Established in 1959 the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) is the only charity NGO in the UK, indeed the world, that specialises in every aspect of sound - how it affects us and how the sounds that we make affect others.
The NAS charitable aim is to improve and protect the aural environment to benefit all life forms, recognising that exposure to persistent, unwanted sound is detrimental to health, cognisance, productivity, health recovery and quality of life.
Working closely with government, local government, industry, academics and the public, NAS has forged a reputation for collaborative partnerships to achieve pioneering, yet practical and sustainable solutions to noise pollution. Its aim is to create, preserve and promote good acoustic environments and proactive soundscape management.
Noise can cause a number of negative health effects, increased blood pressure and stress, inability to sleep, fatigue, a sense of isolation and interference with communication. * WHO burden of disease
Defra quantifies the social cost of noise to UK taxpayers: £7 billion to £10 billion per annum: the highest environmental cost following air pollution at £16bn * DEFRA
EU study ‘Newly identified health risks’ says it could be commonplace in 2020 to see one in ten 30 year olds wearing a hearing aid because of irreversible hearing damage. * EU study reference
The Noise Abatement Society (NAS) was founded in 1959 by the entrepreneurial businessman John Connell OBE who believed that being exposed to excessive noise profoundly affected health, children's learning, productivity, and general quality of life – he called noise ‘the forgotten pollutant’.
John almost single-handedly lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament, when in 1960, noise became a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK. His practical problem-solving included introducing rubber dustbin lids and plastic milk crates to reduce urban disturbance, stopping night flights, and in the early 70’s he commissioned detailed planning for a revolutionary Thames Estuary Airport directing flight paths out to sea.
Today John’s daughter Gloria Connell OBE is CEO of the NAS. Gloria with her daughter Poppy founded Quiet Mark as a next generation commercial award programme closely associated to the NAS charity to further the core mission to make the best expertly verified noise reduction solutions more readily available for global designers, consumers and trade buyers. Quiet Mark celebrates its 10th anniversary in January 2022.
John Connell OBE
Founder, Noise Abatement Society
Gloria Elliott OBE
CEO, Noise Abatement Society
Co-founder & Chair, Quiet Mark
Founder & CEO, Quiet Mark
Today the internationally respected NAS seeks to accelerate change to protect future generations from a worsening aural environment by disseminating new methods of sound management, running an awareness programme for schools, incentivising industry to design low-noise technology and providing the only national helpline dedicated solely to the problems of noise.
“NAS cannot change the human condition, but it can offer practical ways to support those who wish to exercise choice in an otherwise noisy world.” Gloria Elliott OBE
Chief Executive, Noise Abatement Society
NAS operates a free National Noise Helpline to give support, advice and guidance to the public on noise issues. This is a vital conduit through which the Society gauges and responds to current public concerns, providing valuable data to inform and lobby policy makers and from which all its campaigns are based.
Helpline: 01273 823850
9am - 1pm
Mondays - Fridays
NAS is a technical member of the British Standards Institute and the ISO TC 43 working group 54 - a proactive member of the team developing the Soundscape standard which was published in September 2014 - a pioneering scientific measurement to reassess our aural environment to more accurately reflect how sound is perceived. Part 2 was published in 2017 and the final parts 3 & 4 will be published in 2019 led by the UK (NAS team). With NAS at the heart of this new pioneering sound measurement and acoustic management, the UK is in a position to lead the world in its development of practical research and outcomes which could be applied in many spheres. Leading in this area will give the UK considerable competitive advantage globally.
NAS conceived this collaborative holistic scheme in 2007 to enable swift, efficient out of hours deliveries without causing noise disturbances to residents to reduce congestion, improve air quality and safety in city centres. This programme was used as the basis for trials across the UK by the Department for Transport in a consortium with the NAS and the Freight Transport Association called the Quiet Delivery Demonstration Scheme which has informed Transport for London’s ‘anytime delivery’ programme. NAS was at the heart of this work carried out in London, the results of which are viewed by cities all over the world as examples of successful sustainable logistics.
The output of personal audio devices may range from 75 dB to as high as 136 dB. 100dB is the equivalent to hearing a pneumatic drill 10ft away.
Aimed at school-age children, this programme raises awareness about the dangers of listening too loud and for too long to personal music devices, as well as the long-term damage caused to hearing from exposure to loud music. NAS has carried out successful pilot trials and funding is now being sought to expand this preventative programme nationwide.
Held since 2000 at the Palace of Westminster to recognise local authorities, manufacturers and individuals who have been outstanding in their efforts to reduce the impact of noise nuisance, and pioneering innovative solutions to enhance the aural environment.
Read more about the John Connell Awards