Health Canada announced Tuesday that it will be conducting a study on the health effects of low frequency noise generated by wind turbines on people who live nearby.
Researchers plan to study a sample of 2,000 dwellings near 8-12 wind turbine installations. The study will examine noise levels at variety of setback distances from less than 500 metres to greater than 5 kilometers. In addition to physical tests such as blood pressure and hormone levels, researchers will conduct face-to face interviews with participants and undertake extensive sound modelling.
The study is being designed by a team of experts from areas such as acoustics, noise, health assessment, clinical medicine, statistics and epidemiology, and will be peer-reviewed by the World Health Organization. Health Canada believes there is currently insufficient evidence to conclude whether or not there is a relationship between exposure to the noise from wind turbines and adverse human health effects. In a decision last year, Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal also concluded that further research was warranted on the potential health effects of wind turbines.
The proposed research methodology will remain open for public comment on Health Canada’s website until August 8, 2012. Results are expected to be released in 2014