A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wind Turbine Health Report

Our own local Medical Officer of Health has been asked to do a health study on the effects of industrial wind turbines upon the predominantly rural residents that have had these part time wind driven generators built in their backyards. I doubt that she has the necessary resources to do a proper study and there has been much reluctance to previously do so by both the wind industry and government. However there is now at least one independent study that has been published that confirms what many of those affected have been saying.
The study — “Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health” — assessed two wind farm communities in Maine and whilst limited in scope does conclude that some folks are indeed negatively affected even at a distance of over 1km.

The study concludes “that the noise emissions of IWTs (industrial wind turbines) disturbed the sleep and caused daytime sleepiness and impaired mental health in residents living within 1.4 km of the two IWT installations studied. Industrial wind turbine noise is a further source of environmental noise, with the potential to harm human health. Current regulations seem to be insufficient to adequately protect the human population living close to IWTs. Our research suggests that adverse effects are observed at distances even beyond 1 km. Further research is needed to determine at what distances risks become negligible, as well as to better estimate the portion of the population suffering from adverse effects at a given distance.”

It should be noted that this study only considered noise concerns and did not address other things raised by those living near such 'wind farms'. I for one wonder why there is a moratorium of offshore wind farms that are distant from human habitation and not one on those that continue to spring up all across rural Ontario where the residents and indeed local municipal councils are helpless to stop them.
There may well be a necessity to supplement out power supply this way but until a means of storing the output from such intermittent sources of power and local residents concerns are given more weight I find it very difficult to view this technology in a positive light.

Perhaps this report will give a little more weight to rural residents concerns. Full report 800k PDF

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