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: Ishitake, Tatsuya
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”
Author: Harbo Paulsen, Aslak; et al.
- We identified all Danes exposed to wind turbine noise (WTN) from 1982 to 2013.
- We then identified all live born singletons from mothers in this population.
- We investigated preterm birth, low birth weight and small for gestational age.
- We found no associations between WTN and the adverse birth outcomes.
- Few women had high levels of WTN and independent replication is called for.
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
Andrea N. Hahmann
Rikke Baastrup Nordsborg
- 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
Author: Fredianelli, Luca; et al.
- The importance to consider noise annoyance in legislation is discussed.
- Conversion curves for equally highly annoyed [HA] by different sources are presented.
- A wind turbine noise limit of 43.1 dB(A) is derived from the conversion curves.
- The limit is based on %HA and results are comparable with some international standards.
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.
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”
Author: World Health Organization
Wind Turbine Noise Recommendations
For average noise exposure, the GDG [Guideline Development Group] conditionally recommends reducing noise levels produced by wind turbines to below 45[A] dB Lden* [at the most exposed façade, outdoors], as wind turbine noise above this level is associated with adverse health effects.
To reduce health effects, the GDG conditionally recommends that policy-makers implement suitable measures to reduce noise exposure from wind turbines in the population exposed to levels above the guideline values for average noise exposure. No evidence is available, however, to facilitate the recommendation of one particular type of intervention over another.
Download original document: “Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region”
Download the Executive Summary
*ISO 1996-1:2016 Section 3.6: Lden is the average of all (12-15 hours of day, 4 hours of evening [if defined], 8-9 hours of night) levels, with evening and night levels weighted: +5 dB added to the evening levels and +10 dB to the night levels.