Wind Turbine Study – have your say

Wind Turbine by "dhansak" on FlikrWhen I worked in the small town of Chetwynd in northern BC, there was an ongoing conversation in the letters section of the local news about the health effects of wind turbines on a nearby ridge, and in town. I’ll admit that I haven’t been following the science much since then.

The North American Platform Against Wind Power (NA-PAW) claims that wind turbines “can lead to sleep disorders, headaches, depression, anxiety and even blood pressure changes.” At first glance, those seem to be similar symptoms to the Wi-Fi health scare that’s going on.

Health Canada is currently developing the methodology for a study “that will explore the relationship between wind turbine noise and the extent of health effects reported by, and objectively measured in, those living near wind power developments.” And the draft methodology will be open for comments until August 8, 2012.

I would like to encourage the skeptics out there to look at the methodology and provide their comments to Health Canada. Let’s do what we can to ensure that this a good study right from the start, and not a waste of taxpayer money.

3 Responses to “Wind Turbine Study – have your say”

  1. MIchelle T says:

    Interesting! I just got back from visiting friends in Germany. I asked about the numerous wind turbines between Frankfurt and Berlin: is there controversy about health effects? My friends looked at me like I was crazy. While some Germans complain about a ruined view or the number of birds and bats killed by them, there are no reports of the turbines making people sick.

  2. jrkrideau says:

    I have no particular expertise in the area but

    “2.3 Research design
    The study will be conducted on a sample of 2000 dwellings randomly selected from those located near 8 to 12 WT installations in Canada.”

    seems to invalidate the study immediately.

    I just quickly glanced at the protocol but unless I missed it there is no control or even a non-equilalent comparision group so the study seems close to meaningless as it stands.

    Also am I reading the description correctly that noise levels are estimated rather than measured? Again not my area but are a few dozen decibel meters that costly?

    I like the size of the sample but I’d be a lot happier if it was something like 1,500 units near the the WTs and perhaps 1,000 split perhaps 50-50 within two rural groups: one with almost no mechanical or transport noise and one with some-railways, proximity to heavily travel highways, perhaps near airports-I am sure other people can think of similar situtations.

    As the design seem to stand, one might be able to show a distance gradiant from the WT but it sounds dubious.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] is currently developing the methodology for a study “that will explore the relationship between wind turbine noise and the extent of health effects reported by, and objectively measured in, those living near wind power developments.” Everyone [...]


  • Marion Kilgour

    Marion is a mechanical engineer, and also works to promote critical thinking and scientific literacy through local skeptical and atheist activism in Edmonton, Alberta. Marion especially wishes to encourage girls to consider science or technology-based careers, and is involved in the University of Alberta's Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology (WISEST) project.