Board of Health Report, February 22, 2013 — Briefing Note & Literature Review on wind turbines and human health

Board of Health Report, February 22, 2013

Briefing Note

On September 21, 2012 the Board of Health heard presentations from several groups of residents who were living near wind turbine developments and experiencing various symptoms.  The Board requested that a review of the literature be done and reported to them.  Dr. Ian Arra (research co-ordinator at the University of Western Ontario) volunteered to do the systematic literature review.

Null Hypothesis (investigation will disprove or fail to disprove, never prove):  

There is no association between wind turbines induced-noise and human distress.

Stage One:

Define the key words and search the databases for all articles. (7 databases were searched)

Stage Two:

Screen all the titles and abstracts and remove those which do not fit our search criteria.

Stage Three:

Get the full article and scan it for inclusion criteria and exclusion criteria.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Studies exploring association between wind turbine noise and distress
  • Studies published in peer-reviewed journals (14 different journals from 6 Countries were included)
  • English language
  • Studies involving humans

Exclusion criteria:

  • Interim analysis
  • Updates
  • Duplicate reports
  • Cost effectiveness and economic studies

Variables Examined in the Studies:

  • Annoyance (sensitivity to noise)
  • Dose response
  • Economic benefit
  • Infrasound/road traffic/rural environment
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Visual impact
  • Well being/Quality of life


  • All studies rejected the Null Hypothesis – in other words, evidence of association was found in all included studies.
  • Evidence is weak – level 4 and 5
  • Three studies showed dose-response relationship
  • The criteria for causality has not been met, but the consistency of this association would warrant further research with different designs and investigation of multiple hypothesis.

Literature Review 2013 Association Between Wind Turbine Noise and Human Distress.



2 responses to “Board of Health Report, February 22, 2013 — Briefing Note & Literature Review on wind turbines and human health

  1. The author clearly has no medical knowledge. The key to the health problem is the nature of sound emitted by turbines ( low frequency/ infrasound). These disturb the cochlea in the inner ear disrupting a variety of brain functions and also enter and resonate within buildings. Any research which does not include medical expertise from relevant disciplines is of no value in assessing human response apart from explaining physical means by which and by how far sound travels. Acousticians are not doctors.
    Potential Solutions include some absurdities. On siting of turbines away from habitation, it is stated “However, sometimes the close proximity of residences and towns make this task next to impossible”. I find this fatuous and unscientific. The whole point is that the serious damage by turbines to health and quality of life, amply evidenced in all independent medical studies, is related to proximity to turbines and their number and power. Another “solution” refers to comparison of turbine emissions with background noise, the vast majority of which contains no low frequency elements and will not persist day or night at the whims of the wind. This review looks to me like another whitewash by the conspiracy of politically correct governments and health bodies worldwide brainwashed by a corrupt and irresponsible industry.

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