WHO meeting to estimate the burden of disease from environmental noise, Bonn, Germany, 14-15 October 2010

This meeting follows up on the results a WHO/Europe pilot study on the burden of disease of priority environmental exposures in six European countries. According to the study, environmental noise is the second leading cause of the environmental burden of disease in the selected countries.

Environmental noise is a threat to public health, with negative effects on human health and well-being. It is one of the most frequently complained environmental problems in Europe. Cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction and hypertension are consistently associated to exposure to environmental noise.

As of 2010, most EU countries reported strategic noise maps and action plans to reduce noise exposure to the EEA and the European Commission according to the European Noise Directive (END). However, data and information on the exposure level and health impacts of environmental noise are very limited in many Member States.

This meeting aims to:

  • estimate the burden of disease from environmental noise, focusing on cardiovascular disorders and sleep disturbance in as many European countries as possible; and
  • promote knowledge transfer to and assist capacity building of the Member States in the area of health risk assessment of environmental noise.

Conclusions and recommendations from the meeting will help local and national authorities in risk assessment and environmental health planning related to environmental noise.