Decibel levels experienced by people living near wind farms should be considered in the drafting of new regulations, Labour Senator John Whelan has said.
Mr Whelan said: “We were told in the past that cigarettes and asbestos were not harmful and we did not always know about the harmful effects of exposure to X-rays and other forms of radiation.’’
Mr Whelan told the Seanad there was an emerging body of scientific evidence underpinning the view that increased noise levels for families living within a 2km range of wind farms could have a detrimental effect on their quality of life.
Mr Whelan said: “It is argued that the noise is not loud.
“However, just because we cannot hear it with the naked ear does not mean there is no infrasound; a constant, invasive and persistent vibration with which people have to live.’’
Mr Whelan said you could not even compare the sound to traffic and other background noises, because there was no escape from a wind farm once it was established near your home.
Minister for Energy Alex White said his officials were well advanced in drafting a White Paper on energy for publication in September.
Mr White said that international research would inform all decisions.
“The best technical research and scientific evidence will inform my decisions and, I am sure, the decisions of my colleagues in the Department of the Environment.”
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