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Wind turbines causing depression, study suggests

Some people living near wind farms in northeastern B.C. say their health has been negatively impacted by the turbines and a new scientific study might support those claims.

Gary Levesque, who lives near the Bear Mountain Windpark just outside of Dawson Creek, says his health has been negatively impacted by wind turbines near his home.

“As soon as they went up and got running, my blood pressure went up. My wife has migraine headaches and suffers from depression. My daughter suffers from depression,” Levesque says.

A newly published study in the Journal of Noise and Health suggests the Levesque family is not alone.

The study compared two groups of people living in Maine, and found those living near wind turbines had worse sleep and more mental health concerns than those living further away, said co-author Jeff Aramini.

“Roughly half of the individuals were categorized as being at risk for clinical depression – so, half of those close – compared to only seven per cent of people living further than three kilometres,” Aramini told CBC news.

The findings come as Health Canada is conducting its own study of the health impacts of wind farms. The results are expected in 2014.