Friday, February 11, 2011

Managing Urban Noise

Qantas Boeing 747-400 passes close to houses o...
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Trying to Dial Down the Volume (New York Times - Green Column, August 15, 2010)

Also discussed here: Proposal for assessing the effectiveness of noise policies (Abstract, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 127, Issue 3, pp. 1841-1841, March 2010)

And here: A strategic approach on environmental noise management in developing countries (8 page pdf, Regulations: 9th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (ICBEN), 2008)

And here: Noise annoyance in Canada (Noise & Health, Vol. 7, Issue 27, 2005)

And here: Health Effects of Noise

Today’s articles focus on the shift in attention to regulations on noise pollution, as a result of emerging research showing an improved understanding of its health impacts.

Key Quotes:

“Noise is one of the most complex and least understood forms of pollution.”

“The understanding of noise as a form of pollution, and the response to it, is about 20 years behind where we are with air pollution, where we started to get strict controls in the 1980s and 90s..It’s only in the past decade or two that we’ve begun to get the scientific evidence that shows that the impact of noise on public health can be as severe as that of air pollution.”

"In the European Union, one in five people is exposed to nighttime noise levels that can, long-term, lead to elevated blood pressure and even heart attacks"

“nearly 8% of Canadians in this age group were either very or extremely bothered, disturbed or annoyed by noise in general and traffic noise was identified as being the most annoying source”

“Sleep disturbance and annoyance are the first effects of night noise and can lead to mental disorders. The effects of noise can even trigger premature illness and death. Night noise from aircraft can increase blood pressure, even if it does not wake people.”

“In Australia, the state of New South Wales in 2008 banned the use of domestic air conditioners at night in a bid to cut noise.” Reference: Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation (New South Wales, 2008)

"Hong Kong and Japan have some of the best environmental noise policies in Asia"

"At the national level, Britain has some of the most comprehensive and up-to-date noise policies in Europe"

“This paper proposes a national program [for the USA]:
  • collection and cataloging of noise policy regulations and related guidelines
  • developing a baseline of noise exposure estimates for various community environments
  • the long-term effectiveness of noise policies in controlling noise exposure by examining the changes in various noise exposures and noise effects over time”
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