glance at Europe's noise exposure map is far from soothing: it is estimated than half of the population in urban areas with more than 250 000 inhabitants endure levels above 55 dB Lden (the lower EU benchmark for an average 24-hour period) as a result of ambient road noise. Just over 41 million Europeans are exposed to excessive noise from road traffic alone in the largest cities.

Member States need to step up efforts in noise reporting

Compiling information from 19 of the 32 EEA member countries, the NOISE database represents a major step towards a comprehensive pan-European service. Following the adoption of the Environmental Noise Directive (END), Member States were given until December 2007 to deliver relevant data. Users of the NOISE database can view the extent of data reported in accordance with the directive on a colour-coded map.

Adopted in 2002, the END aims to moderate noise exposure in built-up areas. The Directive also covers noise in public parks or other quiet areas in an agglomeration, in quiet areas in open country, and near schools, hospitals and other noise-sensitive buildings and areas. It does not apply to noise caused by residents or noise from domestic activities, noise at work places or inside means of transport.

About the noise indicators

Lden is an indicator of the overall noise level during the day, evening and night, which is used to convey the annoyance caused by noise exposure. Lnight is an indicator for the sound level during the night used to describe sleep disturbance. They are both used for mapping noise in Europe.

More information:


Notes to the editor:

The EEA is based in Copenhagen. The agency aims to help achieve significant and measurable improvement in Europe's environment through the provision of timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information to policy makers and the public.

EEA member countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.


For media enquiries only:

Òscar Romero

Press Officer

Phone:    +45 33 36 72 07  +45 33 36 72 07

Mobile:    +45 23 68 36 71  +45 23 68 36 71

E-mail: oscar.romero at

Geographical coverage

[+] Show Map

Document Actions


Sign up now!
Get notifications on new reports and products. Currently we have 33119 subscribers. Frequency: 3-4 emails / month.
Notifications archive
Follow us
Upcoming Events
Quick Event 17th International River Symposium 15 Sep 2014 - 18 Sep 2014 — Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Quick Event 8th European Conference on Pesticides and Related Organic Micropollutants in the Environment &14th Symposium on Chemistry and Fate of Modern Pesticides 18 Sep 2014 - 21 Sep 2014 — Epirus, Greece
Quick Event 29th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC 2014) 22 Sep 2014 - 26 Sep 2014 — Europaplein, 1078 GZ Amsterdam, Niederlande
Quick Event New Metrics '14 24 Sep 2014 - 26 Sep 2014 — Massachusetts, United States
Quick Event 2nd PEF World Summit 01 Oct 2014 - 02 Oct 2014 — Berlin, Germany
Upcoming events…
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100