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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 18  |  Page : 21-24
The work of I-INCE Technical Study Group 2 on noise labels for consumer and industrial products

Berry Environmental Ltd - BEL, Surrey, United Kingdom

Click here for correspondence address and email

In 1999 a new I-INCE Technical Study Group TSG 2 was formed on "Noise labels for consumer and industrial products". This was intended to survey current methods for labelling and otherwise characterizing the noise emissions of consumer and industrial products. Note that labelling can mean more than just a physical label - it might be details in a Technical Manual. The measurement methods used by testing authorities were to be included in the survey. The methodologies were to be compared, and an assessment made of their relative effectiveness. The study of noise labelling is part of an educational program to advise on how, and in what form such labelling should be implemented. There has been active participation in the TSG from UK, USA, Japan, Norway, Turkey, Belgium and Brazil, with email exchange of information and 3 meetings, at Internoise 2000 in Nice, 2001 in Den Haag and 2002 in Dearborn, USA. More recently the survey questionnaire has been sent to all the 46 Member Societies of I-INCE. This paper explains the survey and summarises current results1.

Keywords: noise labelling, product sound

How to cite this article:
Berry B F. The work of I-INCE Technical Study Group 2 on noise labels for consumer and industrial products. Noise Health 2003;5:21-4

How to cite this URL:
Berry B F. The work of I-INCE Technical Study Group 2 on noise labels for consumer and industrial products. Noise Health [serial online] 2003 [cited 2023 Dec 5];5:21-4. Available from: https://www.noiseandhealth.org/text.asp?2003/5/18/21/31822

  What is I-INCE? Top

The International Institute of Noise Control Engineering (I-INCE) was founded in 1974. It is a worldwide consortium of organizations concerned with noise control, acoustics and vibration. The primary focus of the Institute is on unwanted sounds and on vibrations producing such sounds when transduced. I-INCE is the sponsor of the INTER-NOISE Series of International Congresses on Noise Control Engineering held annually in leading cities of the world. I-INCE also co-sponsors symposia on specialized topics within the I-INCE field of interest. The Bimonthly magazine Noise/News International is jointly published by I-INCE and the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the USA (INCE/USA).

The website is www.i-ince.org

  Technical Study Groups Top

In 1992, I-INCE instituted a program to undertake technical initiatives on critically­important issues of international concern within the I-INCE field of interest. This initiative has resulted in three reports and six ongoing Technical Study Groups.

The reports are available from the I-INCE website and are as follows;

Technical Assessment of Upper Limit on Noise in the Workplace

(I-INCE Publication 97-1)

Technical Assessment of Effectiveness in Noise Walls

(I-INCE Publication 99-1)

Noise Emissions of Road Vehicles Effects of Regulations

(Final Report 2001-1)

The ongoing TSGs are;

TSG1 Outdoor Recreational Activities

TSG2 Noise labelling of consumer and industrial products

TSG3 Noise Policies and Regulations

TSG4 Noise Control for Schoolrooms TSG5 Noise as a Global Policy issue

TSG6 Community Noise: Environmental Noise Impact Assessment

Full details of the scope of each TSG and reports on work so far, are on I-INCE website.

  TSG 2 Top

Consumer goods are sold at retail to ultimate customers for personal or household use, indoors or outdoors. Industrial products are sold to commercial firms for a wide variety of purposes. In many parts of the world, consumer and industrial goods are sold without any noise limitations, and frequently no indication to the purchaser how noisy the products will be when installed, either to those who operate the products or to those in the vicinity. There is much work in progress to develop international and national standards for measuring the noise characteristics of consumer and industrial products, and there are testing organizations in many countries which carry out appropriate evaluations. However, the noise data available to the typical customer is frequently limited, even in those countries where there is great concern for noise at the workplace, in the home, and in the neighbourhood.

The TSG has attempted to assemble information from the countries whose representatives are participating in the study on noise labelling methodologies. Such methodologies are intended to provide effective means for specifying the noise properties of consumer and industrial products to make it possible for the purchasers to select low-noise products. The intent is to provide information that will benefit the users of these products, and their neighbours. The ultimate goal is to make the low noise of products an important competitive factor in the sale of such products. An important aspect of this study is to develop recommendations on how and in what form labelling can be implemented to bring about people's awareness of the effects of excessive noise, and the need to reduce noise immission levels to preserve health and provide an acceptable environment.

  Membership Top

Following the formal agreement to initiate the work in 1999, a request for participation was sent from I-INCE to all Member Societies. Members were offered from the following

Australia (Australian Acoustical Society)

Warwick Williams;

Belgium (Belgian Acoustical Association)

Dominique Pleeck;

Brazil (Brazilian Acoustical Society)

Samir Gerges;

Czech Republic (Czech Acoustical Society); Japan (INCE/Japan) and (Acoustical Society of Japan) Ikuo Kimizuka;

Korea (Korean Society for Noise and Vibration Engineering) Doo-Hoon Kim; Norway (Acoustical Society of Norway)

K. Selvaag;

Slovenia (Slovenian Acoustical Society)

N. Holecek and J Rejec; Turkey (Turkish Acoustical Society)

Hakan Serafettinoglu;

United Kingdom(Institute of Acoustics)

Bernard Berry;

U.S.A. (Acoustical Society of America)

Robert Hellweg and Joe Pope; U.S.A. (INCE/USA)

Robert Hellweg.

