Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wind Power does not make people sick

Through Tyler Hamilton of the Toronto Star, I was made aware of a major study of Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects.

The study was done for the Canadian Wind Energy Association and the American Wind Energy Association, so I assume that the results will be dismissed by the people working against wind power. The study was done by the two industry groups because no government agency was willing to do the study.

I looked through the list of the expert panel for the study, and they seem to cover all the bases for the issue and seem to be a reasonable representation for the study. The fact that there were seven people on the panel from all different areas of expertise lends credence to the conclusions. Here is the list of conclusions from the study:

  • There is no evidence that the audible or sub-audible sounds emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects.
  • The ground-borne vibrations from wind turbines are too weak to be detected by, or to affect, humans.
  • The sounds emitted by wind turbines are not unique. There is no reason to believe, based on the levels and frequencies of the sounds and the panel’s experience with sound exposures in occupational settings, that the sounds from wind turbines could plausibly have direct adverse health consequences.
These seem to fairly clear conclusions. The study is now being out forward for publication in peer reviewed journals. The case is now there for the people arguing that there are health impacts to come up with a study of a similar quality.

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