Resource Documents: Poland (6 items)
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Author: National Institute of Hygiene, National Institute of Public Health, Poland
The National Institute of Public Health–National Institute of Hygiene is of the opinion that wind farms situated too close to buildings intended for permanent human occupation may have a negative impact on the comfort of living and health of the people living in their proximity.
The human health risk factors that the Institute has taken into consideration in its position are as follows:
- the emitted noise level and its dependence on the technical specifications of turbines, wind speed as well as the landform and land use around the wind farm,
- aerodynamic noise level including infrasound emissions and low-frequency noise components,
- the nature of the noise emitted, taking into account its modulation/impulsive/tonal characteristics and the possibility of interference of waves emitted from multiple turbines,
- the risk of ice being flung from rotors,
- the risk of turbine failure with a rotor blade or its part falling,
- the shadow flicker effect,
- the electromagnetic radiation level (in the immediate vicinity of turbines),
- the probability of sleep disruptions and noise propagation at night,
- the level of nuisance and probability of stress and depression symptoms occurring (in consequence of long exposure), related both to noise emissions and to non-acceptance of the noise source.
In the Institute’s opinion, the laws and regulations currently in force in Poland (regarding risk factors which, in practice, include only the noise level) are not only inadequate to facilities such as wind turbines, but they also fail to guarantee a sufficient degree of public health protection. The methodology currently used for environmental impact assessment of wind farms (including human health) is not applicable to wind speeds exceeding 5 m/s. In addition, it does not take into account the full frequency range (in particular, low frequency) and the nuisance level.
In the Institute’s view , owing to the current lack of a comprehensive regulatory framework governing the assessment of health risks related to the operation of wind farms in Poland, an urgent need arises to develop and implement a comprehensive methodology according to which the sufficient distance of wind turbines from human habitation would be determined. The methodology should take into account all the above-mentioned potential risk factors, and its result should reflect the least favourable situation. In addition to landform and land use characteristics, the methodology should also take into consideration the category, type, height and number of turbines at a specific farm, and the location of other wind farms in the vicinity. Similar legislative arrangements aimed to provide for multi-criteria assessment, based on complex numerical algorithms, are currently used in the world.
The Institute is aware of the fact that owing to the diversity of factors and the complicated nature of such an algorithm, its development within a short time period may prove very difficult. Therefore, what seems to be an effective and simpler solution is the prescription of a minimum distance of wind turbines from buildings intended for permanent human occupation. Distance criteria are also a common standard-setting arrangement. Having regard to the above, until a comprehensive methodology is developed for the assessment of the impact of industrial wind farms on human health, the Institute recommends 2 km as the minimum distance of wind farms from buildings. The recommended value results from a critical assessment of research results published in reviewed scientific periodicals with regard to all potential risk factors for average distance usually specified within the fo0llowing limits:
- 0.5-0.7 km, often obtained as a result of calculations, where the noise level (dBA) meets the currently acceptable values (without taking into account adjustments for the impulse/tonal/modulation features of the nose emitted),
- 0.5-3.0 km, resulting from the noise level, taking into account modulation, low frequencies and infrasound levels,
- 0.5-1.4 km, related to the risk of turbine failure with a broken rotor blade or its part falling (depending on the size of the piece and its flight profile, rotor speed and turbine type),
- 0.5-0.8 km, where there is a risk of ice being flung from rotors (depending on the shape and mass of ice, rotor speed and turbine type),
- 1.0-1.6 km, taking into account the noise nuisance level (between 4% and 35% of the population at 30-45 dBA) for people living in the vicinity of wind farms,
- the distance of 1.4-2.5 km, related to the probability of sleep disruptions (on average, between 4% and 5% of the population at 30-45 dBA),
- 2.0 km, related to the occurrence of potential psychological effects resulting from substantial landscape changes (based on the case where the wind turbine is a dominant landscape feature and the rotor movement is clearly visible and noticeable to people from any location),
- 1.2-2.1 km, for the shadow flicker effect (for the average wind turbine height in Poland, including the rotor, of 120 to 210 m).
In its opinions, the Institute has also taken into account the recommended distances of wind farms from buildings, as specified by experts, scientists, as well as central and local government bodies around the world (usually 1.0-5.0 km).
