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Resource Documents: Noise (539 items)

RSSNoise

Also see NWW press release on noise

Documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are provided to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate.


Date added:  May 24, 2015
Health, Iran, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Effect of Wind Turbine Noise on Workers’ Sleep Disorder: A Case Study of Manjil Wind Farm in Northern Iran

Author:  Abbasi, Milad; Monazzam, Mohammad Reza; Zakerian, SayedAbbolfazl; and Yousefzadeh, Arsalan

[Abstract] Noise from wind turbines is one of the most important factors affecting the health, welfare, and human sleep. This research was carried out to study the effect of wind turbine noise on workers’ sleep disorder. For this, Manjil Wind Farm, because of the greater number of staff and turbines than other wind farms in Iran, was chosen as case study. A total number of 53 participants took part in this survey. They were classified into three groups of mechanics, security, and official. In this study, daytime sleepiness data of workers were gathered using Epworth Sleepiness Scales (ESS) was used to determine the level of daytime sleepiness among the workers. The 8-h equivalent sound level (LAeq,8h) was measured to determine the individuals’ exposure at each occupational group. Finally, the effect of sound, age, and workers’ experience on individuals’ sleep disorder was analyzed through multiple regression analysis in the R software. The results showed that there was a positive and significant relationship between age, workers’ experience, equivalent sound level, and the level of sleep disorder. When age is constant, sleep disorder will increase by 26% as per each 1 dB increase in equivalent sound level. In situations where equivalent sound level is constant, an increase of 17% in sleep disorder is occurred as per each year of work experience. Because of the difference in sound exposure in different occupational groups. The effect of noise in repairing group was about 6.5 times of official group and also 3.4 times of the security group. Sleep disorder effect caused by wind turbine noise in the security group is almost two times more than the official group. Unlike most studies on wind turbine noise that address the sleep disorder among inhabitants nearby wind farms, this study, for the first time in the world, examines the impact of wind turbine noise on sleep disorder of workers who are more closer to wind turbines and exposed to higher levels of noise. So despite all the good benefits of wind turbines, it can be stated that this technology has health risks for all those exposed to its sound. However, further research is needed to confirm the results of this study.

Milad Abbasi, PostGraduate Student, School of Public Health
Mohammad Reza Monnazzam, Occupational Hygiene Department, School of Public Health, and Center for Air Pollution Research, Institute for Environmental Research (IER)
SayedAbbolfazl Zakerian, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health
Arsalan Yousefzadeh, PostGraduate Student, School of Public Health
Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Fluctuation and Noise Letters 14, 1550020 (2015) [15 pages]
DOI: 10.1142/S0219477515500200

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Date added:  May 21, 2015
Germany, Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Intensivierung der Forschung zu möglichen gesundheitlichen Auswirkungen bei Betrieb und Ausbau von Windenergieanlagen

Author:  German Medical Association

[Increasing research into possible health effects from the operation and expansion of wind turbinesThe motion of Dr. Bernd Lücke (printed matter VI – 106) will be transferred for further consideration to the Executive Board of the German Medical Association]

Der Entschließungsantrag von Dr. Bernd Lücke (Drucksache VI – 106) wird zur weiteren Beratung an den Vorstand der Bundesärztekammer überwiesen:

Die Windenergie als eine der erneuerbaren Energieformen wird künftig stärker genutzt werden. Dies ist nach dem im Sommer 2011 beschlossenen Atomausstieg gesellschaftlicher Konsens. Der Ausstieg aus der Atomenergie zeigt, dass problematische Teilaspekte der Nutzung in die Zukunft verschoben wurden; bis heute ist die Frage der Endlagerung der Brennstäbe nicht wirklich gelöst. Bei den erneuerbaren Energieformen sollte daher im Vorfeld der gesamte Lebenszyklus dieser Technologien von der initialen Rohstoffbereitstellung bis hin zur Entsorgung in die Planungen und Risikoabwägungen einbezogen werden. Dieses erfordert wissenschaftlich fundierte Erkenntnisse zu möglichen gesundheitlichen Auswirkungen, um eine bewusste Abwägung von Nutzen und Zumutbarkeit von validen Beeinträchtigungen sowie Risiken vornehmen zu können. Insbesondere für die Immissionen im tieffrequenten und Infraschallbereich gibt es bisher keine belastbaren unabhängigen Studien, die mit für diesen Schallbereich geeigneter Messmethodik die Wirkungen auch unterhalb der Hörschwelle untersuchen. Somit ist eine gesundheitliche Unbedenklichkeit dieser Schallimmissionen derzeit nicht nachgewiesen.

Der 118. Deutsche Ärztetag 2015 fordert daher die Bundesregierung auf, die Wissenslücken zu den gesundheitlichen Auswirkungen von Infraschall und tieffrequentem Schall von Windenergieanlagen (WEA) durch wissenschaftliche Forschung zu schließen sowie offene Fragen im Bereich der Messmethoden zu klären und gegebenenfalls Regelwerke anzupassen, damit der Ausbau und der Betrieb von WEA mit Bedacht, Sorgfalt, ganzheitlicher Expertise, Nachhaltigkeit und gesamtgesellschaftlicher Verantwortung erfolgen kann.

