25 June 2019

New WHO recommendations for noise exposure in Europe

WHO sets guidelines for transportation noise, wind turbine noise and leisure noise in Europe.

WHO has released new guidelines for noise exposure in Europe. According to WHO, environmental noise is an important public health issue, featuring among the top environmental risks to health. The WHO Regional Office for Europe has therefore developed environmental noise guidelines for the European region.

The main purpose of the guidelines is to provide recommendations for protecting human health from exposure to environmental noise originating from various sources such as transportation noise (road traffic, railways and aircrafts), wind turbine noise and leisure noise.

The specific recommendations

For road traffic, WHO strongly recommends reducing average noise levels below 53 decibels (dB). For night exposure, the recommendation is to keep it below 45 dB.

For railway noise, WHO strongly recommends reducing average noise levels below 54 decibels (dB). For night exposure, the recommendation is to keep it below 44 dB.

For aircraft noise, WHO strongly recommends reducing average noise levels below 45 decibels (dB). For night exposure the recommendation is to keep it below 40 dB.

For wind turbine noise, WHO recommends reducing average noise levels below 45 decibels (dB).

For leisure noise, WHO recommends reducing the yearly average from all leisure noise sources combined to 70 dB.

Noise levels above these are all associated with adverse health effects.

The recommendations can be found in the “Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region (2018)”.

Source: WHO www.who.int

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