In 2018 the World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, published “Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region” (http://www.euro.who.int/en/publications/abstracts/environmental-noise-guidelines-for-the-european-region-2018). This document is well researched, and the guidelines have been developed “based on the growing understanding of these health impacts of exposure to environmental noise.” The process of developing the guidelines was very comprehensive with a systematic review of available studies on noise effects, and the outcomes were further reviewed by teams of experts. On first read the noise levels in the recommendations appear to be very low, and these numbers have been used incorrectly in various media reports by not properly referring to the time-weighted metric used for each one. However, it is important to have a goal so that governments and organizations do not become complacent regarding the current status but make efforts to further reduce noise. The guidelines may well receive increased coverage around the International Noise Awareness Day on Wednesday April 24, 2019 (http://chchearing.org/noise/day/).
This March 2019 issue of NNI includes information on INTER-NOISE 2019, to be held in Madrid in June. This will be the main 2019 international gathering of those working in noise control engineering as well as a celebration of 50 years of the Spanish Acoustical Society. The comprehensive technical program will be well balanced by the social program.
As outlined in the accompanying editorial from our I-INCE treasurer, the major proportion of I-INCE income is spent on technical activities, with a great emphasis on providing encouragement and assistance for those entering the field. The Young Professionals Congress Attendance Grants are competitive, and in 2019, it was a challenge to select 20 recipients from 56 high-quality applications to receive the support. In addition, a Young Professionals Workshop is held one afternoon and comprises presentations on topics including networking, publications, starting a job, and so on, followed by the presentations of the awards and an informal networking social event. A recent initiative, again focused on young professionals, is a School on the Practice of Noise Control held on Sunday morning. Following the strong response to the first one held in 2018, a school is being organized by our VP Technical Activities, Patricia Davies, for INTER-NOISE Madrid. Another recent initiative is the provision of a YouTube video for the I-INCE lectures, with two from 2017, one from 2018, and a further one scheduled from a plenary lecture in 2019. The board welcomes suggestions for other initiatives from the member societies, and these can be raised with board members at any time as well as during the general assembly, held on Sunday afternoon before the commencement of the INTER-NOISE Congress.