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Volume 927: debated on Wednesday 2 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he has taken to expedite the international study of the harmful effects of noise, which was pledged in the Helsinki Final Act.

The problem of noise is being studied in a number of international organisations and is included in the work programme of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).The aim of the ECE's study is to asses the present status of knowledge and to recommend methods for the prevention and abatement of noise. A task force has been established and has held two meetings, the most recent was held in December 1976. Nine countries, including the United Kingdom, have provided background information on a number of agreed topics and a synthesis paper has been prepared. At a later stage a seminar on this subject may be organised.Her Majesty's Government regards the ECE as the main channel for the multilateral implementation of the economic sectors of the Helsinki Final Act. The work now being carried out in the ECE is therefore in full accord with the provisions of that document.