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University of Waterloo Research Chair wind turbine study results statistically significant  

Credit:  Carmen Krogh | Oct. 24, 2013 | ontario-wind-resistance.org ~~

At a recent ‘Symposium on Sustainability’ (Thursday, October 17, 2013) at York University, Toronto, facilitated by former Toronto Mayor David Miller, part of the Symposia of the Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy, a poster report entitled ‘Wind Turbine Noise, Sleep Quality, and Symptoms of Inner Ear Problems’ was presented by Claire Paller, Phil Bigelow, Shannon Majowicz, Jane Law, and Tanya Christidis.

This University of Waterloo and Ontario Ministry of Environment funded health study indicates statistically significant results for sleep, vertigo and tinnitus:

“All relationships were found to be positive and statistically significant.”

“In total there were 412 surveys returned; 16 of these survey respondents did not provide their home address. Therefore, 396 surveys were included in the analysis.”

Of note is the acknowledgement that as the distance from wind turbines increases, sleep improves:

“The relationship between ln(distance) (as a continuous variable) and mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was found to be statistically significant (P=.0096) when controlling for age, gender and county. This relationship shows that as the distance increases (moves further away from a wind turbine), PSQI decreases (i.e., sleep improves) in a logarithmic relationship. Multivariate analysis involved assessing distance to the nearest wind turbine as both distance and ln(distance). In all cases, ln(distance) resulted in improved model fit.”

In addition the researchers state that the relationship between vertigo and tinnitus worsened for those living closer to wind turbines:

“The relationship between vertigo and ln(distance) was statistically significant (P<.001) when controlling for age, gender, and county. The relationship between tinnitus and ln(distance) approached statistical significance (P=.0755). Both vertigo and tinnitus were worse among participants living closer to wind turbines.”

The conclusion states:

“In conclusion, relationships were found between ln(distance) and PSQI, ln(distance) and self-reported vertigo and ln(distance) and self-reported tinnitus. Study findings suggest that future research should focus on the effects of wind turbine noise on sleep disturbance and symptoms of inner ear problems.”

Counties and projects in the study include:

Bruce (Enbridge project)
Chatham-Kent (Raleigh)
Dufferin (Melancthon)
Elgin (Erie Shores)
Essex (Comber)
Frontenac (Wolfe Island)
Huron (Kingsbridge)
Norfolk (Frogmore/Cultus/ClearCreek)

Based on this evidence, it is not clear what the next steps will be for the Ministry of Environment. However, evidence gathered by other researchers in Ontario and elsewhere supports these statistically significant findings.

Carmen Krogh BSc Pharm
Ontario, Canada

Source:  Carmen Krogh | Oct. 24, 2013 | ontario-wind-resistance.org

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

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