Austria: Medical Association Issues Warning, Calls for Comprehensive Studies on Wind Turbine Noise

AUSTRIA — National Noise Day 30th April, 2014:

The Medical Chamber (equivalent to the Austrian Medical Association) is issuing a warning on behalf of large-scale wind turbine installations. The Chamber is calling for comprehensive studies on potential negative health effects as well as minimum safety distances to populated areas.

Vienna — Noise problems, caused by the operation of wind turbines, are drawing increasingly more attention from scientists. This was pointed out todday, Wednesday, by the Medical Chamber on the occasion of the International Noise Awareness Day. The Medical Chambe is now calling for comprehensive studies on potential negative health effects as well as a minimum safety distance to populated areas.

Wind power plants are — as opposed to individual wind turbines — very large scale operations and clustered into “wind parks”. The rotor diameter of current turbines can measure up to 114 metres — almost the length of a soccer pitch. Rotational speeds of the rotor blades lie in between 270 and 300km/h, which is causing distinct acoustic patterns and noise.

This is the point the Medical Chamber is making: “It has to be our objective to prevent sleep disorders, psychological effects and irreversible hearing damages, as they are also caused by wind farms” says Piero Lercher, the Chamber’s spokesperson for environmental medicine.

As complaints from residents about excessive and especially low-frequency noise and infrasound near wind farms are mounting, full scale investigations of potentially health-damaging effects are indispensable.  Continue reading here…..

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