There are over 70,000 operating wind turbines in the U.S. Millions of people in the U.S. and around the world live near operating wind turbines and over the past 20 years university researchers, government scientists, and medical agencies have published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific studies on health and living in proximity to wind turbines. They have investigated issues surrounding audible noise and low frequency noise (the sound we hear), infrasound (the sound we don’t hear), shadow flicker and electromagnetic fields (EMF) from turbines. The overwhelming evidence indicates that properly sited wind turbines do not pose a risk to people’s health.
- Scientific evidence to date, including the twenty-five peer-reviewed studies referenced in this study, “Summary of Main Conclusions Reached in 25 Reviews of the Research Literature on Wind Farms and Health” – compiled by Professor Simon Chapman and Teresa Simonetti of the Sydney University Medical School, indicates that at common residential setback distances there is no direct health risk from wind turbine noise, including low-frequency noise and infrasound.
- The most comprehensive multi-disciplinary, multi-million-dollar field study to date (including surveys and objective health measurements) was conducted by the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Canada. Health Canada study found that self-reported sleep issues, illnesses, and stress were “not found to be associated with wind turbine noise (WTN) exposure.”
- With respect to objective health measurements, Health Canada and Statistics Canada found, “WTN was not observed to be related to hair cortisol concentrations, blood pressure, resting heart rate or measured sleep (e.g., sleep latency, awakenings, sleep efficiency) following the application of multiple regression models.”
- In a review of potential health effects of living near wind turbines the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reached similar conclusions stating:
- There is no evidence for a set of health effects from exposure to wind turbines that can be characterized as “Wind Turbine Syndrome.”
- Claims that infrasound from wind turbines directly impacts the vestibular system have not been demonstrated scientifically. Available evidence shows that the infrasound levels near wind turbines cannot impact the vestibular system.
- The strongest epidemiological study suggests that there is not an association between noise from wind turbines and measures of psychological distress or mental health.
- None of the limited epidemiological evidence reviewed suggests an association between noise from wind turbines and pain and stiffness, diabetes, high blood pressure, tinnitus, hearing impairment, cardiovascular disease, and headache/migraine.
- Furthermore, in April 2022 the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) released a review and summary of the available scientific literature regarding wind turbines and public health. ODH concluded that “there is no significant body of peer-reviewed, scientific evidence that clearly demonstrates a direct link between adverse physical health effects and exposures to noise (audible, LFN, or infrasound), visual phenomena (shadow flicker), or EMF [electromagnetic field] associated with wind turbine projects.”