Author: Karwowska, Małgorzata; Mikołajczak, Jan; Dolatowski, Zbigniew Józef; and Borowski, Sylwester
Abstract: This study was conducted to assess the effect of rearing pigs at three different distances from a wind turbine (50, 500 and 1000 m) on the physicochemical properties and fatty acid composition of loin and neck muscles. The experiment was carried out on 30 growing-finishing pigs, derived from Polish Landrace × Polish Large White sows mated to a Duroc × Pietrain boar. The results obtained during the noise measurement showed that the highest level of noise in the audible and infrasound range was recorded 50 m from the wind turbine. Rearing pigs in close proximity to the wind turbine (50 m) resulted in decreased muscle pH, total heme pigments and heme iron as well as reduced content of C18:3n-3 fatty acid in the loin muscle. Loins of pigs reared 50 m from the wind turbine were characterized by significantly lower iron content (6.7 ppm g−1) compared to the loins of pigs reared 500 and 1000 m from the wind turbine (10.0-10.5 ppm g−1). The concentration of α-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3) in loin and neck muscles decreased as the distance from the wind turbine increased. Avoiding noise-induced stress is important not only for maintaining meat quality but also for improving animal welfare.
Zbigniew Józef Dolatowski
Department of Meat Technology and Food Quality, University of Life Sciences, Lublin, Poland
Faculty of Animal Breeding and Biology, University of Technology and Life Sciences, Bydgoszcz, Poland
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Technology and Life Sciences, Bydgoszcz, Poland
Annals of Animal Science. Volume 15, Issue 4, Pages 1043–1054, October 2015
Download original document: “The Effect of Varying Distances from the Wind Turbine on Meat Quality of Growing-Finishing Pigs”
Author: Pawlaczyk-Łuszczyńska, Małgorzata; et al.
Objectives. The overall aim of this study was to evaluate the perception of and annoyance due to the noise from wind turbines in populated areas of Poland.
Material and Methods. The study group comprised 156 subjects. All subjects were asked to fill in a questionnaire developed to enable evaluation of their living conditions, including prevalence of annoyance due to the noise from wind turbines and the self-assessment of physical health and well-being. In addition, current mental health status of the respondents was assessed using Goldberg General Health Questionnaire GHQ-12. For areas where the respondents lived, A-weighted sound pressure levels (SPLs) were calculated as the sum of the contributions from the wind power plants in the specific area.
Results. It has been shown that the wind turbine noise at the calculated A-weighted SPL of 30-48 dB was noticed outdoors by 60.3% of the respondents. This noise was perceived as annoying outdoors by 33.3% of the respondents, while indoors by 20.5% of them. The odds ratio of being annoyed outdoors by the wind turbine noise increased along with increasing SPLs (OR = 2.1; 95% CI: 1.22–3.62). The subjects’ attitude to wind turbines in general and sensitivity to landscape littering was found to have significant impact on the perceived annoyance. About 63% of variance in outdoors annoyance assessment might be explained by the noise level, general attitude to wind turbines and sensitivity to landscape littering.
Conclusions. Before firm conclusions can be drawn further studies are needed, including a larger number of respondents with different living environments (i.e., dissimilar terrain, different urbanization and road traffic intensity).
Department of Physical Hazards
Department of Occupational Psychology
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health
Download original document: “Evaluation of annoyance from the wind turbine noise – A pilot study”
Author: Mikołajczak, J.; et al.
Wind farms produce electricity without causing air pollution and environmental degradation. Unfortunately, wind turbines are a source of infrasound, which may cause a number of physiological effects, such as an increase in cortisol and catecholamine secretion. The impact of infrasound noise, emitted by wind turbines, on the health of geese and other farm animals has not previously been evaluated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of noise, generated by wind turbines, on the stress parameters (cortisol) and the weight gain of geese kept in surrounding areas. The study consisted of 40 individuals of 5-week-old domestic geese Anser anser f domestica, divided into 2 equal groups. The first experimental gaggle (I) remained within 50 m from turbine and the second one (II) within 500 m. During the 12 weeks of the study, noise measurements were also taken. Weight gain and the concentration of cortisol in blood were assessed and significant differences in both cases were found. Geese from gaggle I gained less weight and had a higher concentration of cortisol in blood, compared to individuals from gaggle II. Lower activity and some disturbing changes in behavior of animals from group I were noted. Results of the study suggest a negative effect of the immediate vicinity of a wind turbine on the stress parameters of geese and their productivity.
Polish Journal of Veterinary Sciences Vol. 16, No. 4 (2013), 679–686
J. Mikołajczak, J. Marć-Pieńkowska, P. Szterk
Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Management, Faculty of Animal Breeding and Biology
Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Department of Poultry Breeding, Faculty of Animal Breeding and Biology
University of Technology and Life Sciences, Mazowiecka, Bydgoszcz
G. Odrowąż-Sypniewska, J. Siódmiak
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy, Nicolaus Copernicus University Collegium Medicum, Bydgoszcz
Download original document: “Preliminary studies on the reaction of growing geese (Anser anser f. domestica) to the proximity of wind turbines”