Resource Documents: Health (462 items)
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.
Author: Freiberg, Alice; et al.
As the global number of wind turbines has increased steadily in recent years, as has the number of studies about putative health effects in residential settings, it is the review purpose to give an overview of the characteristics and methodologies of the scientific literature around the topic in order to identify research gaps and to derive implications for research and practice. Additionally, study findings from higher-quality observational studies as well as results that seem to be of interest for the scientific and political debate are presented.
The scoping review was conducted following systematic review methods. Comprehensive literature searches were carried out in several databases, and with extensive hand searches. All review steps were carried out in parallel by two reviewers or by one reviewer and in duplicate checked by another reviewer. The following important methodological criteria were investigated: Reporting, ethical aspects, generalization, selection bias, information bias, confounder bias. Findings from observational studies without a selection bias, information bias, and confounder bias are presented.
84 articles, that varied significantly in methods and outcomes assessed, met the inclusion criteria. Multiple cross-sectional studies reported that wind turbine noise is associated with noise annoyance, which is moderated by several variables such as noise sensitivity, attitude towards wind turbines, or economic benefit. Wind turbine noise is not associated with stress effects and biophysiological variables of sleep. Results on the impact of wind turbine noise on sleep disburbance, quality of life, and mental health problems differed among cross-sectional studies. There were few studies that addressed the potential impact of turbine noise on clinically apparent health outcomes. There were also few studies on visual risk factors or infrasound exposure. No literature was identified regarding low-frequency noise, electromagnetic radiation, and ice throw.
There is an extensive and diverse body of evidence around health impacts of wind turbines in residential settings, that increased sharply since 2010, showing particularly noise consequences concerning increased noise annoyance with its complex pathways; no relationship between wind turbine noise and stress effects and biophysiological variables of sleep; and heterogeneous findings concerning sleep disturbance, quality of life, as well as mental health problems. Research gaps concern the complex pathways of annoyance, the examination of clinically apparent health outcomes in comparison with non-exposed residents, an objective investigation of visual wind turbine features, the interaction between all wind turbine exposures, and epidemiological observational studies on field low-frequency and infrasound from wind turbines. Future research needs thorough high-quality and prospective study designs.
Alice Freiberg, Christiane Schefter, Maria Girbig, Vanise C. Murta, Andreas Seidler
Boysen TU Dresden Graduate School (A.F.) and Institute and Policlinic of Occupational and Social Medicine, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
Environmental Research Volume 169, February 2019, Pages 446-463
Sleep quality of offshore wind farm workers in the German exclusive economic zone: a cross-sectional study
Author: Velasco Garrido, Marcial; Mette, Janika; Mache, Stefanie; Harth, Volker; and Preisser, Alexandra
Objectives: To assess the quality of sleep of employees in the German offshore wind industry and to explore factors associated with poor sleep quality.
Design: Web-based cross-sectional survey.
Setting: Offshore companies operating in wind farms within the German exclusive economic zone.
Participants: Workers with regular offshore commitments and at least 28 days spent offshore in the past year (n=268).
Outcome measures: Sleep quality in the past 4 weeks, troubles falling asleep or sleeping through in the past 4 weeks, differences in sleep quality between offshore deployments and onshore leaves.
Results: Having problems with sleep onset was reported by 9.5% of the respondents. 16.5% reported troubles with maintaining sleep three or more times per week. The overall quality of sleep was rated as very bad by only 1.7% of the participants. 47.9% of the workers reported their quality of sleep to be worse during offshore commitments than when being onshore. Higher levels of exposition to noise, vibrations and poor air quality were associated with sleeping troubles and poorer sleep quality. Sharing the sleep cabin with colleagues was associated with troubles sleeping through. No association was found for working in rotating shifts and for regularity of the offshore commitments.
Conclusions: Workers in our study showed frequent sleep problems and poorer sleep quality offshore than onshore. Our results indicate that higher degrees of exposure to noise, vibrations and artificial ventilation are associated with poor sleep quality rather than organisational factors such as shift-work and type of working schedule. In view of the high demands of the offshore workplace and the workers’ particular recovery needs, addressing sleep disorders should be part of any health and safety management strategy for this workplace.
Marcial Velasco Garrido, Janika Mette, Stefanie Mache, Volker Harth, Alexandra Marita Preisser
Institute for Occupational and Maritime Medicine (ZfAM), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
BMJ Open 2018;8:e024006. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024006
Author: Ageborg Morsing, Julia; Smith, Michael; Ögren, Mikael; Thorsson, Pontus; Pedersen, Eja; Forssén, Jens; and Persson Waye, Kerstin
The number of onshore wind turbines in Europe has greatly increased over recent years, a trend which can be expected to continue. However, the effects of wind turbine noise on long-term health outcomes for residents living near wind farms is largely unknown, although sleep disturbance may be a cause for particular concern. Presented here are two pilot studies with the aim of examining the acoustical properties of wind turbine noise that might be of special relevance regarding effects on sleep. In both pilots, six participants spent five consecutive nights in a sound environment laboratory. During three of the nights, participants were exposed to wind turbine noise with variations in sound pressure level, amplitude modulation strength and frequency, spectral content, turbine rotational frequency and beating behaviour. The impact of noise on sleep was measured using polysomnography and questionnaires. During nights with wind turbine noise there was more frequent awakening, less deep sleep, less continuous N2 sleep and increased subjective disturbance compared to control nights. The findings indicated that amplitude modulation strength, spectral frequency and the presence of strong beats might be of particular importance for adverse sleep effects. The findings will be used in the development of experimental exposures for use in future, larger studies.
Julia Ageborg Morsing, Mikael Ögren, Kerstin Persson Waye
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Institute of Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Michael G. Smith
Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia
Pontus Thorsson, Jens Forssén
Division of Applied Acoustics, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, Lund University, Sweden
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018 Nov 17;15(11), E2573. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15112573.
Download original document: “Wind Turbine Noise and Sleep: Pilot Studies on the Influence of Noise Characteristics”
Download the supplemental material (morning questionnaire and noise spectra for the experimental wind turbine noise)
A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health:
WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review of Transport Noise Interventions and Their Impacts on Health.
Brown, A.; van Kamp, I.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 873; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080873.
WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Permanent Hearing Loss and Tinnitus.
Śliwińska-Kowalska, M.; Zaborowski, K.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101139.
WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Adverse Birth Outcomes.
Nieuwenhuijsen, M.; Ristovska, G.; Dadvand, P.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1252; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101252.
WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Annoyance.
Guski, R.; Schreckenberg, D.; Schuemer, R.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1539; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121539.
WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Cognition.
Clark, C.; Paunovic, K.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020285.
WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Cardiovascular and Metabolic Effects: A Summary.
van Kempen, E.; Casas, M.; Pershagen, G.; Foraster, M.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020379.
WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Effects on Sleep.
Basner, M.; McGuire, S.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030519.
Development of the WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: An Introduction.
Jarosińska, D.; Héroux, M.; Wilkhu, P.; Creswick, J.; Verbeek, J.; Wothge, J.; Paunović, E.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 813; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040813.
WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Quality of Life, Wellbeing and Mental Health.
Clark, C.; Paunovic, K.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112400.