There is sufficient evidence, from large-scale epidemiological studies, linking exposure of population to environmental noise with adverse health effects. Therefore, noise should not be considered only as a cause of nuisance but also a concern for public and environmental health. The prolonged human exposure to high noise levels has many health effects, both physical and mental. These include cardiovascular problems and depression. Noise causes direct and cumulative adverse effects interfering with sleep, communication, and recreation. An emotional response to noise pollution can also be significant, and it’s often called noise annoyance. It is described as the negative feelings such as disturbance, irritation and nuisance. In the same way, short-term exposure to extreme levels of EMF can be harmful to health. The growing public concern though is on the potential long-term health effects caused by exposure to low levels of low-frequency electromagnetic fields. Based on the scientific literature review by World Health Organization (WHO), there is limited evidence to conclude that exposure to low levels of EMF is harmful to human health. Nonetheless, the International EMF Project established by WHO assesses health and environmental effects of EMF through sound and scientific research to understand and address knowledge gaps.
Noise information disseminated to the public is usually in a format that is easily understood. This is commonly achieved with the use of a Noise Perception Index (NPI). One of the internationally accepted indices was developed through the European Commission LIFE programme’s HARMOnised Noise Information for Citizens and Authorities (HARMONICA) project. The public survey was involved in the development of the HARMONICA index. As a result the index reflects the noise nuisance perceived by the general public. The index, additionally, takes into account both background noise and noise peaks created by events such as passing aircrafts and rail traffic. Following the defined formula an index was developed in order to present the variations in hourly noise levels on a scale of 0 to 10 – 0 being the most quiet, and 10 demonstrating the noisiest environment. These scores are further assessed and categorised by Dubai Municipality as quiet, moderate and noisy, represented by green, yellow and orange colours, respectively. The colour scale of the indices considers the time of the day given that people are more sensitive to noise at night in comparison to the day time. The EMF index will be defined upon availability of EMF data.