On Tuesday 7 June [Monday, June 6, 6:45 p.m. EDT] 2011 the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is conducting a scientific forum on the possible health effects of wind turbines.The forum will provide an opportunity for NHMRC to hear the latest international scientific evidence and to engage with stakeholders over the range of issues for which there is public concern. The morning session will be streamed live via the NHMRC website from 8.45 a.m. until midday [EDT 6:45to 10:00 p.m.].
In 2009 NHMRC conducted a rapid review of current scientific literature to determine whether there was a link between wind turbines and adverse health effects. The review considered the potential health impacts of infrasound, noise, electromagnetic interference, shadow flicker and blade glint produced by wind turbines and concluded that, at the time of writing, there was no published scientific evidence to positively link wind turbines with adverse health effects.
In July 2010, NHMRC released NHMRC Public Statement: Wind Turbines and Health and supporting evidence Wind Turbines and Health: A rapid review of the evidence. The Public Statement recommends that, to minimise any potential impacts of wind turbines on surrounding areas, authorities take a precautionary approach and continue to monitor research outcomes. Members of the public are urged to contact their doctor if they have any individual health concerns.
Residents living close to wind farms have raised concerns about potential adverse health impacts from wind turbines including nausea, headaches, anxiety and sleep and learning difficulties.
When the NHMRC released its Public Statement it undertook to maintain a watching brief of the scientific evidence. The Wind Farms and Human Health Scientific Forum is part of our commitment to this process.
Speaker Biographies (PDF, 55KB)
This event will be webcast from 8:45am Tuesday 7 June. Please visit the NMHMRC website www.nhmrc.gov.au to watch the broadcast.
Programme [EDT: June 6, 6:45 p.m. – June 7, 2:00 a.m.]
Professor John McCallum
9.00am [EDT 7:00pm] Scientific Panel One: current evidence on health impacts
Professor Geoffrey Leventhall
Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira
Questions and discussion
10.45am MORNING TEA
11.15am [EDT 9:15pm] Scientific Panel Two:
Dr Bob Thorne – human perception and infrasound
Dr Simon Chapman – psycho-social factors
Questions and discussion
11.45am [EDT 9:45pm] Panel Three: personal stories
Dr Sarah Laurie (Chair)
Ms Bernie Janssen
Mr Donald Thomas
Mr David Page
12.15 pm [EDT 10:15pm]
Professor Warwick Anderson CEO NHMRC: the context for NHMRC
Dr. Gael Jennings, facilitator – summary of morning and issues for discussion
Small group workshop sessions, discussing evidence gaps, public concerns and other issues.