According to a new study by Health Canada, exposure to wind turbines does not cause health problems. Rather, people just find them annoying.
The report found that wind turbine noise was not associated with sleep disturbance, dizziness, tinnitus, frequent migraines and headaches, high blood pressure, or chronic pain.
The study, which launched in 2012, looked at adults in 1,238 households in Ontario and Prince Edward Island who lived within varying distances of wind turbines. The households were anywhere from 600-meters to 10-kilometers away from the installations.
The report states “that exposure to WTN (wind turbine noise) was not found to be associated with any significant changes in reported quality of life…nor with overall quality of life and satisfaction with health.”
While no major health effects were reported, the report did find that people grew more annoyed when the noise increased. The turbines’ blinking lights, vibrations, and flickering shadows also annoyed respondents.
The study even found that people are likely to be more annoyed by wind turbine noise than noise from rail or road traffic.
Not surprisingly, people found the noise most annoying in the summer, evenings, and while outdoors.
In Canada, wind energy capacity has grown from around 137-megawatts in 2000, to just over 8.5-gigawatts in 2014.