Noise campaigners shout about lack of research funding

Campaigners from a number of British groups with an interest in noise pollution are trying to get their voices heard by the World Health Organisation in a plea not to cut funding for research into the topic.

The NSCA, UK Noise Association and Noise Abatement Society have teamed up to urge Health Minister Dawn Primarolo to join their campaign to persuade the WHO not to scrap its programme of research into the health effects of excessive noise when the current funding stream dries up in 2008.

The impacts of noise on health and quality of life have been widely reported over the past months, but, according to the NGOs, for research to translate into action to manage noise, more work is needed.

“Over the coming year, noise specialists in the UK and Europe are working hard to fufill the challenges set by Europe,” said Mary Stevens, NSCA noise specialist.

“Under the Environmental Noise Directive, action plans must be in place by July 2008 to work towards managing the noise impacts of major roads, railways and airports. It is crucial the WHO work continues to inform the development of policies and actions to manage the impacts of noise on health and well being.”

The WHO has taken a leading role supporting work to manage the impacts of noise, providing guidelines for healthy noise levels and built up a significant body of evidence and expert knowledge on health impacts.

The NGOs argue that if our’ increasingly cacophonous world’ is to be calmed this work must continue.

Sam Bond

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