Noise is one of the biggest and most underestimated environmental stresses for humans. In Baden-Württemberg, a large part of the population feels disturbed or stressed by noise in their surroundings. Noise caused by traffic is perceived as particularly disturbing. Added to this is noise stress from industry and commerce, building sites and sports or leisure complexes, as well as the use of equipment and machinery in the private sphere.
Noise means stress for the body and can lead to hearing damage, sleep disruption and even physical problems. Noise is also suspected of contributing to the development of cardiovascular diseases.
Protecting people from noise is achieved through a range of ordinances and individual regulations, and is for example accorded high priority in regulatory approval procedures. As a consequence, regular noise immission forecasts are drawn up and, in existing installations, regular noise level measurements are taken to guarantee the protection of people.
Mechanical waves caused by machinery or installations, or even from blasting, spread out inside buildings or across the ground, leaving oscillations in their wake which can be perceived by humans as vibrations. Technical rules are used to assess whether these affects are harmful or constitute a nuisance.