background preloader

Journal Articles- Health effects

Facebook Twitter

Journal Articles based on the human health effects of wind farms

Tony Abbott agrees windfarms may have 'potential health impacts' Tony Abbott finds windfarms visually awful and agrees they may have “potential health impacts”, and says the deal on the renewable energy target was designed to reduce their numbers as much as the current Senate would allow.

Tony Abbott agrees windfarms may have 'potential health impacts'

Speaking to the Sydney radio host Alan Jones – a long-term windfarm critic – the prime minister said: “I do take your point about the potential health impact of these things … when I’ve been up close to these windfarms not only are they visually awful but they make a lot of noise. “What we did recently in the Senate was to reduce, Alan, capital R-E-D-U-C-E, the number of these things that we are going to get in the future … I frankly would have likely to have reduced the number a lot more but we got the best deal we could out of the Senate and if we hadn’t had a deal, Alan, we would have been stuck with even more of these things … The opposition leader, Bill Shorten, said the comments would create investor uncertainty. “There’s Tony Abbott at it again,” he said. The real science on wind farms, noise, infrasound and health.

In a radio interview this morning, Prime Minister Tony Abbott raised what he described as the “potential health impacts” of wind farms.

The real science on wind farms, noise, infrasound and health

Yesterday’s article in The Australian by Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonjhelm highlighted some very good points about wind turbine noise and its effect on people living near them. People are complaining of a range of health related problems and are attributing them to wind turbines. The question is: what is the cause of these health problems? Many blame the production of infrasound from wind turbines, yet this has not been proven to date.

What is needed is new, comprehensive research to determine the true cause. These concerns are currently being aired through a Senate Committee on wind farms and regulations, chaired by independent senator John Madigan. I have been interested in how wind turbines produce noise, through a variety of research projects spanning several years. NHMRC Statement and Information Paper: Evidence on Wind Farms and Human Health. National Health and Medical Research Council. NHMRC is responsible for ensuring that Australians receive the best available, evidence-based advice on matters relating to improving health and preventing disease.

National Health and Medical Research Council

The NHMRC Strategic Plan 2013-15 includes particular focus on investigating new and emerging health issues, particularly through environmental hazards and changes in the human environment. Wind farms have been promoted as an alternative to traditional, non-renewable forms of energy production. However, concern about the effects on health from living near a wind farm has been expressed by some members of the community. Journal arcticle, cookie error wouldn't display it. Theconversation. A surge in health complaints linked to wind farms could owe more to increased discussion of health risk than the low-level sound generated by the actual turbines, according to a new study.

theconversation

The study by University of Sydney’s Professor Simon Chapman shows health complaints in Australia were rare until reports emerged about the purported health risks of living close to wind farms. Increased numbers of people reporting symptoms linked to turbines could be explained by public warnings about health effects triggering the complaints; a phenomenon known as the nocebo effect. This occurs because such information can create health concerns and related symptom expectations, priming people to notice and negatively interpret common physical sensations and symptoms. Spatio-temporal differences in the history of health and noise complaints about Australian wind farms: evidence for the psychogenic, “communicated disease” hypothesis.

Theconversation. A study of mine published last night delivers a double whammy to those who argue that wind turbines cause health problems in communities.

theconversation

Earlier this week researchers at the University of Auckland published an experimental study showing that people primed by watching online information about health problems from wind turbines, reported more symptoms after being exposed to recorded infrasound or to sham (fake) infrasound. The study provided powerful evidence for the nocebo hypothesis: the idea that anxiety and fear about wind turbines being spread about by anti-wind farm groups, will cause some people hearing this scary stuff to get those symptoms. The double whammy for the scaremongers comes in the form of an historical audit of all complaints made about wind farm noise or health problems on all of Australia’s 49 wind farms. Australia’s first wind farm, which still operates today, started generating power in 1993 at Esperance in Western Australia.

Where does the problem stop? Wind Farms and Health - 2014. Wind turbine technology is considered a comparatively inexpensive and effective means of energy production.

Wind Farms and Health - 2014

Wind turbines generate sound, including infrasound, which is very low frequency noise that is generally inaudible to the human ear. Infrasound is ubiquitous in the environment, emanating from natural sources (e.g. wind, rivers) and from artificial sources including road traffic, ventilation systems, aircraft and other machinery. All modern wind turbines in Australia are designed to be upwind, with the blade in front of the tower. These upwind turbines generate much lower levels of infrasound and low frequency sound.