Right to Quiet Society Noiseletter
Fall 2015, page 2

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Public health researcher Irene van Kamp of the Netherlands presented Soundscapes and human restoration in green urban areas. van Kamp spoke of a new model in noise and soundscape research where there is emphasis on health benefits of quiet and natural settings. This model positions reduced noise as quiet, and emphasizes quiet as a health benefit within existing public health frameworks.

I also stay the course by always looking out for stories, interviews, the smallest of hopeful details that offer reassurance in some way:

Discovering a National Park Service web page devoted to soundscape preservation that offers suggestions such as "disable sounds on electronic door locks."

Finding out about Ford Vietnam's inspirational Driving Skills for Life safety program. In its eighth year, DSFL has incorporated a "No Honking" program during the last three years "to create a safer and more civilized traffic environment." According to its web site, DSFL is currently running in 330 cities and provinces in eight countries. The seamless integration of noise and safety in this program is a good example of incorporation of noise concerns into relevant public health and safety discourse.

Learning that Right to Quiet Society Board member Karl Raab has appeared as a guest on public radio station Radio-Canada, where he discusses horn-based vehicle alerts. You can read and listen to it by clicking on the corresponding URL at the bottom of the list below and click on "Audio Fil." The interview is in French.

Help the Silence the Horns project stay the course by visiting the action alert page regularly and participating in letter and e-mail drives that are featured there. The Consumer Reports letter drive has ended, but an EPA letter campaign recently launched, and using e-mail is an option.

Links to information pertaining to the article above:


London deaths linked to noise pollution in study

Scientists say reductions in traffic noise could be beneficial to our health

High levels of noise pollution in the capital have been linked to early death and a greater risk of stroke. A study led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) gathered data from 8.6 million people across London's 32 boroughs. Scientists found deaths were 4% more common in adults and the elderly where the day-time traffic noise was more than 60dB compared to less than 55dB. Experts said the study did not imply a causal link. Researchers looked at data for people living in Lon-don between 2003 and 2010.

'Pay more attention'

They analysed road traffic noise levels during the day, between 07:00 and 23:00 and at night, between 23:00 and 07:00. More than 1.6 million people in the city are ex-posed to road traffic noise levels during the day above 55dB, the level defined by the World Health Organisation

as causing health problems. Health problems can be caused by sleep disruption and stress from nighttime traffic noise. The increase in the number of deaths was most likely to be linked to heart or blood vessel disease, possibly due to increasaed blood pressure, sleep problems and stress from the noise, they said.

Jaana Halonen from LSHTM said: "Our findings contribute to the body of evidence suggesting reductions in traffic noise could be beneficial to our health." Prof Fran-cesco Cappuccio at the University of Warwick said the study was a "welcome addition" to the body of evidence about the role the environment plays in health. "Public health policies must pay more attention to this emerging evidence," he said. He warned the study did not imply a direct cause between noise pollution and early deaths and strokes, but added to evidence suggesting there was a link between the two.

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