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Resource Documents: Health (453 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:  June 15, 2018
Europe, Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Development of the WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: An Introduction

Author:  Jarosińska, Dorota; Héroux, Marie-Ève; et al.

Abstract: Following the Parma Declaration on Environment and Health adopted at the Fifth Ministerial Conference (2010), the Ministers and representatives of Member States in the WHO European Region requested theWorld Health Organization (WHO) to develop updated guidelines on environmental noise, and called upon all stakeholders to reduce children’s exposure to noise, including that from personal electronic devices. The WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region will provide evidence-based policy guidance to Member States on protecting human health from noise originating from transportation (road traffic, railway and aircraft), wind turbine noise, and leisure noise in settings where people spend the majority of their time. Compared to previous WHO guidelines on noise, the most significant developments include: consideration of new evidence associating environmental noise exposure with health outcomes, such as annoyance, cardiovascular effects, obesity and metabolic effects (such as diabetes), cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance, hearing impairment and tinnitus, adverse birth outcomes, quality of life, mental health, and wellbeing; inclusion of new noise sources to reflect the current noise environment; and the use of a standardized framework (grading of recommendations, assessment, development, and evaluations: GRADE) to assess evidence and develop recommendations. The recommendations in the guidelines are underpinned by systematic reviews of evidence on several health outcomes related to environmental noise as well as evidence on interventions to reduce noise exposure and/or health outcomes. The overall body of evidence is published in this Special Issue.

… Seven systematic reviews of evidence were commissioned by WHO to assess the relationship between environmental noise and the following health outcomes: (1) annoyance; (2) cardiovascular and metabolic effects; (3) cognitive impairment; (4) effects on sleep; (5) hearing impairment and tinnitus; (6) adverse birth outcomes; and (7) quality of life, mental health, and wellbeing. An eighth systematic review was commissioned to assess the effectiveness of environmental noise interventions in reducing exposure and associated impacts on health. The reviews separately assess the environmental noise coming from the following sources, for each relevant health outcome: road traffic, railway, aircraft, wind turbines, and leisure.

Dorota Jarosińska, Marie-Ève Héroux, Poonum Wilkhu, James Creswick, Jördis Wothge, and Elizabet Paunović, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, European Centre for Environment and Health, Bonn, Germany
Jos Verbeek, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Cochrane Work, Kuopio

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2018, 15, 813
doi: 10.3390/ijerph15040813

Download original document: “Development of the WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: An Introduction

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Date added:  June 5, 2018
Health, Noise, Ontario, Prince Edward IslandPrint storyE-mail story

Using residential proximity to wind turbines as an alternative exposure measure to investigate the association between wind turbines and human health

Author:  Barry, Rebecca; Sulsky, Sandra; and Kreiger, Nancy

[Abstract] This analysis uses data from the Community Noise and Health Study developed by Statistics Canada to investigate the association between residential proximity to wind turbines and health-related outcomes in a dataset that also provides objective measures of wind turbine noise. The findings indicate that residential proximity to wind turbines is correlated with annoyance and health-related quality of life measures. These associations differ in some respects from associations with noise measurements. Results can be used to support discussions between communities and wind-turbine developers regarding potential health effects of wind turbines.

[Results] Results suggest that proximity to wind turbines is inversely associated with the environment domain quality of life score (β = 1.23, SE = 0.145, p = 0.046). This association suggests that every kilometre a person lives further away from a wind turbine is associated with a 1.23 point increase in score on the environmental health quality of life scale. A higher score is indicative of a higher environmental quality of life. … Distance to wind turbines was also found to be strongly associated with increased annoyance (OR = 0.19; 95% CI  = 0.07, 0.53, p = 0.001). This suggests that the odds of reporting being annoyed by a turbine are reduced by about 20% for every kilometer a person lives further away from a wind turbine. …

[Discussion] These results show that living closer in proximity to wind turbines is negatively correlated with self-rated environmental quality of life and physical health quality of life. These findings suggest that the mechanism of effect may not be noise, or not noise alone, and may include visual sight, vibrations, shadow flicker, sub-audible low frequency sound, or mechanisms that include individual subjective experiences and attitudes towards wind turbines. … Our findings strengthen the argument that wind turbines are associated with annoyance, as this association is now found with both modelled A-weighted sound pressure levels and with residential distance to wind turbines. Other research has found that individuals reporting annoyance due to environmental noise also report health conditions including ischemic heart disease, depression, and migraines.

