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In the EU, more than 100 million people suffer from noise levels that are considered to have a negative effect on health. Member States’ representatives, scientists, and environmental health NGOs came together in Brussels to discuss options to tackle environmental noise. HEAL’s Deputy Director Roberta Savli joined the conference to outline the evidence of health effects of noise.

Prolonged exposure to road, railway and aircraft traffic noise can cause a wide range of health effects, from sleep disturbance and annoyance to cardiovascular diseases and even premature deaths. Over 100 million people in the European Union are believed to suffer from noise levels that have a negative impact on our health.

To further open up the discussion on this important topic, representatives from Member States, public authorities, scientists as well as environmental and health NGOs came together in Brussels in mid-April to discuss policy options to ensure the right balance between the transport we all depend on, and the healthy lives we want and need.

Reflecting upon the Health and Environment Alliance’s (HEAL) previous in-depth work on environmental noise pollution, HEAL’s Deputy Director Roberta Savli joined the discussions to outline the evidence of the health effects of noise. Representatives of the WHO Centre for Environment and Health in Bonn also joined the discussion to present the status of the guidelines on noise that are currently under review and that will be launched by the end of the year.

Keynote introductions were given by Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport. Few policy recommendations were drawn at the end of the meeting, including reaching the EU seventh environmental action programme’s goal, which requires the EU to protect its citizens by reducing noise exposure and moving closer to WHO recommended lines, and better implementation of the environmental noise directive.

For more information, please visit the official event page.

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