Review: Understanding the Evidence: Wind Turbine Noise
“The Panel used a comprehensive approach to identify and review relevant research. They identified 32 symptoms and health outcomes that have been attributed to exposure to wind turbine noise by members of the general public (e.g., annoyance, sleep disturbance, stress, irregular heartbeat, muscle pain etc.). The Panel then reviewed the empirical research for those symptoms and selected 38 key papers that constituted the core evidence base for their assessment. After completing their assessment the report was sent out for an anonymous peer review. The final report is reflective of the input that came from the peer-review process.
It should be noted that the Panel’s ability to fully assess the prevalence of adverse health effects was limited by a lack of available data. As a result, the report outlines where more research is required in order to fill knowledge gaps, including for vulnerable populations.
The Panel has 11 main findings that are outlined in the full report. Some findings include:
- The evidence is sufficient to establish a causal relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and annoyance.
- There is limited evidence to establish a causal relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and sleep disturbance.
- The evidence suggests a lack of causality between exposure to wind turbine noise and hearing loss.
- For all other health effects considered (fatigue, tinnitus, vertigo, nausea, dizziness, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc.), the evidence was inadequate to come to any conclusion about the presence or absence of a causal relationship with exposure to wind turbine noise.
- Technological development is unlikely to resolve, in the short term, the current issues related to perceived adverse health effects of wind turbine noise.
- Impact assessments and community engagement provide communities with greater knowledge and control over wind energy projects and therefore help limit annoyance.”
Barbara dug this up on the Panel Members:
- The Expert Panel, Chair
Dr. Tee Guidotti, founding member of CAPE
- Yves Gagnon: “The Wind Man” K.C. Irving Chair. in Sustainable Development, University of Moncton.
- Brian Howe, Pres., HGC engineering,
Prepared a “best practices” guide for CanWEA in 2007
- Hugh W. Davies, Check out the green neighbourhoods and better birth outcomes paper. Supported by a grant from Health Canada.
- David A. Johnson, Founded Univ. Waterloo Wind Energy Laboratory
- Sheryl Grace, Boston University, was a member of this panel: Scotian WindFields > Wind Section . Studies & Reports
1. Title: Wind turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel January 2012
Highlights: There is no evidence for a set of health effects, from exposure to wind turbines that could be characterized as a “Wind turbine Syndrome”.