ENNAH − European Network on Noise and Health

Environmental noise, caused by traffic, industrial and recreational activities is considered to be a significant local environmental problem in Europe. Noise complaints have increased in Europe since 1992 and it is estimated that roughly 20% of the Union’s population or close to 80 million people suffer from noise levels which scientists and health experts consider unacceptable (European Commission Green Paper, Future Noise Policy, Brussels, 1996). Noise policy at the European level needs to be supported by research evidence on noise and health. The evidence on noise exposure and health varies across health outcomes and, although there have been considerable research achievements in this field, there are still significant gaps that need to be filled.

ENNAH project, in which NIOM is one of the partners, puts forward plans to establish a research network of experts on noise and health in Europe to refine knowledge on the effects of noise on health. The network brings together 33 European research centres to establish future research directions and policy needs for noise and health in Europe. The Network will focus on the study of environmental noise sources, in particular transport noise, as well as emergent sources of noise such as noise from wind farms and low frequency noise. It will review the existing literature on environmental noise exposure and health focussing on the consolidation of existing state of the art knowledge and the identification of gaps in the evidence and future research needs and hypotheses to be tested. In the network junior researchers in noise and health will be trained through setting up an exchange network across Europe.
The network will focus on noise exposure assessment in health studies in order to build more complex analytical models of noise and health effects that take into account moderating factors including the joint effects of air pollution and noise. A specific function of the network will be to establish communication between researchers on noise and researchers on air pollution.

As a result the measurement of health outcomes relevant to noise research will be improved and the available methodologies for future research will be strengthened, by extending analyses on existing research taking advantage of the large EU-funded RANCH and HYENA studies and relevant national studies. Novel designs for research on noise and health will be developed and a new strategy for the development of noise and health research in the future will be provided to the EU. The results will be disseminated to the EU, to national governments, to fellow researchers, and other stakeholders. The network will facilitate high level science communication and encourage productive interdisciplinary discussion and exchange.

Project manager:
prof. Mariola Śliwińska-Kowalska, MD, PhD:

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