Community noise: a fundamental ingredient of an environmental health performance indicator (CHERIO)

Regular paper

Danny Houthuijs


Monday 1 june, 2015, 11:40 - 12:00

0.8 Rome (118)

Various environmental factors can affect the health of the population in communities. We developed an environmental health risk indicator, the Cumulative health-based environmental risk indicator for outdoor pollutants (CHERIO), to rank the local potential risk and to compare the consequences of various policy alternatives. CHERIO is an indication of the environmental quality in a given residential address from a health perspective. Noise from transport and industrial sources, and air pollution (particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide) are currently the fundamental ingredients of CHERIO. The methodology to weight the varying health effects of these factors is based on the global burden of disease concept which enables to express the health risks of exposures in the same unit. CHERIO scores of various environmental factors can be cumulated to identify environmental health risk hot spots. The scores can be displayed on a map and can easily be interpreted (for example by comparing them to the average CHERIO in an area or by colour coding). CHERIO scores can also be summed and averaged over populations, which makes it in potential possible to benchmark for example municipalities nation-wide or agglomerations European-wide on their cumulative environmental health risk performance, or on their performance for underlying environmental factors (like total community noise or – source specific- road traffic noise). We foresee that health risks related to noise from wind farms, ground level ozone, Extreme Low Frequency radiation (power lines) and heat stress can be added to CHERIO in future. This paper will address the methodology of CHERIO for community noise, illustrate CHERIO’s features by presenting some examples of its (potential) use in different situations and discuss its opportunities and limitations.

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