This post has been written by Laurens Lavrysen, one of our colleagues at the Human Rights Centre.
Traffic noise pollution – especially at night – is one of the biggest health risks of contemporary Europe. This kind of pollution causes inter alia sleep disturbance, cardiovascular diseases, aberrant social behavior and stress. Guidelines from the World Health Organization recommend an average of less than 40 dB(A) outside of bedrooms to prevent negative health effects from night noise. Nonetheless, figures of the European Union show that about 30 % of the population in EU countries is exposed to road traffic noise at night at levels exceeding 55 dB(A) (see: http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/environmental-health/noise/). It seems surprising that it was only in the very recent case of Deés v. Hungary that the European Court of Human Rights had to rule on this severe environmental problem. Continue reading