  First Meeting Top

The TSG held its 1st meeting on 29 August 2000 at Internoise 2000 in Nice. The TSG discussed and agreed its Scope, based on that initially posted on the I-INCE website, but with modifications. It agreed a Workplan including, as a first priority, a survey of current methods of labelling, and related measurement methods, across I-INCE Member societies represented on the TSG.

  Survey of Current methods Top

A Five-item Questionnaire was produced by the Convenor in September 2000 and, after consultation with members of the TSG, was accepted as the basis of the Survey. It was distributed to members by email and the initial target date for completion of the survey was December 31 2000. The 5 items were;

A. What international, national, and local regulations and standards are in use in your country which involve the noise labelling of products of any kind. Please summarise the key parts of any official documents, including details of the test methods used to determine noise output for any labelling, and the details of the actual labelling.


B. Do you think the information given on noise labels could be improved ?

For example should Sound Quality indicators such as Loudness be considered ? ---------------------

C. If applicable, how effective do you think noise labelling has been in your country. Not effective/ Effective / Very effective ---------------------

D. Do you know of any technical/consultancy reports, conference papers on this topic? ---------------------

E. Do you have any other general comments or observations of relevance to this survey ? ---------------------

  Second meeting Top

A second meeting of the TSG was held prior to Internoise 2001 in Den Haag. A key part of this meeting was a detailed account of the very interesting approach taken in Brazil to labelling, through the "Programa silencio". Information was provided on the basic regulations and standards, testing infrastructure and labelling procedure. An example of one of the labels is shown in [Figure - 1].

At the second meeting, it was agreed that, to supplement input from active participants in the TSG, an email enquiry should be made of all 46 I-INCE Member Societies.

  Current status Top

To date, responses to the survey questionnaire have been received from;

China, Japan, Norway, Turkey, Russia, South Africa, UK, USA

Even though numbers of responses are small, a large amount of information has been obtained on relevant standards in response to the first survey question. Of particular interest is the Ecomark system used in Japan. In the USA, ANSI are making progress with an American version of ISO 4871, ANSI S12.61-200X.

On question B, a significant majority of responses favoured additional information such as sound quality on noise labels, to supplement sound power/sound level information. It was noted that in the USA some industrial organizations have developed product specific measurement standards, including for example, the Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA). The AMCA Home Ventilation Division (HVI) has administered its sound certification program for 30 years, providing a simple, single number, linear rating that consumers can use to compare the noise emissions from products. This noise number is on the carton of all home ventilator fans - it is determined according to a unique test related to sound power and reported in units of sones.

On question C, only in Russia was labelling seen as effective. In Norway it was noted that labelling was effective for industrial equipment but not for consumer products. From Question D a number of interesting reports were identified [Buruk and Serafettinoglu, 1996; Porter and Berry, 1997; Tsukernikov and Nekrasov, 2001 ].

Question E elicited this interesting comment from South Africa. "The other main application, which is of greater importance, is labelling of equipment for Industrial purposes. If Industrial equipment is supplied with all the sound power characteristics in Octave bands, these values could be used in Environmental Planning. At the moment Noise Impact investigations are very expensive, because the noise radiation characteristics of equipment is not available, and must be measured at great cost."

A 3rd meeting was held prior to Internoise 2002 in Dearborn to discuss a draft I-INCE report.

It was decided to extend the survey to direct personal contacts of those on the TSG and to involve consumers' organisations in as many countries as possible. It is hoped to produce a final report by the time of Internoise 2003.

  Acknowledgements Top

As Convenor I would like to thank all the members of the TSG for their enthusiastic participation and their vital contributions. Thanks are due to Dr Gilles Daigle, I-INCE Vice President for Technical Initiatives.[3]

  References Top

1.Buruk, Y and Serafettinoglu, A. H. (1996) "Analysis of Refrigerator Noise for Sound Quality Evaluation", Proceedings Inter Noise 96, V.1, 261-264, Liverpool, UK, August 1996  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Porter, N D and Berry, B F. (1997). A study of standard methods for measuring the sound quality of industrial products. Final report. NPL Report CIRA(EXT)021, January 1997. See http://www.npl.co.uk/npl/acoustics/publications  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Tsukernikov I.E and Nekrasov I.A. (2001). New approach to setting of noise sources emission characteristics. - 17th ICA Proceedings, Rome, September 2-7, 2001, v. III.  Back to cited text no. 3    

Correspondence Address:
B F Berry
Berry Environmental Ltd – BEL, 49 Squires Bridge Road, Shepperton, Surrey, TW17 0JZ
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 12631432

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  [Figure - 1]