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Review rejects claims wind turbines cause health problems

A review by the Victorian Department of Health has found that inaudible sounds caused by wind turbines do not have adverse affects on human health.

Groups opposed to wind turbines claim that they can cause a range of health problems including sleeplessness, depression, hypertension, heart attacks and memory dysfunction.

The review says sound can only affect health at levels that are loud enough to be easily heard.

However it acknowledges that annoyance is a recognised health effect of noise and can contribute to other health effects such as sleep disturbance.

Professor Simon Chapman, who has studied wind turbine complaints in Australia, says only a very small number of people complain about health problems linked to turbines.

“I estimate there’s only about 130 of them around the country, whereas there’s over 30,000 people who live within five kilometres of these things,” he said.

“So it’s really a small number of people who say they are affected by it.”

Noel Dean, moved from Waubra, near Ballarat, after complaining that a nearby wind farm was giving him inner ear problems.

He says the department’s finding is wrong.

“Well, I don’t know what they are talking about,” he said.

“They obviously haven’t talked, or listened to, the people who have been harmed.

“We are the ones with the symptoms and they’ve got to talk to us.”