Waiting for results of wind turbine study would be prudent

Gillian Slade — Medicine Hat News — May 24, 2013

One of the biggest wind energy projects is about to invade our landscape with more than 300 additional wind turbines.

Although a green energy project is admirable we should be asking if this project is appropriate now, just a matter of months before the Health Canada research study is due.

On July 11, 2012, Health Canada acknowledged a growing number of complaints about reported negative health effects on people living near wind turbines.

Faced with the increased concerns a $1.8 million study by Health Canada was launched to initially focus on 2,000 residents living near a dozen wind turbine installations. At the time there were 140 land-based wind farms in Canada with most located in Ontario and Quebec.

A team of 25 experts in acoustics, health assessment and medicine were appointed to the Health Canada study, including four international advisers.

At the time Health Canada said, “Currently, there is insufficient evidence to conclude whether or not there is a relationship between exposure to the noise from wind turbines and adverse human health effects, although community annoyance and other concerns have been reported to Health Canada and in the scientific literature.”

Exposure to low-frequency noise and vibrations are believed to contribute to “inaudible infrasound” affecting sleep disorders, headaches, depressions, anxiety and blood pressure, said Sherri Lange, CEO of North American Platform Against Wind Power, at the time.

Others in Canada concurred and welcomed Health Canada’s study.

Within two months of the study being announced there were 950 submissions, 1,800 pages of feedback and 350 attachments from people voicing their experiences and concerns.

Health Canada is working with Statistics Canada on an epidemiological study to measure the health of people living up to 10 km from wind turbine installations.

With sleep disturbances being a central theme of complaints the study is working to quantify the magnitude of sleep disturbance.   Continue reading, here…..

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