Environmental Noise Pollution: Noise Mapping, Public Health, and Policy PDF by Enda Murphy and Eoin King

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Environmental Noise Pollution: Noise Mapping, Public Health, and Policy
by Enda Murphy and Eoin King
Environmental Noise Pollution: Noise Mapping, Public Health, and Policy

Acknowledgements ix
Preface xi
1. Environmental Noise Pollution 1
1.1 Debates and Challenges 1
1.2 Environmental Noise 3
1.3 The Book’s Focus and Raison D’eˆtre 4
References 7
2. Principles of Environmental Noise 9
2.1 Sound as a Wave 10
2.1.1 Speed of Sound, Wavelength and Frequency 11
2.1.2 Frequency 12
2.1.3 Broadband vs. Tonal Noise Sources 16
2.2 Representing Sound Levels with the Decibel Scale 18
2.2.1 Sound Power, Sound Pressure and Sound Intensity 19
2.2.2 Typical Decibel Levels 22
2.2.3 Working with Decibels 23
2.3 A-Weighting 24
2.3.1 Other Weightings 26
2.4 Noise Metrics 27
2.4.1 Continuous Equivalent Noise Level: Leq 28
2.4.2 Statistical Indicators: L10, L90, etc. 29
2.4.3 Universal EU Noise Indicators Lden and Lnight 30
2.4.4 Other Common Metrics 31
2.5 Measuring Noise 33
2.5.1 A Competent Person 33
2.5.2 Sound Level Meters and Calibration 34
2.5.3 Measurement Period 34
2.5.4 Microphone Position 36
2.5.5 Extraneous and Residual Noise 36
2.5.6 Measurements for Strategic Noise Maps 37
2.5.7 Observations on a Typical Noise Survey for Road Traffic Noise 38
2.6 Outdoor Sound Propagation 39
2.6.1 Geometric Divergence 40
2.6.2 Atmospheric Absorption 42
2.6.3 Ground Effect 42
2.6.4 Diffraction 43
2.6.5 Miscellaneous Other Effects 45
2.7 Conclusion 47
References 48
3. Environmental Noise and Health 51
3.1 Introduction 51
3.2 The Noise–Health Problem 52
3.3 The Noise–Stress Relationship and Effects Overview 55
3.4 Environmental Noise and Annoyance 57
3.5 Environmental Noise and Sleep Disturbance 61
3.6 Environmental Noise and Cardiovascular Disease 66
3.6.1 Hypertension 66
3.6.2 Ischaemic Heart Disease 68
3.7 Environmental Noise and Cognitive Impairment in Children 69
3.8 Environmental Noise and Tinnitus 72
3.9 The Special Case of Low-Frequency Noise 73
3.10 Conclusion 74
References 76
4. Strategic Noise Mapping 81
4.1 Introduction 81
4.2 EU Noise Policy and Legislation 82
4.3 The Environmental Noise Directive 85
4.4 Strategic Noise Mapping 86
4.4.1 Data Collection/Input Data 88
4.4.2 Calculation Methods for Noise Mapping 89
4.4.3 Producing a Noise Map 96
4.4.4 Estimating Population Exposure 99
4.4.5 Noise Action Planning 104
4.4.6 Dissemination of Results to the General Public 106
4.5 Strategic Noise Mapping in the EU: Results from the First Phase (2007) 110
4.6 Strategic Noise Mapping Beyond the EU 114
4.7 Conclusion 118
References 118
5. Transportation Noise 123
5.1 Road Traffic Noise 125
5.1.1 Rolling Noise 126
5.1.2 Engine Noise 127
5.1.3 Road Traffic Noise Calculation Methods 129
5.2 Railway Noise 140
5.2.1 Rolling Noise 142
5.2.2 Engine Noise 144
5.2.3 Aerodynamic Noise 144
5.2.4 Other Sources 144
5.2.5 Railway Noise Calculation Methods 145
5.3 Aircraft Noise 153
5.3.1 Aircraft Noise Sources 154
5.3.2 Aircraft Noise Calculation Methods 155
5.4 Limitations and Further Considerations 161
5.4.1 Road Traffic Noise 162
5.4.2 Railway Noise 165
5.4.3 Aircraft Noise 166
5.5 Conclusion 167
References 168
6. Industrial and Construction Type Noise 173
6.1 A Note on Noise Criteria 174
6.2 Industrial Noise 175
6.2.1 Industrial Noise Annoyance 176
6.2.2 Developing Noise Maps of Industrial Sources 178
6.3 Port Noise 186
6.4 Airports as Industrial Sources 188
6.5 Wind Farm Noise 189
6.5.1 Wind Farm Noise Emission 191
6.5.2 Background Noise Assessment 192
6.5.3 Noise Limits for Wind Farms 193
6.6 Construction Noise 194
6.6.1 Sources of Construction Noise 195
6.6.2 Hours of Activity 195
6.7 Mining Mineral/Extraction Sites 197
6.8 Conclusion 198
References 199
7. Noise Mitigation Approaches 203
7.1 Introduction 203
7.2 Strategic Noise Mitigation: The Noise Action Planning Process 204
7.3 Mitigation Approaches 210
7.4 Source-Based Abatement 212
7.4.1 Legislation (Regulation) 212
7.4.2 Low-Noise Road/Rail Surfaces and Maintenance 213
7.4.3 Low-Noise Tyres 218
7.4.4 Driver Behaviour 220
7.4.5 Traffic Management 220
7.4.6 Traffic Engineering and Modal Shift 223
7.5 Propagation Measures 224
7.5.1 Land Use Planning 224
7.5.2 Building Design 225
7.5.3 Barriers 227
7.5.4 Building/Fac¸ade Insulation 231
7.6 Case Studies in Noise Abatement 233
7.6.1 Roads 233
7.6.2 Railways 234
7.6.3 Urban Soundscapes 236
7.7 Cost-Efficiency Issues 239
7.8 Conclusion 241
References 242
8. Conclusions and Future Directions 247
8.1 Progress 250
8.2 Limitations and Future Research Priorities 255
References 260
Index 261

