Thorne, R. Wind Farm Generated Noise and Adverse Health Effects

Dr. Bob Thorne, Team Leader
Noise Measurement Services P/L, November 2012

Submission to Senate Hearing on Excessive Noise from Wind Farms Bill

Annoyance and health-related quality of life concerns experienced by individuals living in the vicinity of two Australian wind farms are recorded. Noise exposures for individuals living in the vicinity of the same wind farms are examined for overall level and character.

Twenty-one of the 25 respondents participating in the study reported severe to moderate adverse health effects. Reported adverse health effects include sleep disturbance, headaches, noise sensitivity, irritability, anxiousness, pressure on ear-drums, sinus problems, panic attacks, balance rotational problems, erratic/high blood pressure, tightened scalp / forehead, eye-strain and nausea. Nausea attacks are cited as being common, with some residents having to leave their home to sleep where there is no turbine noise.

People affected by the wind farm appear to respond in two distinct groups: those affected almost as soon as the wind farm started operating and those affected some 6 to 8 months later. Persons interviewed live between 700 metres and a distance of around 3500 metres from the turbines, with an ‘average’ of 1400 metres.

The study was undertaken in January – June 2012 in Victoria, Australia.

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