Are Primary School Students Exposed to Higher Noise Levels than Secondary School Students in Germany?

M Bhardwaj, U Baum, I Markevych, A Mohamed, T Weinmann, D Nowak, K Radon


Background: Noise, one of the major environmental nuisances, affects the learning ability of children negatively.

Objective: With the assumption that in the existing German 4-type school system children are exposed to various noise levels in each type of school, we investigated the association between children's school type and environmental noise level.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we included 550 children—primary and secondary school students—aged 8–12 years, and who lived in 4 Bavarian cities. The environmental noise level was assessed by personal 24-h dosimeter measurements. The associations of interest were assessed by linear regression.

Results: The average day noise level of 80.0 dB(A) was relatively high, exceeding the threshold level of 60 dB(A). In the model adjusted for sex, socioeconomic status (SES), and place of residence, noise level was significantly higher for primary schools by almost 2.3 dB(A); however, after additional adjustments for age, this association was distorted. The mean night noise level of 43.7 dB(A) was not associated with the school level. We could not find any significant differences in the noise level between different types of secondary schools.

Conclusion: We found evidence that in Germany, children, especially of a younger age from primary school, are exposed to high noise levels during day in and outside the school environment. School administration and parents should work to make schools less noisy and more accomplished for learning to achieve a bright future for the children.


Noise; Schools; Child; Learning

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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