Rebecca Barry and Nancy Kreiger, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sandra I. Sulsky, Ramboll Environ US, Amherst, Massachusetts

J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 143 (6), June 2018, 3278–3282
doi: 10.1121/1.5039840

Download original document: “Using residential proximity to wind turbines as an alternative exposure measure to investigate the association between wind turbines and human health

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Date added:  April 5, 2018
Health, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Living in habitats affected by wind turbines may result in an increase in corticosterone levels in ground dwelling animals

Author:  Łopucki, Rafał; et al.

Environmental changes and disturbance factors caused by wind turbines may act as potential stressors for natural populations of both flying and ground dwelling animal species. The physiological stress response results in release of glucocorticoid hormones. We studied two rodent species of the agricultural landscape (the common vole Microtus arvalis and the striped field mouse Apodemus agrarius) and tested the hypothesis that living in habitats affected by wind turbines results in an increase in corticosterone levels. Rodents were trapped at sites near wind turbines and in control areas. Faeces samples were collected from traps where the targeted animals were caught. For the analysis of corticosterone concentrations in the faeces, we used ELISA tests with antibodies for this hormone. The common vole showed a distinct physiological response − the individuals living near the wind turbines had a higher level of corticosterone. The striped field mouse did not show a similar response. We pointed out the main factors increasing corticosterone levels in voles and features of the studied species that may determine the differences in their reaction including: the width of the ecological niche, spatial mobility, and predation pressure. This is the first study suggesting impact of wind farms on physiological stress reactions in wild rodent populations. Such knowledge may be helpful in making environmental decisions when planning the development of wind energy and may contribute to optimization of conservation actions for wildlife.

Rafał Łopucki, Center for Interdisciplinary Research, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland
Daniel Klich, Department of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Warsaw University of Life Sciences–SGGW, Poland
Agnieszka Ścibiorc, Dorota Gołębiowska, Laboratory of Oxidative Stress, Center for Interdisciplinary Research, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Kajetan Perzanowski, Institute of Landscape Architecture,John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Ecological Indicators 84 (2018) 165–171. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.08.052

Living in habitats affected by wind turbines may result in an increase in corticosterone levels in ground dwelling animals

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Date added:  April 3, 2018
Germany, HealthPrint storyE-mail story

Does the Presence of Wind Turbines Have Negative Externalities for People in Their Surroundings? Evidence from Well-Being Data

Author:  Krekel, Christian; and Zerrah, Alexander

Abstract:
Throughout the world, governments foster the deployment of wind power to mitigate negative externalities of conventional technologies, notably CO₂ emissions. Wind turbines, however, are not free of externalities themselves, particularly interference with landscape aesthetics. We quantify the negative externalities associated with the presence of wind turbines using the life satisfaction approach. To this end, we combine household data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) with a novel panel dataset on over 20,000 installations. Based on geographical coordinates and construction dates, we establish causality in a difference-in-differences design. Matching techniques drawing on exogenous weather data and geographical locations of residence ensure common trend behaviour. We show that the construction of wind turbines close to households exerts significant negative external effects on residential well-being, although they seem both temporally and spatially limited. Robustness checks, including view shed analyses based on digital terrain models and placebo regressions, confirm our results.

Christian Krekel, Paris School of Economics – EHESS, France
Alexander Zerrahn, German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Download original document: “Does the Presence of Wind Turbines Have Negative Externalities for People in Their Surroundings? Evidence from Well-Being Data

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