By Jean-Paul McDonald, Farms.com
Health Canada has released a report (Nov 6, 2014) on a comprehensive study that explored the possible relationship between reported health issues and wind turbines. The study, conducted by Health Canada scientists, found that there are no direct links between wind turbines and human health. Researchers, including government, academic and industry experts, looked at data collected from over 1,200 study participants in the provinces of Ontario and P.E.I who all live within two kilometers of wind turbines and found no direct link between ill health and wind turbines.
Some people living near wind turbines have complained of symptoms ranging from headaches to sleep disruptions and feel strongly that the close proximity of wind turbines to their homes is a contributing factor, if not the sole cause of their health woes. Many residents in rural communities living near wind turbines have reported similar health concerns, particularly in Ontario, where anti-wind turbine sentiment is high.
The study did find a relationship between wind turbines and annoyance, though. The findings show that the louder the noise created by the turbines while operating, the more people became annoyed. Not only was the noise an issue of compliant, but also vibrations, blinking lights, and shadows cast by the turbines. The study did find a statistical link between annoyance and exposure to increasing levels of wind turbine noise, particularly when measurements exceeded 35 dBa.
Many people living in rural communities in Ontario are disappointed by the results of the study, including Jane Wilson, president of the province-wide organization Wind Concerns Ontario. “We have deep concerns about the methodology and conclusions and that, finally, these results do not reconcile with either the experience of Ontario communities, or other peer-reviewed research,” said Wilson, who’s group plans to study the report in detail.
The only certainty that can be concluded at this point is that the fight is far from over.