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EDITORIAL Table of Contents   
Year : 2004  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 22  |  Page : 1-2

Falkensee, Germany

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How to cite this article:
Ising H. Editorial. Noise Health 2004;6:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Ising H. Editorial. Noise Health [serial online] 2004 [cited 2023 Dec 7];6:1-2. Available from: https://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2004/6/22/1/31679
Problems arising from night-time flight noise were discussed at a workshop in Neufahrn, Germany, in June 2001. The workshop was organised by the Association of Physicians for Preventive Environmental Medicine and the proceedings were published in German by the Association for Water, Soil and Air Hygiene. The content of this special issue is an updated translation of the proceedings that shows the whole spectrum of opinion on effects of flight noise exposure during the night.

Griefahn and Spreng present two models in order to calculate the permissible noise level and number combination per night. Griefahn developed her model from a linear dose effect relationship, which she had derived in 1976 using the than known statistical methods. Maschke reanalysed the same empirical data with the latest methods in 2001. A translation of the German paper of Maschke et al. is accepted and will be published in Noise and Health in one of the next issues together with a review on flight noise effects by Wende and Ortscheid. The publication of both papers was planned for this issue but had to be postponed due to lack of space.

Another noise and number criterion was derived by Spreng on the basis of noise induced cortisol increases. This model is a first approximation of physiological mechanisms of noise induced stress effects and therefore a welcome step in the direction of an L max criterion for night-time noise exposure. For calculation of the tolerable number of noise events, the numerical values of the constants in his model were chosen to prevent transgression of the normal range of cortisol during 8 hours per night. However, in the mean time it was shown, that even mild cortisol increases in the first half of the night might be adverse to health because of their relation to respiratory diseases in children. We will, therefore, apply Spreng's model to calculate the tolerable number of noise events in the first half of the night to prevent the above mentioned noise effects. In the next issue of Noise and Health this calculation together with the empirical evidence of noise induced cortisol increases in the first half of the night and the related adverse health effects will be published.

In contrast to the changing appraisal of endocrine noise effects, our knowledge of cardiovascular effects of chronic traffic noise exposure is sufficiently consolidated to permit the formulation of preventive noise limits. Since in the literature on the relationship of traffic noise and cardiovascular risk, always the mean outdoor noise level was assessed, noise limits should be based on the outdoor mean noise level, although, from the theoretical point of view, the indoor noise level is the biological most relevant load. Additionally, during the night the number of loud events characterised by L max would be a better predictor of long term noise induced health effects than L eq - on the supposition that adequate empirical data are available.

Such questions have been discussed at the end of the workshop and finally noise limits were formulated to prevent annoyance by flight noise as well as damage to health. More than three quarters of the noise experts present at this workshop signed this resolution.

  Resolution Top

Basis of the assessment presented here is the mean sound level (L eq3 , outside), which is differentiated for day and night. The fact that aircraft noise on average causes more disturbance and annoyance than road traffic noise is reflected by tighter regulations in the formulation of the objectives of protection.

The global scope of effects:


"Damage to health"

are in the foreground of the development of objectives of protection.

This translation was kindly supported financially by the Association of Physicians for Preventive Environmental Medicine, the Association for Water, Soil and Air Hygiene and the German Association for Noise Abatement (DAL).

In summary, particular attention should to be paid to the following exposure ranges as seen by noise effects research. In the course of practical implementation in terms of legal regulations, it is to be expected that the ranges shown here should be shifted to lower levels in cases of new or extensively modified airports or airfields.

* The border to substantial annoyance has been reached with aircraft noise exposures of 55 dB(A) in the daytime and 45 dB(A) at night.

* From the point of view of preventive medicine, damage to health is to be expected from aircraft noise exposures of 60 dB(A) in the daytime and 50 dB(A) at night.

Correspondence Address:
H Ising
Rheinstr. 69, D-14612 Falkensee
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15070522

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