Exposure to environmental stressors like noise can cause health problems like cognitive impairment in children.
Researchers across the world had conducted a cross-nation study to see the effect of pollutants like noise from the traffic and aircrafts on the health of the children. They had assessed the health of 2844 children in the age group of 9 to 10 years who attendee schools close to the airports in Netherlands, Spain, and UK. Researchers had taken the help of noise contour maps, modeling and on site measurements to find the schools that had maximum exposure to aircraft noise and road traffic and matched them with control schools.
The results of the study showed that there exists a significant effect on the health of the children, that is directly linked to the proximity of the children's schools being closer to noise pollutants. Chronic aircraft noise affected the reading comprehension abilities and recognition memories of the children. They also seem to be more annoyed than their counterparts elsewhere. Road traffic noise exposure directly seemed to affect the children's capacity for conceptual recall or information recall, as well as annoyance.
The research, which is published in the current issue of The Lancet, suggests that proximity to airports or busy roads are not the ideal conditions to establish schools for children, as it affects their cognitive abilities.