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Annoyance describes the way people are annoyed by noise or air pollution (odour). For now, this page focuses on noise annoyance only! from the Schiphol airport, the Netherlands.


Noise annoyance relates to the number of people being annoyed to some degree by being exposed to noise. Annoyance is being described as ‘A feeling of displeasure associated with any agent or condition, known or believed by an individual or group to adversely affect them’ or ‘a feeling of resentment, displeasure, discomfort, dissatisfaction or offence which occurs when noise interferes with someone’s thoughts, feelings or daily activities’ (Lindvall and Radford, 1973) (Koelega, 1987). It can be measured (using questionnaires) or modelled (using models that use noise levels as input).


  • Lindvall TH, Radford EP. Measurement of annoyance due to exposure to environmental factors. Environ Res. 1973; 6: 1-36.
  • Koelega HS (ed). Environmental annoyance: characterization, measurement and control. Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 1987.
  • Miedema HME, Oudshoorn CGM. Annoyance from transportation noise: Relationships with exposure metrics DNL and DENL and their confidence intervals. Environ Health Persp. 2001; 109(4): 409-16.
  • Van Kempen et al (2005), Selection and evaluation of exposure-effectrelationships for health impact assessment in the field of noise and health [1].


Using a model to assess noise annoyance

Necessary input: Number of people exposed to different dB levels from a certain source (eg road transport, air traffic, rail, etc), expressed in Lden

Necessary model: A model that estimates the number of people being annoyed (mildly, moderately, or severely) by a certain noise source.

Example model: Relations derived by Miedema et al (ref...). See under Formula.

Using a questionnaire to assess noise annoyance

Necessary input: A questionnaire assessing the level of noise annoyance in the exposed population. Efforts have been made by the International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise (ICBEN) and the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) towards the use of standardized questions asking for the degree of annoyance in a 0 – 10 or 100 scale. To determine the percentage of people annoyed and highly annoyed, a cut-off value of 50 and 72 is being used. (Further references not provided here now)


List of parents:

List of daughters:


None, should be based on noise exposure data


Miedema aircraft annoyance relationship:

Valid for Lden between 45-75 dB(A)

  •  % Mildly annoyed = -6.158x10-4 (Lden – 32)3 + 3.410x10-2 (Lden-32)2 + 1.738 (Lden -32)
  •  % Moderately annoyed = 8.588x10-6 (Lden – 37)3 + 1.777x10-2 (Lden-37)2 + 1.221 (Lden -37)
  •  % Severily annoyed = -9.199x10-5 (Lden – 42)3 + 3.9321x10-2 (Lden-42)2 + 0.2939 (Lden -42)


Noise: Lden - Lden is the equivalent sound level over 24 hours, increasing the sound levels in the evening (19-23 hours) with 5 dB(A) and those during the night(23-07 hours) with 10 dB(A).

Annoyance: Percentage of people annoyed to some degree


Number of people annoyed to some degree (mildly, moderately, severily).