08 March 2004

Anti-noise campaign

Schools and after-school programmes are too noisy. Children as well as teachers risk hearing problems. The Danish Ministry of the Environment is responding with a national campaign against the noise.

The anti-noise campaign targets children who will be required to show more consideration to each other and turn down the noise in the classroom and in the playroom where noise levels occasionally compare to the noise from large trucks and busses.

"The children are particularly at risk in the noise. They risk suffering hearing loss, and their learning may suffer, as well, when the school noise becomes excessive," says the Minister of the Environment, Hans Christian Schmidt to the newspaper, Jyllands-Posten.

Children talking, playing computer games or messing around with their mobile phones cause dangerous noise levels. Often, the sustained noise level exceeds 85 dB, the noise limit when hearing protection is required. According to a study commissioned by BUPL, a Danish Teachers Union, this noise limit is exceeded in one classroom in four in the Danish after-school programme.

In an attempt to attract the attention of the children, the Ministry of the Environment has developed an internet computer game in Danish in which the children compete to achieve the lowest noise level in their classroom. The game is available at www.skruned.dk.

Source: Jyllands-Posten, Tuesday, 3 February, 2004.

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