Important New Study by Frey and Hadden: The Impact of Wind Turbine Noise on Health

Wind Turbines and Proximity to Homes: The Impact of Wind Turbine Noise on Health
by Barbara J. Frey, BA MA and Peter J. Hadden, BSc, FRICS (January 2012)

18 thoughts on “Important New Study by Frey and Hadden: The Impact of Wind Turbine Noise on Health

  1. When I click on this, I am notified that “this file is damaged” Is it my computer? or a glitch?

    • Hi Melodie,
      The link works fine for me. I use Evince PDF viewer because it allows me to copy and paste into other documents. However, I can copy and paste from the title pages only, but not from the main body of the document. It appears to have a layered form of assembly that doesn’t lend to copy and pasing. I can see that you might get the damaged document message. The document seems the same from whichever link us use to download it.

  2. It works fine for me. Make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Reader

    Let me try posting it differently.

  3. A VERY good study, pointing out that most jurisdictions are asking for 2km setbacks! Of particular interest, for me and anyone who is affected by the same, is the section on LFN (Low Noise Frequency), what I call sub-harmonic noise. This is one of the most pernicious of negative noise effects.

  4. A few of the key points

    The dBA measure noise from the wind turbine(s) should not exceed levels in the bedroom at night with the window partly open, of not more than 30 dBA LAmax,

    Regarding amplitude modulation (AM), (it basically says AM is not allowed, 3 decibel limit, I don’t think 10 – 15 in uncommon in Ontario)

    Wind turbine heights (to blade tip)
    35m – 100m 2km
    >100m 3km
    These should be considered minimum set-back distances depending upon, e.g., local terrain, the size of the array, terrain, blade flicker, and agricultural and community needs.

  5. The implication of this study is that turbines should be located far from homes; at last 2 km. However, this leads to the obvious conclusion that they should be either in far remote places, where there are no power lines, or far offshore in the lakes. We don’t really like the implications of the latter either. So what is the solution?

    J. Zak

  6. There was also a Bruce McPherson study, released Dec. 14th, 2011. Acoustics engineers went and took readings at a home near turbines. After only 20 minutes at the home, the researchers started feeling sick and didn’t realize until the next day that it was turbine infrasounds they were feeling. They also dismiss the currently accepted dB-A scale readings because they suppress the infrasound. The whole document is available for download, and makes very interesting reading. It’s available from I have also sent this PDF directly to the Zephyr appeal lawyer, Eric Gillespie, suggesting I believed it was scientific enough to substantiate Ester and Harvey Wrightman’s appeal.
    As far as I can remember, Bruce McPherson paid the fees for the study from his own pocket. I invite further comments here from those who read the report.

  7. While the health effects of industrial turbines are well worth discussing, debating and investigating, we must not lose sight of the fact that industrial turbines make no sense from a financial or energy point of view. There is no “proper site” no matter how far from human residences that would justify the inefficiency, ineffectiveness and cost of Industrial Wind Turbines.
    In the rare instance where no other power is available, small scale turbines might be justified to power individual cottages or homes – but there is no justification financially, scientifically or medically for industrial installations of turbines.

    • Frances, Your statement makes a lot of sense to prevent more wind turbines in remote areas. And why they should have never been started at all.
      The 3km distance stops all development in a large part of southern Ont. We can’t forget about the people who already have turbines too close. They can use the 3km distance to get them shut down.
      The provincial government does not care about sense. Legal or medical reasons will have to be forced on the government to stop them.

      • I agree, David, that the government does not care about sense and that we now must use whatever we can to get them stopped and shut down, However, if we agree to 2 km or 3 km we are saying that there is a safe setback, that they are worthwhile if they are at that “safe” setback, and leaving the people in more remote areas at risk.
        We are doing the same thing as people in the city and towns do when they say “I am not opposed to turbines (or gas plants, or whatever) – just not where there are so many homes. They should be in more remote areas (read rural and farming areas which are remote to city dwellers).”
        Industrial Wind Turbines do not belong anywhere. They are of no financial, environmental, electrical, health or any other benefit.

      • Hello Frances, I agree with you 100%.
        The Ont wind industry has been able to develop and operate without effectively any regulation or risk. As soon as some risk comes into play it will almost certainly stop all new development. There will likely be no new wind farms anywhere in Ont.
        The problem becomes how to shut down the existing turbines. If the 2-3 km set back becomes accepted 90% or more of Ontario wind turbines will be affected. The remaining small percentage will likely be a problem forever.
        I won’t quit until I am the last one fighting it.

        Center for Science and Public Policy – Washington, D.C.
        Wind Farms Provide Negligible Useful Electricity

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