Noise, Infrasound, and Health
“Some people with wind turbines located close to their homes have reported a variety of clinical symptoms that in rare cases are severe enough to force them to move away. These symptoms include sleep disturbance…”
This analysis uses data from the Community Noise and Health Study developed by Statistics Canada to investigate the association between residential proximity to wind turbines and health-related outcomes in a dataset that also provides objective measures of wind turbine noise. The findings indicate that residential proximity to wind turbines is correlated with annoyance and health-related quality of life measures.
This WHO document on the Guidelines for Community Noise is the outcome of the WHO- expert task force meeting held in London, United Kingdom, in April 1999.
"For a good night’s sleep, the equivalent sound level should not exceed 30 dB(A) for continuous background noise, and individual noise events exceeding 45 dB(A) should be avoided. In setting limits for single night-time noise exposures, the intermittent character of the noise has to be taken into account. This can be achieved, for example, by measuring the number of noise events, as well as the difference between the maximum sound level and the background sound level. Special attention should also be given to: noise sources in an environment with low background sound levels; combinations of noise and vibrations; and to noise sources with low-frequency components."
This WHO document on the Guidelines for Night Noise is the outcome of the WHO- expert task force meeting.
Compared to previous WHO guidelines on noise, this version contains five significant developments: stronger evidence of the cardiovascular and metabolic effects of environmental noise; inclusion of new noise sources, namely wind turbine noise and leisure noise, in addition to noise from transportation (aircraft, rail and road traffic); use of a standardized approach to assess the evidence; a systematic review of evidence, defining the relationship between noise exposure and risk of adverse health outcomes; use of long-term average noise exposure indicators to better predict adverse health outcomes.
Evidence-based health studies were not conducted to determine adequate setbacks and noise levels for the siting of IWTs before the implementation of the Ontario renewable energy policy. In addition, provision for vigilance monitoring was not made. It is now clear that the regulations are not adequate to protect the health of all exposed individuals.
Late last year, Glenmore, a rural community just south of Green Bay, persuaded its county's board of health to declare that the sounds of an eight-turbine wind farm pose a "human health hazard." It was the first time a health board has made such a determination. Wind energy opponents from across the country seized on the decision as proof of "wind turbine syndrome," a supposed illness caused by low-frequency noise and "infrasound" that is typically undetectable to the human ear.
An examination of the literature realted to Wind Turbine noise. "There is enough anecdotal and scientific evidence to indicate that ILFN from IWTs causes annoyance, sleep disturbance, stress, and a variety of other AHEs to warrant siting the turbines at distances sufficient to avoid such harmful effects, which, without proper siting, occur in a substantial percentage of the population."
This article suggests that the Nuremberg Code (1947) is the universally accepted regulation on human experimentation. Each of the Code’s 10 stipulations apply to the ongoing experiment in Arkwright ( and elsewhere) where residents are subject to infrasound.
The pilot study carried out in Satakunta and Northern Ostrobothnia in Finland shows that the damage caused by infrasound from wind power plants will only decrease significantly more than 15 kilometers away from wind turbines. The study was carried out by the Finnish Association for Environmental Health (SYTe) in the spring 2016.
Biomedical engineer Dr Mariana Alves-Pereira recently studied the impact of ILFN from wind turbines in Ireland, concluding that noise regulations need updating to reflect noise levels that endanger human health
This study presents the results of a comparative study into shadow flicker regulations in many countrues 9including the US). The study shows that most countries have based their regulations on the German Guideline. This Guideline states a limit value of 30 hours per year and 30 minutes per day for the astronomical maximum possible shadow (worst case).
Former Vestas’ CEO, Ditlev Engel has admitted that larger setback distances are the only way to address low frequency and infrasonic impacts, particularly on larger (3MW) turbines. Bigger setbacks means fewer locations for siting turbines near where people live.