January 31, 2012, Page:4
Chris Ollson & Loren Knopper
There is considerable debate about the relationship between windturbines and reported human health effects.
Despite the fact that many studies have been conducted worldwide to examine this relationship, the debate here at home is filled with misinformation. This makes it difficult for the public to determine which claims can be validated by scientific evidence and which cannot.
We have recently published a peer-reviewed paper Health effects and windturbines: A review of the literature, the purpose of which was an in-depth review of the scientific and popular literature on the issue.
While we concluded that noise from windturbines can be annoying to some, we found no research to date that demonstrates a causal relationship between windturbine noise and health effects.
In fact, variables like personal attitude and what someone sees (i. e. if they can see a turbine from their home) are more related to annoyance than noise from turbines.
In other words, it appears that it is the change in the environment that is associated with reported health effects and not a turbine-specific variable like noise.
Overall, health and medical agencies agree (including Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health) that sound from windturbines is not loud enough to cause hearing impairment and is not causally related to adverse effects.
Based on these findings, we encourage the public to make up their own mind on wind energy based on reputable and validated studies.
Please go to: www.ehjournal.net/content/10/1/78to see the paper in its entirety.
Chris Ollson, Ph. D. and Loren Knopper, Ph. D. Intrinsik Environmental Sciences