Begründung:

Insbesondere bei den gesundheitlichen Auswirkungen von Infraschall (< 20 Hz) und tieffrequentem Schall (< 100 Hz) durch Immissionen und Emissionen von Windenergieanlagen bestehen noch offene Fragen, z. B. zur Wirkung von Schall unterhalb der Hörschwelle oder von tiefen Frequenzen bei steigender Expositionsdauer. Des Weiteren sollte ein Anpassungsbedarf bei Messmethoden und Regelwerken geprüft werden, z. B. bei der Übertragbarkeit von Abstrahlungs- und Ausbreitungsmodellen für kleinere WEA auf große Anlagen sowie bei verbindlichen Regelungen von Messung und Beurteilung tiefer Frequenzen (0,1 bis 20 Hz).

Kernziele:

118. Deutscher Ärztetag [118th German Medical Assembly]
Frankfurt, 12.05. – 15.05.2015
TOP VI – 106

Download original document: “118. Deutscher Ärztetag – Beschlussprotokoll”

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Date added:  May 18, 2015
Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Effect of wind turbine noise on sleep and quality of life

Author:  Onakpoya, Igho; O’Sullivan, Jack; Thompson, Matthew; and Heneghan, Carl

The effect of wind turbine noise on sleep and quality of life: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Highlights

Abstract.
Noise generated by wind turbines has been reported to affect sleep and quality of life (QOL), but the relationship is unclear. Our objective was to explore the association between wind turbine noise, sleep disturbance and quality of life, using data from published observational studies. We searched Medline, Embase, Global Health and Google Scholar databases. No language restrictions were imposed. Hand searches of bibliography of retrieved full texts were also conducted. The reporting quality of included studies was assessed using the STROBE guidelines. Two reviewers independently determined the eligibility of studies, assessed the quality of included studies, and extracted the data. We included eight studies with a total of 2433 participants. All studies were cross-sectional, and the overall reporting quality was moderate. Meta-analysis of six studies (n = 2364) revealed that the odds of being annoyed is significantly increased by wind turbine noise (OR: 4.08; 95% CI: 2.37 to 7.04; p < 0.00001). The odds of sleep disturbance was also significantly increased with greater exposure to wind turbine noise (OR: 2.94; 95% CI: 1.98 to 4.37; p < 0.00001). Four studies reported that wind turbine noise significantly interfered with QOL. Further, visual perception of wind turbine generators was associated with greater frequency of reported negative health effects. In conclusion, there is some evidence that exposure to wind turbine noise is associated with increased odds of annoyance and sleep problems. Individual attitudes could influence the type of response to noise from wind turbines. Experimental and observational studies investigating the relationship between wind turbine noise and health are warranted.

Igho J. Onakpoya, Carl J. Heneghan
Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Jack O’Sullivan
Department of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Matthew J. Thompson
Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Environment International, Volume 82, September 2015, Pages 1–9
doi:10.1016/j.envint.2015.04.014

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Date added:  May 9, 2015
Australia, Noise, TechnologyPrint storyE-mail story

Constructive interference of tonal infrasound from synchronised wind farm turbines: evidence and implications

Author:  Bell, Andrew

SUMMARY.
Noise from wind farms is contentious: people who live nearby complain of annoyance, and yet broadband measurements of infrasound seem to indicate the noise is generally not above audibility criteria. The paradox can be resolved by supposing that wind farms generate a strong tonal signal at the blade passing frequency, 0.8 Hz, and that this infrasound, with a wavelength of 400 m, can constructively interfere if two or more wind turbines operate in synchrony and the path lengths differ by a multiple of 400 m. Coherent infrasound at 0.8 Hz could propagate many kilometres, would tend to carry many harmonics due to the rapid changes within its waveform, and the high harmonics in the 20–30 Hz band have the potential to be heard by human ears. The existence of coherent infrasound from wind turbines has not been specifically recognised, but evidence of the phenomenon can be discerned in two anomalies contained in data from recent infrasound monitoring of wind farms in South Australia. This paper interprets the anomalies in terms of a model which suggests that wind farms produce enhanced sound pressure levels when the blades of multiple machines become mutually entrained and the sound from them becomes coherent. The inference is that acoustic measures, which assume wind turbine signals are stationary, may not be accurate indicators of peak noise levels.

Andrew Bell
John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra

Acoustics Australia, Vol. 42, No.3, December 2014, pp. 212-218

Download original document: “Constructive interference of tonal infrasound from synchronised wind farm turbines: evidence and implications”

Also see:  Andrew Bell’s submission to the National Health and Medical Research Council regarding the NHMRC Draft Information Paper: Evidence on Wind Farms and Human Health.

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