What about alleged health effects?

In 2009 an international panel of experts released a report, Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects: An Expert Panel, based on a review of a large body of scientific literature on sound and health effects, and specifically with regard to sound produced by wind turbines.

After extensive review, analysis and discussion, the panel concluded:

  • There is no evidence that the audible or sub-audible sounds emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects.
  • The ground-borne vibrations from wind turbines are too weak to be detected by, or to affect, humans.
  • The sounds emitted by wind turbines are not unique. There is no reason to believe, based on the levels and frequencies of the sounds and the panel's experience with sound exposures in occupational settings, that the sounds from wind turbines could plausibly have direct adverse health consequences.

The Panel also reached the conclusion that: 'The evidence indicates that 'wind turbine syndrome' is based on misinterpretation of physiologic data and that the features of the so-called syndrome are merely a subset of annoyance reactions. The evidence for vibroacoustic disease (tissue inflammation and fibrosis associated with sound exposure) is extremely dubious at levels of sound associated with wind turbines.'

Psychological Expectations

A PhD student at Auckland University, Fiona Crighton, has been examining infrasound. Her study found that psychological expectations can explain the link between wind turbine exposure and health complaints. Fiona is currently working on a study that appears to prove that if you create a positive expectation of infrasound you could actually cure any ‘wind turbine syndrome’.

In March 2013, Professor Simon Chapman, Professor of Public Health at Sydney University released a study that reported on the nocebo or ‘communicated disease’ hypothesis. Professor Chapman’s research indicates that anxiety and fear about wind turbines being spread about by anti-wind farm groups, will cause some vulnerable people to get the symptoms described to them. He has recently uploaded a video to Youtube.