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Industrial wind turbines and adverse health effects 

Author:  | Health, Noise

Introduction: Some people living in the environs of industrial wind turbines (IWTs) report experiencing adverse health and socioeconomic effects. This review considers the hypothesis that annoyance from audible IWTs is the cause of these adverse health effects.

Methods: We searched PubMed and Google Scholar for articles published since 2000 that included the terms “wind turbine health,” “wind turbine infrasound,” “wind turbine annoyance,” “noise annoyance” or “low frequency noise” in the title or abstract.

Results: Industrial wind turbines produce sound that is perceived to be more annoying than other sources of sound. Reported effects from exposure to IWTs are consistent with well-known stress effects from persistent unwanted sound.

Conclusion: If placed too close to residents, IWTs can negatively affect the physical, mental and social well-being of people. There is sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that noise from audible IWTs is a potential cause of health effects. Inaudible low-frequency noise and infrasound from IWTs cannot be ruled out as plausible causes of health effects.

Introduction : Des gens qui habitent à proximité des éoliennes industrielles affirment subir des effets préjudiciables pour leur santé et leur situation socio-économique. La présente analyse étudie l’hypothèse selon laquelle le désagrément causé par le bruit deséoliennes serait à l’origine de ces effets néfastes pour la santé.

Méthodes : Nous avons cherché dans PubMed et Google Scholar des articles publiés depuis 2000 et contenant les expressions « wind turbine health », « wind turbine infrasound », « wind turbine annoyance », « noise annoyance » ou « low frequency noise » dans le titre ou le résumé.

Résultats : Les éoliennes industrielles produisent un son qui est perçu comme étant plus désagréable que d’autres sources de bruit. Les effets signalés de l’exposition aux éoliennes industrielles correspondent à des effets de stress bien connus causés par des sons persistants non voulus.

Conclusion : Si elles sont situées trop près des habitations, les éoliennes industrielles peuvent avoir des effets préjudiciables pour le bien-être physique, mental et social des gens. Il existe suffisamment de preuves pour conclure que le bruit audible des éoliennes industrielles est une cause possible d’effets sur la santé. En outre, on ne peut écarter comme cause plausible d’effets sur la santé les sons de basse fréquence et les infrasons produits par ces éoliennes.

Can J Rural Med 2014;19(1):21-26

Roy D. Jeffery, MD, CCFP, FCFP – Manitoulin Island, Ont.
Carmen M.E. Krogh, BScPharm – Killaloe, Ont.
Brett Horner, BA, CMA – Killaloe, Ont.

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This material is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Queries e-mail.

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