B5.1 NOISE ASSESSMENT
Excessive noise is one of the most serious factors affecting adverse way health of inhabitants of large cities. Long-term affecting noise nuisance reduces quality of life and may be a joint reason of the creation of a number of diseases as stress, neurosis, pathological changes in blood pressure, etc.
Road traffic, especially the heavily growing automotive transport, is the major source of noise in urban environment. Besides vicinities of heavily loaded roads, the other heavily exposed areas are also vicinities of airports, railways, or even construction sites. Adverse effects of noise are reinforced due to highly concentrated population on relatively small areas. Prague is the worst affected area of the Czech Republic concerning noise effects on inhabitants.
The legally established criterion for the environmental noise immission assessment is the equivalent sound pressure level LAeq. It is average energy of momentary sound pressure level values A over a defined period of time. It is expressed in decibels (dB). Valid legislation on the operative assessment of acoustic conditions in ambient environment was in 2007 established by the Act No. 258/2000 Code, on public health, in valid wording, and in the related Order of the Government of the Czech Republic No. 148/2006 Code, on health protection against adverse effects of noise and vibrations.
In the field of strategic legislation on noise the transposition of the Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 June 2002 relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise became effective in the Czech Republic in 2007.