Archivo de la etiqueta: Noise annoyance

A Better Way to Compare Aircraft Noise and Emissions?

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A Better Way to Compare Aircraft Noise and Emissions?
by Nick Miller

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently published “Burden of disease from environmental noise, Quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe.” The title sparked my interest because there is an on-going effort in the U.S. to quantify and compare the relative adverse effects on society caused by aviation noise and aviation produced air pollutants. For the primary air pollutants, current U.S. work translates benefits of reductions to such things as reductions in premature mortality and in chronic bronchitis, to which dollar benefits are assigned. For noise, the Noise Depreciation Index (NDI) reveals how many dollars in housing prices are gained by reducing noise.

I’ve always been troubled by this comparison of dollars of house price saved versus dollars of lives saved –not because I doubt either the calculations or assigning dollars to a life, which is standard in many cost benefit analyses. But my opinion, shared I think by many who deal with community reactions to aircraft noise, is that house prices really don’t reflect the adverse noise effects of living near a busy airport. For one thing, realtors and sellers go out of their way to down-play the aircraft noise issue.

Well, whether or not we want to pursue that debate, here come the Europeans and WHO, with “disability-adjusted life-years” (DALYs) as a method for quantifying any environmental health effect, and a report specifically addressing noise. Though my hopes for enlightenment about aircraft noise were immediately dashed when I learned that this report deals almost exclusively with the effects of road traffic noise, the DALY method may eventually have some use for comparison of aviation noise and emissions effects.

So how do we compute DALYs? Basically it’s the sum of years of life lost (e.g., premature mortality) and years lived with disability, or years of healthy life lost (e.g., suffering chronic bronchitis). The noise produced disabilities the WHO report examines are cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in children, sleep disturbance, tinnitus and annoyance. These are all adverse health effects consistent with the WHO definition of health as being “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.”

Computation of DALYs requires knowledge of the number of people exposed to each level of noise, a dose-response relationship that gives percent of people affected at each level, the “disability weight,” DW, assigned to the effect (DW equals zero means no health effect, DW equals one, you die), and the number of years of living with the disability or years of life lost. Obviously, many assumptions are required, but I like the way the large number of assembled subject area experts synthesized their knowledge and the research literature results to quantify each variable and calculate the DALYs for each health effect.

What most struck me, was the number of experts (41 are listed) who participated in developing the report. In contrast, current U.S. efforts have required that many people come up to speed on the effects of aircraft noise on people, working with an additional very few who had actually worked in the field of aircraft noise effects. (Three cheers to the FAA for bringing in experts from outside the U.S. to assist with development of the Aviation Noise Impacts Roadmap.) To be clear, those who had to learn, were already experts, many in acoustics, just not in aviation noise and its effects.

In some ways, how sad. In the 1970’s the U.S. lead the world in developing the knowledge needed to formulate a national policy on noise and noise control. But those efforts all stopped short in the early 1980’s. Hence, most of those with expertise have retired and no new blood added for these three decades.

Now that we are concerned about how we can expand the U.S. air transport system, change airspace use, add runways, and increase the use of under-utilized airports, recognition has come that we better understand what the noise and air quality effects will be on society. Let’s hope that we can develop enough understanding to provide the aviation decision-makers with the information they need for science based noise and emissions policy. Perhaps a bit more of looking to research results gathered outside the U.S. would benefit our efforts. Sigue leyendo

La Comisión Europea se prepara para los cargos de emisión de ruido por uso de vía de tren

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European Commission prepares for noise dependent track access charges

17 September, the European Commission published the proposal for a so-called recast of the Directive establishing a single European railway market (reference 2001/14/EC). The proposal includes an obligation to include noise related cost in the track access charges. Article 31(5) of the Proposal reads:
“When charging for the cost of noise effects is allowed by Union legislation for road freight transport, the infrastructure charges shall be modified to take account of the cost of noise effects caused by the operation of the train in accordance with Annex VIII, point 2. Annex VIII, point 2 may be amended in the light of experience, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 60, in particular to specify the elements of differentiated infrastructure charges.”

