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ARTICLES Table of Contents   
Year : 2004  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 22  |  Page : 3

Chairman of the Association of Physicians for Preventive Environmental Medicine

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How to cite this article:
Bartels K H. Introduction. Noise Health 2004;6:3

How to cite this URL:
Bartels K H. Introduction. Noise Health [serial online] 2004 [cited 2023 Nov 30];6:3. Available from: https://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2004/6/22/3/31996
The Association of Physicians for Preventive Environmental Medicine was founded 12 years ago in the vicinity of Munich. This non-profit association, purely of medical nature, originated from the environmental work undertaken in connection with the waste incineration plants planned in Bavaria and subsequently with the problems of excess noise generated at the airport, Munich II. Members of this association are practitioners from the rural districts of Freising and Erding as well as from the rest of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In laying down the statutes of this association, we, the practitioners involved, have resolved to donate our help in tracking down environmental medical problems and to contribute our professional medical knowledge towards the solution of such problems.

In addition to the everyday diverse and complex medical problems encountered in our practices, as a second occupation we have focussed our activities intensively on the field of medicine pertaining to excessive noise; in this process, we have worked together with a variety of different groups engaged in research on the effects of noise, and, above all, established the necessary contacts (scientists, politicians, airport holding companies, plane turbine manufacturers, others involved etc.) with the attempt to introduce and express the status of our medical understanding clearly and unmistakably.

The organization of a closed workshop by the members of the Association on June 16, 2001 in Neufahrn on the subject of night-flight noise exposure problems at German Airports, to which we were able to attract the participation of the majority of well-known German experts on noise effect research, represents our medical contribution in providing a surely unique active step within the field of German preventive medicine.

At the forefront of our activities, the said workshop was intended to provide an essential contribution, focussing on open questions of noise effect research. We had the following objectives and expectations for this workshop:

  1. A joint resolution with regard to a night protection concept (with a bandwidth for the limiting values)
  2. A joint opinion on the pathogenetic mechanisms incurred by nocturnal noise (does nocturnal noise only become a health problem if it leads to conscious/recollected arousal ?).
  3. An intensive discussion on the arousal threshold (is there a reliable arousal threshold dependent on noise ?).
  4. Is it advisable to devise a nocturnal protection concept solely dependent on a single functional parameter (e.g. arousal threshold or cortisol secretion) ?
  5. Which acoustic parameters would be best used in a protection concept ?

To summarize, following the Neufahrn workshop on June 16, 2001: as physicians we are in a position to assert that our demand for a night-flight ban for medical reasons is scientifically well founded and thus on a substantial basis.

Human health or maintenance of the same has to be given highest priority in all considerations - including those in the neighborhood of airports.

As an additional conclusion of the Neufahrn workshop, the noise effects researchers participating called on politicians, public bodies and other institutions to reassign noise effects research to its central position within the scope of applied sciences, and provide immediate access to the necessary funding for research projects of importance. Noise is, after all, generally accepted as environmental stress factor No. 1 in humans.

Correspondence Address:
K H Bartels
Chairman of the Association of Physicians for Preventive Environmental Medicine

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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