Environmental Public Health

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Environmental Public Health

Noise

Sound is essential to our daily lives, but noise is not - noise can be defined as unwanted sound. It is a source of irritation and stress for many people and can even damage our hearing if it is loud enough. Many of us are exposed to stressful levels of noise at home and at work.

A noise nuisance is often difficult to establish but, generally speaking, if something is unreasonable to the average person, a court might decide it is a statutory nuisance. Noise nuisance is covered by Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1990(EPA). This law empowers local authorities to deal with noise from fixed premises (including land) if they consider that the noise amounts to a statutory nuisance. Proceedings may be taken against noise from factories, shops, pubs, dwellings and stationary vehicles.

The Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 makes noise in the street a statutory nuisance. Traffic noise, noise made by military forces, or from campaigning demonstrations is excluded.