Whereas Annex VIII, 2 reads:
“2. Noise-differentiated infrastructure charges referred to in Article 31(5) shall meet the
following requirements:
(a) The charge shall be differentiated to reflect the composition of a train of vehicles respecting limit values for noise set by Commission Decision 2006/66/EC19 (TSI Noise).
(b) Priority shall be given to freight wagons.
(c) Differentiation according to the noise emission levels of freight wagons shall
allow the payback of investments within a reasonable period for retrofitting wagons with the most economically viable low-noise braking technology available.
(d) Further elements to differentiate charges may be considered such as:
i) time of day, in particular night-time for noise emissions;
ii) train composition with an impact on the level of noise emissions;
iii) sensitivity of the area affected by local emissions;
iv) further classes for noise emissions significantly lower than the one referred to under point (a).”

The so-called 2nd reading for this proposal can be expected for early 2012, with a possible implementation in the Member States by early 2015. Slowly, the harmonised noise dependent track access charges are coming ! Sigue leyendo

European Commission prepares for noise dependent track access charges

[Visto: 2375 veces]

17 September, the European Commission published the proposal for a so-called recast of the Directive establishing a single European railway market (reference 2001/14/EC). The proposal includes an obligation to include noise related cost in the track access charges. Article 31(5) of the Proposal reads:
“When charging for the cost of noise effects is allowed by Union legislation for road freight transport, the infrastructure charges shall be modified to take account of the cost of noise effects caused by the operation of the train in accordance with Annex VIII, point 2. Annex VIII, point 2 may be amended in the light of experience, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 60, in particular to specify the elements of differentiated infrastructure charges.”

Whereas Annex VIII, 2 reads:
“2. Noise-differentiated infrastructure charges referred to in Article 31(5) shall meet the
following requirements:
(a) The charge shall be differentiated to reflect the composition of a train of vehicles respecting limit values for noise set by Commission Decision 2006/66/EC19 (TSI Noise).
(b) Priority shall be given to freight wagons.
(c) Differentiation according to the noise emission levels of freight wagons shall
allow the payback of investments within a reasonable period for retrofitting wagons with the most economically viable low-noise braking technology available.
(d) Further elements to differentiate charges may be considered such as:
i) time of day, in particular night-time for noise emissions;
ii) train composition with an impact on the level of noise emissions;
iii) sensitivity of the area affected by local emissions;
iv) further classes for noise emissions significantly lower than the one referred to under point (a).”

The so-called 2nd reading for this proposal can be expected for early 2012, with a possible implementation in the Member States by early 2015. Slowly, the harmonised noise dependent track access charges are coming ! Sigue leyendo

Estudio sugiere relación entre exposición al ruido aéreo e infartos

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Un estudio realizado por científicos (The University of Bern), en Suiza sugiere que existe una correlación

Los casos de las personas mayores de 30 años fallecidas de un ataque al corazón se compararon con los que fallecieron por otra causa. Se observó, donde vivía la gente y el nivel de ruido aéreo al que fueron expuestos (en dBA). La exposición al ruido durante la noche y el día también se evaluó.
Los investigadores analizaron los datos de 4.580.311 personas durante el período de estudio de cinco años. Durante este tiempo, hubo 15.532 muertes por ataques al corazón y 282.916 muertes por otras causas.
Las personas que habían estado expuestos al ruido de los aviones de más de 60 decibeles o más tenían un riesgo mayor de morir de un ataque al corazón, en comparación con aquellos que fueron expuestos a menos de 45 decibelios.
Los investigadores sugieren que la exposición a altos niveles de ruido de los aviones podrían llevar a mayores niveles de estrés psicológico, a su vez conduce a la presión arterial alta y enfermedades del corazón.
Encontraron la población que vivía más cerca de las trayectorias de vuelo de Suiza tendían a ser de bajo nivel socio-económico, aunque es posible que esto no puede ser el caso de la población irlandesa que vive a lo largo de las trayectorias de vuelo. Sigue leyendo