"Noise Pollution Hard On Heart As Well As Ears"

"According to a recent study, noise pollution could be costing lives. A World Health Organization report finds Western Europeans lose years to death or disability from excessive sound. Though European countries have taken steps to turn the volume down, the U.S. backed off the effort decades ago.

Across an estimated population of 340 million people, at least 1 million years of healthy living are lost each year due to noise pollution in Western Europe, WHO researcher Rokho Kim says.

A few too many sleepless nights can add up to heart disease, higher blood pressure and a host of stress-related health issues. But, Kim says, it's not the lost sleep so much as the human body's reaction to noise that's dangerous."

Brent Baughman reports for NPR's All Things Considered May 14, 2011.

Source: NPR, 05/16/2011