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Research health effects of wind turbine noise say medical experts

13, March 2012

Two U.K. medical experts writing in the latest British Medical Journal have called for ‘robust, independent research into the health effects of existing wind farms’ saying such research is long overdue.

Dr Christopher Hanning and Professor Alun Evans say there is a large body of evidence to suggest that wind turbines disturb sleep and impair health while complying with permitted noise levels in most jurisdictions. 

The doctors stated that when seeking to generate renewable energy through wind, governments must ensure the public will not suffer harm from additional noise. 

The federal government has ignored recommendations from a senate inquiry last year for health studies and noise assessments.

The New South Wales government will close the consultation period on its draft wind farm guidelines tomorrow, which many groups say do not go far enough in protecting communities from adverse health effects. 

“A key element of the draft guidelines is the protection and safeguards offered to nearby residents and the guidelines in their present form are too weak” said Max Rheese, executive director of the Australian Environment Foundation.

“These medical experts are saying there are health effects when wind farms comply with noise regulations, which strengthens the case we have been putting to both the health minister and planning minister for some time that a precautionary approach is required until health studies and acoustic assessments we have been urging them to commit to have been undertaken. 

“This reflects the same advice given to them by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

“It beggars belief that Professor Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney, often proclaimed as a public health expert, but who has no medical training in sleep disorders or expertise in acoustics has been rubbishing claims of health effects from wind turbines and dismissing the need for health studies to address this growing problem.

“The expertise of the article authors in sleep disorders is widely acknowledged and they are unequivocal about the need for research into adverse health effects” said Mr Rheese.

                                                                           - ENDS -
The BMJ article is reproduced at http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2012/03/11/wind-turbine-noise-seems-to-affect-health-adversely-and-an-independent-review-of-evidence-is-needed/ 

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