…an academic study by Daniel Shepherd, David McBride, David Welch, Kim N. Dirks, Erin M. Hill


(Department of Psychology, School of Public Health, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, School of Population Health, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)


This paper was published recently (September 2011) in an interdisciplinary  journal (public & evironmental health). Here's part of the abstract of what the study found:-

…residents living within 2 km of a turbine installation reporting lower overall quality of life, physical quality of life, and environmental quality of life. Those exposed to turbine noise also reported significantly lower sleep quality, and rated their environment as less restful. Our data suggest that wind farm noise can negatively impact facets of HRQOL [Health Related Quality of Life] .

You can access the full paper here and the conclusions are reproduced below:-

A thorough investigation of wind turbine noise and its effects on health is important given the prevalence of exposed individuals, a nontrivial number that is increasing with the popularity of wind energy. For example, in the Netherlands it is reported that 440,000 inhabitants (2.5% of the population) are exposed to significant levels of wind turbine noise. Additionally, policy makers are demanding more information on the possible link between wind turbines and health in order to inform setback distances. Our results suggest that utility-scale wind energy generation is not without adverse health impacts on nearby residents. Thus, nations 339 Noise & Health, September-October 2011, Volume 13 Shepherd, et al.: Health and wind turbine noise undertaking large-scale deployment of wind turbines need to consider the impact of noise on the HRQOL of exposed individuals. Along with others, we conclude that nighttime wind turbine noise limits should be set conservatively to minimize harm, and, on the basis of our data, suggest that setback distances need to be greater than 2 km in hilly terrain.


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