A FEDERAL government health body has dismissed claims that low-frequency noise from turbines causes health problems in people who live near wind farms.
A review of published scientific literature by the National Health and Medical Research Council found that wind farms caused no direct pathological effects and any potential impact could be minimised by following existing planning guidelines.
The review follows claims that infrasound, or low-frequency noise, causes ”wind turbine syndrome”, which includes symptoms of nausea, dizziness, heart palpitations and headaches, “The Waubra Disease”.
The review found infrasound was constantly present in the environment due to ambient air turbulence, ventilation units, ocean waves, traffic and machinery.
”A survey of all known published results of infrasound from wind turbines found that wind turbines of contemporary design, where rotor blades are in front of the tower, produce very low levels of infrasound,” it said.
The audible noise of a 10-turbine wind farm 350 metres away was found to be roughly equivalent to a quiet bedroom, and less than a busy office or a car travelling at 64 km/h 100 metres away.
The review found there was no evidence that shadow flicker from blades was likely to cause epileptic seizures or that turbines cause dangerous electromagnetic fields.
The Clean Energy Council said the review should put to rest claims that wind farms could make people sick.
The review also backs up the Victorian Workcover report tabled during the planning assessment of the UFWA Berrybank wind farm in western Victoria. Work cover used the results from the Victoria Dept Health (DH) which had been investigating some of the recent claims including those from neighboring Waubra residents. The DH determined that the weight of evidence indicates that there are no direct heath effects from noise (audible and inaudible) at the levels generated by the modern turbines.
EPi offer a specific skill set for the wind energy industry, providing a complementary one stop shop of cross-divisional services required for the successful delivery of a large multi-discipline project. With a proven history of successfully managing outsourced services and contractors, we enable the client to achieve better project results whilst minimising disruption to current operations. EPi has developed a comprehensive wind farm project database and we would like to continue our work with the industry stakeholders to ensure the information is up-to-date and accurate.
AUSTRALIAN WIND FARM PROJECT MAP
EPi – offers wind farm development services including - environmental and approvals management, sourcing financial partners, formulating the appropriate procurement and project delivery strategies. Visit the website www.elementalpower.com.au for more information on our services.