PREPARED FOR NOISE/NEWS INTERNATIONAL, 2005 MARCH.
Noise control in Poland is the primary concern of the Committee on Acoustics of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Polish Acoustical Society. A member of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering since 1974, the Academy has organized noise and vibration control conferences since 1964, originally as national symposia and later (beginning at 1976) as International Noise Control Conferences.
One of the Academy.s largest undertakings in recent years was the XIII International Conference (Noise Control 04) held in Gydnia in June 2004. The conference, convened just one month after Poland entered the EU, focused on how to implement EU environmental protection directives. Special interest sessions also covered specific technical solutions for noise control issues. The event was co-organized by the Central Institute for Labour Protection-National Research Institute and the Polish Acoustical Society.
Although the first measurements of municipal noise in Poland were taken more than 70 years ago, interest in noise control issues didn’t fully develop until the 1948 publication of Building Acoustics by Professor Ignacy Malecki. A pioneer in the noise control field, Malecki is credited with initiating a lengthy period of scientific and technological study of noise issues, as well as legal efforts to manage them. His work led to educational programs in electroacoustics, national research programs on lowering noise levels, and well-equipped acoustic laboratories.
Today, Malecki’s groundbreaking work is carried forward at many prestigious Polish institutions: Technical University, Wroclaw (Laboratory of Electroacoustics); Technical University, Warsaw (chair of electroacoustics); Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan (Laboratory of Acoustics now the Department of Acoustics and Vibration Theory); University of Science and Technology, Cracow (chair of mechanics and vibroacoustics), Institute of Basic Technical Problems of the Polish Academy of Sciences; and the Main Mining Institute, Katowice.
In 1971, the Polish government passed a resolution on noise control programs and the first legislation dealing with the issue was formulated. The scope of the problem became apparent a decade later with the first published reports on noise and vibration hazards (1984 and 1987). According to the data, the main sources of noise pollution were—and continue to be—cars, airplanes, and industry. Over 20 percent of the country is subjected to high levels of traffic noise; excessive noise levels endanger about 330,000 workers.
In response to the data, a national program of environmental protection was announced in 1988, outlining the direction of noise control activities through 2010. The report acknowledged that a substantial percentage of the Polish population is overexposed to unacceptable noise levels created primarily by transportation and industry. It called for, among other things, scientific research on noise control issues; the introduction of modern urban and architectural solutions to improve the acoustic conditions of the environment; and measures to ensure proper operating conditions of infrastructure contributing to noise problems (e.g., highways, factories, electrical supply lines, gas piping, etc.). Noise policy was part of the environmental protection law passed by Polish parliament in April 2001.
In addition to the directives of this legislation, the country’s leaders are also concerned with meeting the requirements of the Environmental Noise Directive now being implemented in member states of the European Union. (Poland joined the EU in 2004.) The EU directive requires that noise maps and action plans (noise policy) be made for:
- Agglomerations with populations greater than 100,000
- Major roads with more than 3 million vehicles a year (approximately 8,000 a day)
- Major railways with more than 30,000 trains a year
- Major civil airports with more than 50,000 operations year (approximately 135 day)
The first maps for major areas are required by mid-2007, and action plans are required one year later.
Committee on Acoustics—Polish Academy of Sciences
Polska Akademia Nauk
Palac Kultury i Nauki
Skrytka pocztowa 24
Facsimile: +48 22 826 2996