Today, Health Canada has finally published the long awaited findings from the Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study. Launched in 2012, in collaboration with Statistics Canada, this study explored the relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and the health effects reported by, and measured in, people living near wind turbines. There has been a vocal group of anti-wind energy activists in Ontario that have insisted that the noise from wind turbines adversely affected nearby resident’s health. This affect is referred to as “wind turbine syndrome”.
In the effort of being more open and transparent, the findings are available on Health Canada’s website. The findings provide a more complete overall assessment of the potential impacts that exposure to wind turbines may have on health and well-being.
No evidence was found to support a link between exposure to wind turbine noise and any of the self-reported or measured health endpoints examined. However, the study did demonstrate a relationship between increasing levels of wind turbine noise and annoyance towards several features (including noise, vibration, shadow flicker, and the aircraft warning lights on top of the turbines) associated with wind turbines.
It is important to note that the findings from this study do not provide definitive answers on their own and must be considered in the context of a broader evidence base.
Health Canada has consulted the Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study Expert Committee on these findings. Detailed analysis and results will be shared with Canadians and the international (scientific) community over the next several months with updates provided on the Health Canada website.
Health Canada will hold a technical background briefing with interested media at 11:00 AM EST today (Dial-in information below).
- The study was conducted in Southwestern Ontario and Prince Edward Island and included 1238 households out of a possible 1,570 households living at various distances from 399 separate wind turbines in 18 wind turbine developments.
- This study is the first study related to wind turbine noise to implement the use of both self-reported and physically measured health endpoints.
- Measured health-related indicators included hair cortisol as a biomarker of stress, blood pressure, resting heart rate and sleep.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.