RANCH follow-up study: the long-term effects of aircraft noise exposure on children's cognition

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary University of London
Department Name: Sch of Medicine & Dentistry


Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.


10 25 50
Description Cross-sectional evidence that environmental noise exposure at school shows negative associations with children's cognition and health has increased, yet longitudinal evidence is lacking. This study examined longitudinal associations of aircraft noise exposure at primary school on children's reading comprehension, noise annoyance, and psychological health at secondary school. This six-year follow-up of 461 children aged 15-16 years, who attended primary and secondary schools around London Heathrow airport, used annual average aircraft noise exposure at the schools from noise contour maps. Multilevel regression modelling showed that aircraft noise exposure at primary school was associated with a significant increase in noise annoyance and with a non-significant decrease in reading comprehension at follow-up. Aircraft noise at primary school was not associated with psychological health at follow-up. This is the first longitudinal study of its type, suggesting that aircraft noise exposure at school might impair reading comprehension, as well as increase noise annoyance in children.
Exploitation Route Feed into policy relating to environmental exposure at school and school design. Feed into policy relating to environmental exposure at school and school design.
Sectors Education,Environment,Healthcare

Description The findings of this project have been disseminated to DEFRA and have also had input into the UK Airport Commissions, review of evidence on noise effects on children's health and learning. The findings of this project were fed into the UK Airport Commission's review of noise effects on children's learning in 2015. This information fed into the Commission's decision re. runway expansion in the UK at Heathrow airport.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services