Environmental noise has traditionally been dismissed as an inevitable fact of life and has not been targeted and controlled to the same extent as other health risks. A growing body of research linking noise to adverse health effects coupled with proactive legislation, primarily in the EU, is now driving change. Environmental noise has often been referred to as the ‘forgotten pollutant’ but is now recognised as an environmental and public health issue which needs to be addressed in modern society. For some people, noise is nothing more than a minor inconvenience, but for others noise exposure can lead to negative health effects varying from annoyance and sleep deprivation to more serious issues such as hearing impairment and cardiovascular diseases. Indeed, excessive exposure to environmental noise has been linked to a series of negative health effects in children including their cognitive impairment. For the first time, clear links between these adverse health effects and noise exposure have been identified, and estimates of their proliferation across the population have been established. The World Health Organization recently estimated that at least 1 million healthy life years are lost every year from traffic-related noise alone in Western Europe while the social cost of noise from road and rail across the EU has been valued at approximately €40 billion per year. Given that dose–response investigations are still relatively under investigated, it is likely we have not yet fully grasped the true extent of the noise pollution problem.

Despite this increase in awareness and the rapidly accumulating evidence pointing to the health issues associated with excessive noise pollution, environmental noise continues to be poorly understood by practitioners, policymakers and the general public. Although environmental noise issues now feature on the policy agenda, there is no adequate reference guide available that is relevant to specialists while also being accessible to policymakers, students and non-specialists. The core aim of this book is to provide such a reference guide. This text is thus intended to serve as a guideline for all stakeholders, ranging from professionals working in the field to members of the general public wishing to learn more about environmental noise. It is also meant as a reference guide for students studying acoustics, civil and environmental engineering, urban planning as well as public health professionals.

The key to driving effective change in environmental noise pollution is to clearly define the problem and then identify appropriate control strategies and actions. In discussions with the general public, it seems that most people can easily relate to the problem of noise pollution – everyone knows someone who is annoyed either by aircraft noise or noise from a busy road or factory. Addressing noise issues requires a deeper understanding of various control strategies and must be sensitive to a range of technical and contextual issues. This book endeavours to provide the material necessary to develop this understanding irrespective of whether the reader is a planner, politician, acoustician, student or member of the general public.

