November 28, 2009 in The Yomiuri Shimbun
Japan — The Environment Ministry will launch its first major study into the influence of wind turbines on people’s health next year, it has been learned.
Much is expected of wind power as a source of clean energy, but people living near wind power facilities are increasingly complaining of health problems. The low-frequency sound produced by the wind turbines at such facilities–sound that is difficult to discern with the naked ear–is suspected of causing such conditions as insomnia, tinnitus and hand tremors.
Due to a lack of substantiating data, the ministry has deemed it necessary to study the matter. It will launch a four-year examination of all 1,517 wind turbines in the country in April.
The study will try to ascertain to what extent health problems are being caused by the low-frequency sound, through such means as questioning local residents.
It will examine the relationship between wind turbines’ operating hours and the times of day when people’s health deteriorates. It also will make continual measurements of such elements as the level of the low-frequency sound.
The study’s attempt to determine the causality between the low-frequency sound and health problems will take into account such factors as weather conditions and the distance between homes and wind power facilities.