The Times letter to editor published 21 June 2019 on the challenges of tackling noise pollution, by Stephen Turner

We are delighted that The Times published today (21 June 2019) a letter from our President-Elect about the challenges of tackling noise pollution.

The IOA recognises that noise is an inevitable consequence of our mature and vibrant society, but also that there are health risks associated with exposure to noise.  The IOA is keen to work with Government to assist in the effective implementation of its noise policy which rightly recognises the need to strike the balance between the economic and social benefits from noise making activities with the noise impact that occurs. It is essential that we understand better the adverse effects of noise so we can optimise how we manage those effects.

Stephen Turner (President-Elect)

Copy from the letter follows:

Ministers 'Must Act' On Noise Pollution

It was around the turn of the millennium that Michael Meacher, then Environment Secretary, described noise as the Cinderella pollutant.  Nearly 20 years on it still is, so your article on noise (18th June 2019) is most welcome. ("Noise isn't just annoying, it takes years off your life," Times2, June 18) There still seems to be the perception, in some quarters, that people should just put up with noise and stop fussing.  Your article rightly shows that there is more to it than that.

We face challenges though in tackling noise pollution.  In the Government’s 25 year environment plan published last year, the word ‘noise’ appears just twice.  And in its Annex on Government strategies to protect and improve the environment, there is no mention of noise.  Given that many sources of noise are the same as sources of air pollution, perhaps The Times might like to extend its Clean Air for All campaign to cover the adverse effects of noise.
Stephen Turner
Institute of Acoustics

Published in The Times, Letter to the Editor, 21st June 2019.