Do ultrafine particles confound studies on noise and cardiovascular disease?

EXPOsOMICS project

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Ultrafine particles (UFP) are emitted by both jet engine aircraft and road traffic and may potentially confound associations between noise and health outcomes. However, neither UFP or noise are routinely measured resulting in a lack of understanding of their relationship. We conducted repeated short-term measurements with portable sensors to assess the correlation between noise and UFP number concentrations (PNC) for aircraft and road traffic. Noise and PNC were measured contemporaneously for 30-minutes at 160 sites (repeated three times at a range of site types) in Norwich, a medium size city in the east of England, and repeatedly up to 71 times per site at nine sites (501 in total) around Gatwick airport. In Combining all measurements at Gatwick Airport the correlation was very weak (U = 0.11). Strongest correlations were moderate (|>0.4-0.6|) at a residential site 1.3 km north of the runway and a site 0.6 km south of the runway. The correlation between noise and PNC in Norwich was overall moderate (U = 0.52) and weak (U <0.4) for roadside sites (n = 55) and urban background sites (n = 90) respectively. Results suggest that PNC are unlikely to be a major confounder in epidemiological studies of aircraft or road noise and cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd International Congress on Acoustics
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrating 4th EAA Euroregio 2019
EditorsMartin Ochmann, Vorlander Michael, Janina Fels
PublisherInternational Commission for Acoustics (ICA)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783939296157
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event23rd International Congress on Acoustics: Integrating 4th EAA Euroregio, ICA 2019 - Aachen, Germany
Duration: 9 Sep 201923 Sep 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Congress on Acoustics
ISSN (Print)2226-7808
ISSN (Electronic)2415-1599


Conference23rd International Congress on Acoustics: Integrating 4th EAA Euroregio, ICA 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by The Medical Research Council (Grant Agreement No.: MR/P023673/1), the EU seventh Framework Program EXPOSOMICS Project. Grant Agreement No.: 308610, and the Compagnia di San Paolo (Turin, Italy) to Paolo Vineis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Proceedings of the International Congress on Acoustics. All rights reserved.


  • Aircraft
  • Measurements
  • Noise
  • Particle number
  • Road traffic
  • Ultra-fine particles


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