Noise has emerged as a leading environmental nuisance in the WHO European Region, and public complaints about excessive noise are increasing. European ministers of health and the environment reaffirmed in the 2010 Parma Declaration their call to reduce children’s exposure to harmful noise in different settings. Such exposure may have life-long consequences.
WHO Guidelines for Community Noise
The 1999 WHO Guidelines for Community Noise were the first WHO guidelines on the topic of noise, and were a practical response to the need for action on community noise at the local level, as well as the need for improved legislation, management and guidance at the national and regional levels.
WHO Night Noise Guidelines for Europe
The 2009 WHO Night Noise Guidelines for Europe provide both evidence and recommendations that countries can easily use to introduce targeted limits for night noise. These guidelines support and integrate the 2002 European Union Environmental Noise Directive (2002/49/EC), which requires countries to map hotspots and reduce exposure, but does not set limit values.
WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region
The 2018 WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region provide comprehensive guidance on protecting human health from harmful exposure to environmental noise. They set health-based recommendations on average environmental noise exposure of five relevant sources of environmental noise. These sources are: road traffic noise, railway noise, aircraft noise, wind turbine noise and leisure noise.