Is noise the new smoking?
Some quality digging around by Huffington Post reveals increasing evidence that high noise levels does more than just damage to your hearing. Heart disease, strokes, hypertension have all been demonstrated to be affected by noise exposure.
The levels of noise exposure required to have an impact are not great. Beyond 55dBa is seen as material (kill that dishwasher, washing machine, fan or noisy A/C).
Contentious issues like airports, roads and rail lines are going to be an ongoing point of conflict no-doubt.
In reality it will be impossible to get rid of all the major noise sources, but individuals and governments having a greater awareness of the issue is a great start, and taking some steps to reduce your own exposure isn't going to do any harm.