Archives of Acoustics, 21, 3, pp. 227-229, 1996

The Conference NOISE CONTROL 95. Foreword

Z. Engel

The lOth International Conference on Protection Against Noise NOISE CONTROL 95 was held in Warsaw on June, 20-22nd, 1995. The conference was arranged by the Acoustic Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Polish Acoustic Society and the Central Institute for Labour Protection by co-operation with the Department of Mechanics and Vibroacoustics of the Academy of Mining and Metallurgy and the Department of Acoustics of the Building Research Institute in Warsaw.
The conference was patronized by
the vice-Premier and the Chairman of the State Committee for Scientific Research (KBN),
the Minister of Labour and Social Policy,
the Minister of Space Economy and Building Industry,
the Minister of Environment Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry,
the Minister of Industry and Trade.
The guiding subject of the NOISE CONTROL 95 conference was
Noise as a threat to the civilization
The conference NOISE CONTROL was held for the tenth time in Poland. It has been organized for several dozen years in Warsaw and Kraków, beeing inititated for the most part by Professor Stefan Czarnecki who died in 1982. It should be emphasized that the NOISE CONTROL conferences belong to those organized in Poland that are permanently indicated in the international diary of scientific congresses and conferences. It was not mere chance that the Central Institute for Labour Protection was chosen as the right location for the present conference. In that institution, that has a 45 years old tradition, there has been from the very beginning the Department of Acoustics. Nowadays, the Department of Acoustics of the Central Institute for Labour Protection is a centre dealing with the problems of protection against noise and vibrations, mainly in the labour environment, that has found approval not only in Poland, but also world-wide. Here, at the Institute for Labour Protection, worked Professor Czesław Puzyna who, in co-operation with Professor Stefan Czarnecki, was a precoursor in developing modern methods of limiting noise in Poland.
159 participants from Poland nad 9 other countries took part in the conference. The following planary lectures were given:

I. Malecki, Z. Engel, A. Lipowczan, J. Sadowski, Problems of Noise Control in Poland in the Way to European Integration
D. Augustyńska, European Directives and Standards for Vibroacoustic Protection
A. Cops, Sound Intensity: State-of-the Art in Noise Control of Buildings
K. Kido, Active Control or Passive Control?
A. Rakowski, Noise as Music

Beside the plenary session, there were 11 other sessions, including a poster one, in those 55 papers were presented; the topics were divided into 5 groups:

Fundamental Problems...........17 contributions
Noise in Industry..............16 contributions
Noise in the Environment....... 6 contributions
Measurements and Analysis......10 contributions
Active Methods................. 6 contributions

Poster sessions are a tradition of the polish conferences on protection against noise. In the plenary session, a few minutes were given to each author of a poster for the introduction in the problems of its paper. The large interest for the poster session, as well as the long discussions in front of the posters, justify the arrangement of those sessions.
During the conference, there was also a round-table session devoted to the laws of protection against noise. Special attention was paid to the imperfection of polish regulations concerning the protection against noise and vibrations. The law on environment protection from 1980 and the corresponding executory regulations, in those many errors have been indicated, were judged with particular criticism. The idea of a special law on the protection against noise was recalled. An appropriate project already exists. The lack of reliable regulations makes the estimation of the threat for the environment by noise, e.g. by aviation noise, difficult. The participants formulated a number of demands that, after a thorough analysis by the Acoustic Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences, will be handed over to the authorities.
A valuable supplement to the conference was the exhibition of measuring equipment and materials, sound absorbing fabrications and structures.
In the conference conclusions, the usefulness of those meetings was emphasized. The noise in the humans life and labour environment is a public imminence that brings about undesired social and economic consequences. The first ones consist in the fact that milions of people in Poland are exposed to noise of the level A exceeding 60 dB; the health effects are obviously negative, the hearing ability becomes irreversibly reduced, the risk of traffic and industrial accidents increase. The negative economic consequences is the lowered working capacity, increasing number of sick-leaves, the accelerated waste of machines and equipment and a hindrance in the export of the latters because the international standards are not met.
The noise threat is typified by a multitude of sources and by some univesality, expecially in large cities and in the industry. The most arduous sources of noise are communication routs and objects; this is of particular importance at the beginning of new superhighway- and national road-buildings, as well as in the modernization of airports.
In this issue of the Archives of Acoustics, there are published a few papers presented at the conference NOISE CONTROL 95.
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