Loud Learning


This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science. 

The damage from vehicle emissions to our environment is obvious. But what about noise pollution’s toll on US?

Enter Maria Foraster and colleagues from the IS Global Research Institute in Spain. 

They examined the effects of noise pollution on students ages seven to ten. The researchers observed over two-thousand students from almost forty schools. They monitored traffic noise levels at their schools. They also performed four tests over a year to track the students’ attention and memory. 

Results? Students in noisy learning environments had a POORER development of memory and attentiveness. For memory, pupils exposed to higher noise pollution performed eleven percent lower than the others! They ALSO performed five percent lower on the attention test.

The effect of noise pollution on physical health is not well understood. But this study shows that it could have a significant mental impact! 

I could analyze this more mathematically or statistically, but… GAH! Those leaf blowers!

Reference: Foraster, M., Esnaola, M., López-Vicente, M., Rivas, I., Álvarez-Pedrerol, M., Persavento, C., Sebastian-Galles, N., Pujol, J., Dadvand, P., & Sunyer, J. (2022). Exposure to road traffic noise and cognitive development in schoolchildren in Barcelona, Spain: A population-based cohort study. PLOS Medicine, 19(6), e1004001. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1004001