Exposure assessment to road traffic noise levels and health effects in an arid urban area

Patrick Amoatey, Hamid Omidvarbona, Mahad Said Baawain*, Ahmed Al-Mayahi, Abdullah Al-Mamun, Issa Al-Harthy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Road traffic noise exposures have been recognized as serious environmental health concerns, especially in most developing countries with arid climate conditions, rapid increase in vehicle population, and limited traffic management systems. The excessive noise exposure level is associated with increase in the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and anxiety, including annoyance. This study aimed at determining traffic noise levels in residential areas, including the assessment of its annoyance and health effects based on the people’s perception and reportage. To do so, field measurement and traffic noise modeling were carried out in six road points to estimate the current noise levels along various roads close to human inhabitants in Muscat Governorate, Sultanate of Oman. The detailed measured noise levels in urban residential areas across the selected roads showed that noise levels have exceeded the local and international threshold limits at all locations during the entire day. The high sound levels (48.0–56.3 dBA) were observed using the US Federal Highway Administration’s Traffic Noise Model (TNM, version 2.5) results, which were in agreement with the observed (56.3–60.4 dBA) data. To assess health implication to residents through interviews (n = 208), annoyance at home was found to be little (32%), moderate (28%), and high (9%) in comparison with workplace settings of 42%, 43%, and 15%, respectively. Nineteen percent of the interviewees had difficulties in sleeping, while 19.8% experienced stress due to road traffic noise exposures. Moreover, a strong association (p < 0.05) was established between the use and objection of noise barriers. The study revealed high noise levels and the prevalence of annoyance and health effects among the exposed population. Therefore, immediate action is required to tackle the current noise levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35051-35064
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Annoyance
  • Field measurement
  • Health effects
  • Noise model
  • Road traffic
  • Traffic noise pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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