Previous field studies have indicated that reading comprehension in primary school children is impaired by chronic aircraft noise exposure (Evans et al 1995, Haines et al 2001a) and chronic road traffic noise exposure (Cohen et al 1973, Lukas et al 1981). However, some studies suggest that aircraft noise exposure only affects performance on the most difficult items of a standardised reading test (Haines et al 2001b, Hygge et al 2002). Previous studies have compared children in high and low noise exposures and have not examined dose-response relationships between noise exposure and reading comprehension. Furthermore, previous studies have omitted to examine the relationship for combinations of aircraft and road traffic noise exposures. This study examined the dose-response relationship between aircraft and road traffic noise exposure and reading comprehension in three European countries, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. This cross-sectional field study compared the performance on a standardised reading test of 2010, 9-10 year old children from schools with differing aircraft and road traffic noise exposures. In the UK aircraft noise exposure levels were based on 16 hour LAeq and road traffic noise measures were based on proximity to motorways, A- and B-roads and traffic flow data. In the Netherlands, aircraft and road traffic noise exposure levels were modelled using geographical information systems. In Spain, measurements of aircraft and road traffic noise were undertaken. Acute noise measurements were also taken internally in the classroom during testing to identify any further sources of noise that might interfere with testing. A total of 129 classes from 89 schools in the areas around Schiphol, Barajas and Heathrow airports participated. Testing took place in the schools and data on potential confounding factors were collected in a child questionnaire and a parent questionnaire. The data from the three countries was pooled and analysed using multilevel modelling, which enabled data at both the school level and the individual level to be fitted in the same model. The final model was adjusted for noise exposure, age, gender, country, dyslexia, parental employment status, home ownership, crowding at home, mother’s educational attainment, long standing illness, main language spoken at home, parental support for school work and insulation in the school. In preliminary analyses of pooled data from the Netherlands, Spain and the UK chronic aircraft noise exposure was associated with impaired reading comprehension and a similar effect size was observed in each country. A 5dB change in aircraft noise was associated with a two-month difference in reading age in the UK and a one and a half-month difference in the Netherlands. Chronic road traffic noise exposure, however, was not associated with reading comprehension. The results suggest that chronic aircraft noise exposure was associated with impaired reading comprehension in children, whilst road traffic noise exposure was not. An effect of aircraft noise on reading is consistent with previous studies (Evans et al 1995, Haines et al 2001a), whilst the lack of an effect for road traffic noise is not (Cohen et al 1973, Lukas et al 1981). These conclusions are preliminary; we are currently examining the effects of combined road and aircraft exposures and their interactions. Future research is needed to confirm these findings for road traffic noise and to identify the mechanisms underlying the effect of aircraft noise on reading comprehension, with a view to informing interventions and policy.