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Self-reported and objectively measured health indicators among a sample of Canadians living within the vicinity of industrial wind turbines  

Author:  | Canada, Health, Noise, Ontario, Prince Edward Island

This is the detailed description of the methodology used for the Health Canada/Statistics Canada “Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study”, the preliminary results of which are summarized at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/noise-bruit/turbine-eoliennes/summary-resume-eng.php.

From the summary of results:

The following were not found to be associated with WTN exposure:

  • self-reported sleep (e.g., general disturbance, use of sleep medication, diagnosed sleep disorders);
  • self-reported illnesses (e.g., dizziness, tinnitus, prevalence of frequent migraines and headaches) and chronic health conditions (e.g., heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes); and
  • self-reported perceived stress and quality of life.

While some individuals reported some of the health conditions above, the prevalence was not found to change in relation to WTN levels.

But:

Statistically significant exposure-response relationships were found between increasing WTN levels and the prevalence of reporting high annoyance. These associations were found with annoyance due to noise, vibrations, blinking lights, shadow and visual impacts from wind turbines. In all cases, annoyance increased with increasing exposure to WTN [wind turbine noise] levels. …

  • WTN annoyance was found to be statistically related to several self-reported health effects including, but not limited to, blood pressure, migraines, tinnitus, dizziness, scores on the PSQI, and perceived stress.
  • WTN annoyance was found to be statistically related to measured hair cortisol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
  • The above associations for self-reported and measured health endpoints were not dependent on the particular levels of noise, or particular distances from the turbines, and were also observed in many cases for road traffic noise annoyance.
  • Although Health Canada has no way of knowing whether these conditions may have either pre-dated, and/or are possibly exacerbated by, exposure to wind turbines, the findings support a potential link between long term high annoyance and health.
  • Findings suggest that health and well-being effects may be partially related to activities that influence community annoyance, over and above exposure to wind turbines.

Download original document: “Self-reported and objectively measured health indicators among a sample of Canadians living within the vicinity of industrial wind turbines: Social survey and sound level modelling methodology

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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