Wind Turbines Can Harm Humans if too close to Residents

Industrial Wind Turbines and Health: Wind Turbines Can Harm Humans if too close to Residents 1

A summary of peer reviewed and conference articles, their abstracts and citations, regarding adverse health effects and industrial wind turbines 2

Compiled September, 2012


Wind Turbine Acoustic Investigation: Infrasound and Low-Frequency Noise–A Case Study Stephen E. Ambrose, Robert W. Rand and Carmen M. E. Krogh DOI: 10.1177/0270467612455734 Bulletin of Science Technology & Society published online 17 August 2012 The online version of this article can be found at:

Bio: Stephen E. Ambrose has more than 35 years of experience in industrial noise control. Board Certified and Member INCE since 1978, he runs a small business providing cost- effective environmental noise consulting services for industrial and commercial businesses, municipal and state governments, and private citizens.

Bio: Robert W. Rand has more than 30 years of experience in industrial noise control, environmental sound and general acoustics. A Member INCE since 1993, he runs a small business providing consulting, investigator, and design services in acoustics.

Bio: Carmen M. E. Krogh, BScPharm, provided research and reference support. She is a retired pharmacist with more than 40 years of experience in health. She has held senior executive positions at a major teaching hospital, a professional association, and Health Canada. She was former Director of Publications and Editor-in-Chief of the Compendium of Pharmaceutical and Specialties (CPS), the book used in Canada by physicians, nurses, and other health professions for prescribing information on medication.

1 Excerpted from Case Nos.: 10-121/10-122 Erickson v. Director, Ministry of the Environment Environmental Review Tribunal, Decision, p 207 “This case has successfully shown that the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans. The evidence presented to the Tribunal demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents. The debate has now evolved to one of degree.” 2 This summary focuses on published literature 2010 to March 2012 associated with risks to health. References are not intended to be exhaustive.


Wind turbines produce sound that is capable of disturbing local residents and is reported to cause annoyance, sleep disturbance, and other health-related impacts. An acoustical study was conducted to investigate the presence of infrasonic and low-frequency noise emissions from wind turbines located in Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA. During the study, the investigating acousticians experienced adverse health effects consistent with those reported by some Falmouth residents. The authors conclude that wind turbine acoustic energy was found to be greater than or uniquely distinguishable from the ambient background levels and capable of exceeding human detection thresholds. The authors emphasize the need for epidemiological and laboratory research by health professionals and acousticians concerned with public health and well-being to develop effective and precautionary setback distances for industrial wind turbines that protect residents from wind turbine sound.

To continue reading, click here: 2012 update peer reviewed articles

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