We begin by introducing the fundamentals of acoustics and focus specifically on how they relate to the assessment and management of environmental noise. The aim here is to provide readers who may not have scientific background with technical information that is needed to understand subsequent chapters and to do so in a manner that is accessible to a wide-ranging audience. This is followed by a state-of-the-art review of existing studies linking long-term environmental noise exposure with various adverse health effects.We also detail the chief source mechanisms for the key categories of environmental noise: road, rail, aircraft and industrial sources. Noise prediction/calculation methods for different noise sources used across the world are also outlined and discussed in detail, and this information provides the reader with an appreciation of the technical detail involved in noise prediction modelling. The book concludes with examples of best practice in noise mitigation strategies. The most effective noise mitigation approaches generally take a holistic approach to noise abatement and rarely focus on only one technical initiative. To highlight this, we identify specific initiatives that best emphasis how mitigation measures should form part of an overall noise control policy.

In general terms, this book is aimed at an international audience, and it is intended to act as a robust reference guide for stakeholders globally. After all, environmental noise is a global issue and does not recognise national borders. Europe is undoubtedly the world leader in planning for the management and control of noise pollution. Accordingly, the European Union’s Environmental Noise Directive is considered in detail along with an assessment of how various Member States set about achieving the ambitious requirements set down by that seminal piece of legislation. The Directive has probably been the single most progressive step in the battle to control the proliferation of environmental noise.

The results from the first round of noise mapping under the Directive (completed in 2007) show that lessons learned from this phase have directly improved the approach towards noise mapping in the most recent second phase (completed in 2012). These lessons may serve to guide all stakeholders on best practice in the assessment of noise. The European experience can be used to highlight not only best practice but also potential pitfalls that should be should be avoided for noise assessment and management. Throughout the text, we identify both the strengths and weaknesses of the Environmental Noise Directive and the approach to its implementation by Member States.

The successful management and control of environmental noise involves interdisciplinary considerations. When environmental noise is considered at an early stage, for example, by vehicle manufacturers, it can frequently be eliminated at source. This is always the preferred solution because noise control as a retrograde step is usually much less effective and sometimes wholly ineffective. Noise should be a detailed consideration in national planning systems which could be strengthened with appropriate legislative instruments. Indeed, it is considerably easier and cheaper to redesign a road on paper then to subsequently erect noise barriers across hundreds of kilometres of road. Of course, environmental noise considerations should not be limited to planners and engineers.

Automobile and tyre manufacturers should consider noise in the design process of vehicles and tyres. Industrial operators should consider noise levels in all site operations and should favour quieter machines and processes where possible. If real change is to be realised, perhaps the most logical, albeit controversial, step is to introduce statutory environmental noise limits that are rigorously enforced. Moreover, there is potential for a psychoacoustic approach towards noise controlwhich might helpmaximise the impact of mitigation measures. This approach has many attractive aspects but is not yet sufficiently developed to make a real difference in current noise mitigation strategies. However, it is our hope that this book will spark debate and interest in these and related emerging concepts and ideas.

For the first time, this book brings together academic expertise, real-world experience and international computational methods and guidelines for understanding environmental noise. We provide a comprehensive overview of the issue, how it can be assessed according to a number of different methodologies and, most importantly, how it can be mitigated. Our aim is to inform the reader in such a way so that the best solution(s) available on a case-by-case basis might be more effectively understood and identified. We do not intend to offer definitive overage of all problems – the breadth and scale of the topic renders this impossible.

Instead, we attempt to educate the reader on the principles of environmental noise in order to provide a sound basis upon which noise issues can be considered. In some ways, the aspiration of the book is similar to the overall objective of the Environmental Noise Directive: to reduce exposure to environmental noise by raising understanding and awareness of its impact. While this has not yet been realised, the tide of understanding and awareness is slowly turning and thus this book represents one more in a series of small steps towards a healthier, quieter society.
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