A pressure group, supported by Struan Stevenson, a former Conservative MEP, has been set up to back legal action against wind farms, including those in the planning stage, that are alleged to pose a threat to public health.
Campaigners fear that many people do not realise they are suffering from ailments brought on by infrasound – noise at such a low frequency that it cannot be heard but can be felt – and that wind turbines cause head aches.
However, the Scottish Government has now commissioned ClimateXChange to look at whether the visual, shadow flicker and noise impacts – predicted by wind farm developers in their planning applications – are consistent with the impacts experienced once the wind farm is operating, to help inform planning guidance. The study will report its findings in the autumn.
A Scottish Energy Department spokesman added: “This study is separate to a previous research project carried out by ClimateXChange – which reviewed international research on the health effects on wind turbines and which found no evidence of a link between the operation of wind turbines and adverse health effects.”
Renewables UK also said that the scientific literature had found ‘no causal connection’ between wind farms and ill-health. (See links below)
* Potential impact on humans can be minimised by following existing planning guidelines.”
Source: NHMRC 2010
* “There is no evidence that the audible or sub-audible sounds emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects.” Source: Colby 2009 review
* “… surveys of peer-reviewed scientific literature have consistently found no evidence linking wind turbines to human health concerns.” Source: CanWEA
* “There is insufficient evidence that the noise from wind turbines is directly causing health problems or disease.” Source: Massachusetts review
* “There is no reason to believe, based on the levels and frequencies of the sounds and… sound exposures in occupational settings, that the sounds from wind turbines could plausibly have direct adverse health consequences.” Source: Colby 2009
* “… while some people living near wind turbines report symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and sleep disturbance, the scientific evidence available to date does not demonstrate a direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects. The sound level from wind turbines at common residential setbacks is not sufficient to cause hearing impairment or other direct health effects…” Source:
Ontario CMOH Report
* “… the audible noise created by a wind turbine, constructed at the approved setback distance does not pose a health impact concern.”
Source: Chatham-Kent Public