Thursday, 29 November 2012

Peer reviewed study: Wind turbines cause sleep loss and mental health problems

Living close to these can cause serious health problems.
(image wikipedia)

It is widely known that wind turbines are inefficient, unprofitable without subisidies, and that they kill hundreds of thousands of birds and bats every year. Now a new peer reviewed study, published in the international journal Noise &  Health shows that industrial wind turbines also cause sleep loss, mental and other health problems for people living in their vicinity. 

This is what the authors of the study, Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, Dr. Jeffery J. Araminy and Dr. Christopher D. Hanning conclude:

This study supports the conclusions of previous studies, which demonstrate a relationship between proximity to IWTs and the general adverse effect of 'annoyance',[11],[12],[13] but differs in demonstrating clear dose-response relationships in important clinical indicators of health including sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and mental health. The levels of sleep disruption and the daytime consequences of increased sleepiness, together with the impairment of mental health and the dose-response relationships observed in this study (distance from IWT vs. effect) strongly suggest that the noise from IWTs results in similar health impacts as other causes of excessive environmental noise 1 .

The degree of effect on sleep and health from IWT noise seems to be greater than that of other sources of environmental noise, such as, road, rail, and aircraft noise. Bray and James have argued that the commonly used noise metric of LAeq (averaged noise level adjusted to human hearing) is not appropriate for IWT noise, which contains relatively high levels of low frequency sound (LFN) and infrasound with impulsive characteristics. [14] This has led to an underestimation of the potential for adverse health effects of IWTs

We conclude that the noise emissions of IWTs disturbed the sleep and caused daytime sleepiness and impaired mental health in residents living within 1.4 km of the two IWT installations studied. Industrial wind turbine noise is a further source of environmental noise, with the potential to harm human health. Current regulations seem to be insufficient to adequately protect the human population living close to IWTs. Our research suggests that adverse effects are observed at distances even beyond 1 km. Further research is needed to determine at what distances risks become negligable, as well as to better estimate the portion of the population suffering from adverse effects at a given distance.

(bolding by NNoN)

Read the entire study here

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