Ambient noise pollution is deemed as one of the major growing public health issues, especially in developing countries. Therefore, it is crucial to assess the impact of noise pollution on public health. The aim of this study is to investigate the health risk of noise exposure levels in three schools: Kaab Bin Zeyd of Basic Education (school A), Hail Al-Awamour Girls school (school B), and Al-Fikr School (school C) in Muscat, Oman. The study employed a survey of 300 students, dose-response models, and regression models to quantify health risk and to determine the relationship between noise levels and perceived noise annoyance sources. The study found average noise levels (LAeq) of school A (70.03±8.21 dBA), school B (69.54±7.75 dBA), and school C (55.95± 5.67 dBA) to be higher than WHO’s outdoor schools environment standard of 55 dBA and European (EN16798-1) classroom’s critical limits of 30–34 dBA. Most of the students from schools A (30.9%), B (33.3%), and C (63%) have reported noise produced from traffic as extremely annoyed compared to aircraft of 15.4%, 11.5%, and 27.2%, respectively. Regression analysis shows that perceived traffic noise was strongly correlated with LAeq in school A (R2 =0.481), B (R2 =0.121), and C (R2 = 0.132) when compared with other subjective noise types. The health risk assessment results show that the percentage of highly annoyed (%HA) was higher in school A (15.2%) and school B (14.95%) than in school C (8.18%). The estimated highly sleep disturbed (%HSD) based on mean noise levels were almost the same in schools A (15.62%) and B (15.19%) but far higher compared to school C (6.01%). However, there was an association between the mean noise exposure levels and the risk of developing ischemic heart diseases (IHD) in school A (RR= 1.172, 95% CI: 1.020–1.334), school B (RR=1.167, 95% CI: 1.020–1.325), and school C (RR=1.051, 95% CI: 1.006–1.095). Moreover, attributable risk percentage (AR%) for school A (AR% =14.675, 95% CI: 2.028–25.037), school B (AR% =14.310, 95% CI: 1.960–24.528), and school C (AR% = 4.852, 95% CI:0.596–8.742) have shown that a substantial portion of the population could be prevented from developing IHD. It is expected that findings of the study can be applied in other arid regions with sprawl urbanized built environments.
- Annoyance, Oman
- Health risk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis