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Resource Documents: Impacts (125 items)

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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:  October 18, 2018
Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Health effects of ultra-low frequency sound and noise by wind power generation facilities

Author:  Ishitake, Tatsuya

Abstract
We investigated whether long-term exposure to low-frequency noise generated by wind power facilities is a risk factor for sleep disorders. We performed an epidemiological study of the living environment and health effects of such noise by surveying 9,000 residents (≥20 years of age) living in areas with operational wind power facilities. Sleep disorders were assessed using the Athens Insomnia Scale. To assess environmental noise in residential areas near wind turbines, infrasound and low-frequency sound exposure levels were measured at 50 community centers of a town. The prevalence of sleep disorders was significantly higher among residents who reported subjectively hearing noise (by approximately twofold) than among those who did not. Moreover, the reported prevalence of sleep disorders was significantly higher (by approximately twofold) among residents living at a distance of ≤1,500 m from the nearest wind turbine than among residents living at a distance of ≥2,000 m, suggesting a dose-response relationship. The attitudes of residents towards wind power facilities strongly affected their responses regarding sleep disorder prevalence. It is highly likely that audible noise generated by wind power facilities is a risk factor for sleep disorders. Obtaining a satisfactory consensus from local residents before installing wind power facilities is important as for more amenable their attitudes towards such facilities. [Article in Japanese]

Tatsuya Ishitake, Department of Environmental Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine

Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi [Japanese Journal of Hygiene]. 2018;73(3):298-304. doi: 10.1265/jjh.73.298.

Download original document: “風力発電施設による超低周波音・騒音の健康影響

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Date added:  October 17, 2018
Denmark, Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Pregnancy exposure to wind turbine noise and adverse birth outcomes: a nationwide cohort study

Author:  Harbo Paulsen, Aslak; et al.

Highlights

Abstract

Noise from wind turbines (WTs) is reported as more annoying than traffic noise at similar levels, raising concerns as to whether WT noise (WTN) may negatively affect health, as reported for traffic noise. We aimed to investigate whether residential WTN is associated with adverse birth outcomes. Based on national registries, we identified all Danish dwellings situated within ≤ 20 wt heights radius and a random selection of 25% of dwellings situated within 20–40 wt heights radius of a WT. We identified 135,795 pregnant women living in the dwellings from 1982 to 2013, and collected information on gestational age and birth weight from a national birth registry. Using data on WT type and simulated hourly wind at each WT, we estimated hourly outdoor and low frequency (LF) indoor WTN at the dwellings of the pregnant women and aggregated as mean nighttime WTN during pregnancy. We used logistic regression with adjustment for individual and area-level covariates for the analyses. We did not find evidence suggesting that mean pregnancy or trimester-specific exposure to outdoor or indoor LF WTN were associated with any of the three adverse birth outcomes investigated: preterm birth (n = 13,003), term small for gestational age (n = 12,220) or term low birth weight (n = 1127). However, the number of cases in the highest exposure categories of ≥  42 dB outdoor WTN or ≥ 15 dB indoor LF WTN were low for all outcomes (n between 0 and 31). The present study does not support an association between nighttime WTN and adverse birth outcomes. However, there were few cases in the high exposure groups and the results call for reproduction.

Aslak Harbo Poulsen
Ole Raaschou-Nielsen
Alfredo Peña
Andrea N. Hahmann
Rikke Baastrup Nordsborg
Matthias Ketzel
Jørgen Brandt
Mette Sørensen

  • Diet, Genes and Environment (A.H.P., Ol.R.-N., R.B.N., M.S.), Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • DTU Wind Energy (A.P., A.N.H.), Technical University of Denmark, Roskilde, Denmark
  • Department of Environmental Science (O.R.-N., J.B.), Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark
  • Department of Natural Science and Environment (M.S.), Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark

Environmental Research, Volume 167, November 2018, Pages 770-775
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.09.011

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Date added:  October 16, 2018
Canada, Noise, TechnologyPrint storyE-mail story

Wind turbine low frequency and infrasound propagation and sound pressure level calculations at dwellings

Author:  Keith, Stephen; et al.

Abstract
This study was developed to estimate wind turbine low frequency and infrasound levels at 1238 dwellings in Health Canada’s Community Noise and Health Study. In field measurements, spectral peaks were identifiable for distances up to 10 km away from wind turbines at frequencies from 0.5 to 70 Hz. These measurements, combined with onsite meteorology, were in agreement with calculations using Parabolic Equation (PE) and Fast Field Program (FFP). Since onsite meteorology was not available for the Health Canada study, PE and FFP calculations used Harmonoise weather classes and field measurements of wind turbine infrasound to estimate yearly averaged sound pressure levels. For comparison, infrasound propagation was also estimated using ISO 9613-2 (1996) calculations for 63 Hz. In the Health Canada study, to a distance of 4.5 km, long term average FFP calculations were highly correlated with the ISO based calculations. This suggests that ISO 9613-2 (1996) could be an effective screening method. Both measurements and FFP calculations showed that beyond 1 km, ISO based calculations could underestimate sound pressure levels. FFP calculations would be recommended for large distances, when there are large numbers of wind turbines, or when investigating specific meteorological classes.

Stephen E. Keith, Non Ionizing Radiation Physical Sciences Division, Consumer & Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau, Environmental and Radiation Health Sciences Directorate, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Gilles A. Daigle, Michael R. Stinson, MG Acoustics, Carlsbad Springs, Ontario, Canada

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 144, 981 (2018); https://doi.org/10.1121/1.5051331

Download original document: “Wind turbine low frequency and infrasound propagation and sound pressure level calculations at dwellings

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Date added:  October 15, 2018
Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

A procedure for deriving wind turbine noise limits by taking into account annoyance

Author:  Fredianelli, Luca; et al.

Highlights

Abstract

With the increasing installation of wind farms, the attention of citizens towards wind turbine noise (WTN) has grown. Differently from some national legislations, the scientific community has promptly responded, increasing the studies and the social surveys in order to better understand the cause of disturbance and the indicators that relate to it. At first, the paper underlines the importance of low WTN levels for indirect health effects such as sleep disturbance and annoyance. The importance to consider noise annoyance in legislation is also discussed, as WTN is more disturbing than other most common noise sources. Then, conversion curves for equally highly annoyed are introduced considering the annoyance perceived by population in relation with the type of source. Finally, a specific limit value of 43 dB(A) for WTN is derived and suggested, comparable with British and Danish standards.

Graphical abstract

Luca Fredianelli, Stefano Carpita, Department of Physics, University of Pisa, Italy
Gaetano Licitra, Environmental Protection Agency of the Tuscany Region, Livorno, Italy; National Research Council IPCF, Pisa, Italy

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 648, 15 January 2019, Pages 728-736

Download original document: “A procedure for deriving wind turbine noise limits by taking into account annoyance

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