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Perception of wind turbine noise: two papers from Sweden  

Author:  | Health, Noise, Sweden

Wind turbine noise, annoyance and self-reported health and well-being in different living environments.

Pedersen E, Persson Waye K., Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden. eja.pedersen@set.hh.se

Occup Environ Med. 2007 Jul;64(7):480-6.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the prevalence of perception and annoyance due to wind turbine noise among people living near the turbines, and to study relations between noise and perception/annoyance, with focus on differences between living environments. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out in seven areas in Sweden across dissimilar terrain and different degrees of urbanisation. A postal questionnaire regarding living conditions including response to wind turbine noise was completed by 754 subjects. Outdoor A-weighted sound pressure levels (SPLs) were calculated for each respondent. Perception and annoyance due to wind turbine noise in relation to SPLs was analysed with regard to dissimilarities between the areas. RESULTS: The odds of perceiving wind turbine noise increased with increasing SPL (odds ratio [OR] 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25 to 1.40). The odds of being annoyed by wind turbine noise also increased with increasing SPLs (OR 1.1; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.25). Perception and annoyance were associated with terrain and urbanisation: (1) a rural area increased the risk of perception and annoyance in comparison with a suburban area; and (2) in a rural setting, complex ground (hilly or rocky terrain) increased the risk compared with flat ground. Annoyance was associated with both objective and subjective factors of wind turbine visibility, and was further associated with lowered sleep quality and negative emotions. CONCLUSION: There is a need to take the unique environment into account when planning a new wind farm so that adverse health effects are avoided. The influence of area-related factors should also be considered in future community noise research.

Download original document: “Wind turbine noise, annoyance and self-reported health and well-being in different living environments”

Perception and annoyance due to wind turbine noise – a dose-response relationship.

Pedersen E, Waye KP, Department of Environmental Medicine, Göteborg University, P.O. Box 414, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden. eja.pedersen@set.hh.se

J Acoust Soc Am. 2004 Dec;116(6):3460-70.

Installed global wind power increased by 26% during 2003, with U.S and Europe accounting for 90% of the cumulative capacity. Little is known about wind turbines’ impact on people living in their vicinity. The aims of this study were to evaluate the prevalence of annoyance due to wind turbine noise and to study dose-response relationships. Interrelationships between noise annoyance and sound characteristics, as well as the influence of subjective variables such as attitude and noise sensitivity, were also assessed. A cross-sectional study was performed in Sweden in 2000. Responses were obtained through questionnaires (n = 351; response rate 68.4%), and doses were calculated as A-weighted sound pressure levels for each respondent. A statistically significant dose-response relationship was found, showing higher proportion of people reporting perception and annoyance than expected from the present dose-response relationships for transportation noise. The unexpected high proportion of annoyance could be due to visual interference, influencing noise annoyance, as well as the presence of intrusive sound characteristics. The respondents’ attitude to the visual impact of wind turbines on the landscape scenery was found to influence noise annoyance.

Download original document: “Perception and annoyance due to wind turbine noise – a dose-response relationship”

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

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