That’s what researchers investigating possible health effects of wind turbines, want to learn in Elgin.
A University of Waterloo study is sending questionnaires over the next few weeks to residents in Elgin and other areas of Ontario who live near wind turbines. Approximately 5,000 people will be contacted by mail.
The university in summer, 2010 set up a multi-disciplinary, five-year research program to investigate the technological, health and safety aspects of renewable wind, solar light and heat, and bio energy sources, as well as their integration into the electric grid.
“These health studies are an important part of our research chair program by helping us understand the relationship between the renewable energy technologies and potential health effects,” Waterloo professor Siva Sivoththman, who heads the program, is quoted in a release.
The Ontario environment ministry is giving the research program arms-length funding of $300,000 a year.
To encourage participation in the survey, which asks recipients questions like how their sleep is, there’s a draw for a $150 gift card to the store of the winner’s choice.
Selected participants will be invited to take part in a second part of the study, involving a more in-depth health assessment.
As renewable energy faces mounting opposition rising from concerns about health implications, Health Canada also is studying the link between wind turbines and health.
The federal study is expected to be completed in 2014.
Tanya Christidis, University of Waterloo survey project coordinator, says results of both will add to the body of knowledge about wind turbines and health.
“The more knowledge we have, the better off we are,” said Christidis, a PhD candidate in urban planning and wind turbines.
She hoped the survey findings would be released as soon as they become available – possibly by year’s end.
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