New WHO environmental noise guidelines released



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The WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region give an understanding of how we can protect our health from exposure to sources of potentially damaging environmental noise from road and rail traffic, wind turbines, aeroplanes and leisure sources.

The WHO guidelines are based on scientific research on the effects of harmful noise to our health and provide a starting point for policy making and legislation.

Let’s have a look at the latest guidelines by WHO which were published in 2018, what are the differences to previous guidelines, what they mean to the property and construction sector and how REC can help the sector:

What is new in the WHO guidelines from 2018?

• The evidence of cardiovascular and metabolic effects on the human body as a result of environmental noise is much higher than before;
• Two new noise sources have been added to aircraft, rail and road transportation; namely wind turbine noise and leisure noise;
• Evidence of noise pollution is now assessed as standard for the industry, and the findings are used to outline the link between the exposure to noise pollution and health; and
• Engaging the use of long-term noise exposure indicators, in order to better forecast the effects on health.

WHO were able to sign off these crucial changes by appointing development and review groups as well as an independent review group.

How does excessive noise impact on our health?

WHO has estimated that at least 1 million years of healthy life are lost each year due to excessive noise pollution. Deaths are caused by heart attacks and cardiovascular issues brought on by noise stress. That’s not including hearing loss, in both adults and children who are exposed to continuously high levels of noise, mental health issues and sleeplessness.

What do the new WHO guidelines mean for the property and construction sector?

The guidelines provide a deeper insight into the effects of noise and further support a sustainable development and soundscape for the property & development sector.

How can REC help?

REC’s professional Acoustic Consultants cover the entire UK and are extremely knowledgeable in the sector. We can supply you with solutions tailored to your needs whether the project is small or large so you can have peace of mind that your work practices are in line with all current guidelines.