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Author:  McBride, DavidShepherd, DanielWelch, David; and Dirks, Kim



Background. Wind turbine noise is known to cause annoyance and sleep disturbance, which are primary health effects. An additional risk factor is the trait of noise sensitivity, which describes individuals who are more likely to pay attention to sound, evaluate sound negatively and have stronger emotional reactions to noise. The result is chronic stress, the effects of which could be monitored through detecting stress related outcomes such as hypertension in exposed individuals. An alternative approach is to monitor health related quality of life (HRQOL). This study examines whether there is a change in this metric over time in a turbine exposed community.

Methods. This is a 2 year follow up of a base-line survey carried out on individuals living within two kilometres of industrial wind turbines compared with a matched control group [“Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health-related quality of life”]. We have repeated the self administered questionnaire survey in which self-reported HRQOL was measured using the abbreviated version of the WHOQOL-BREF.

Results. The base-line survey found that residents living within 2 km of a turbine installation experienced significantly lower overall quality of life, physical quality of life, and environmental quality of life than a control group. The turbine group showed no change in WHOQOL or amenity scores with time, however compared to the 2012 control group, the turbine group had lower physical domain scores, and rated their overall health as being poorer. The results do not therefore support any improvement in this global health metric with time.

David McBride
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Daniel Shepherd
Department of Psychology, School of Public Health, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
David Welch
Kim N. Dirks

School of Population Health, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Presented at Internoise 2013, Innsbruck, Austria, 15-18 September 2013

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Author:  McMurtry, Robert

The first public meeting to describe the proposal for a 75 MW wind energy generating system on Amherst Island, dated December 2011, put forward a single document to address the potential adverse health impacts, a paper by Knopper and Ollson (2011) “Health effects and wind turbines: A review of the literature.” Other references have been added to the company website but no further document has been prepared in advance of the second public meetings to be held on March 5th and 6th, 2013. Drs. Knopper and Ollson have been retained as consultants by Algonquin Power Co.

The purpose of this commentary is to evaluate the Knopper and Ollson (2011) paper on its own merits, including strengths and weaknesses, errors of commission and omission (Part I) as well the existing state of knowledge as of January 2013 18 months after Knopper and Ollson’s (2011) publication (Part B). A considerable amount of new information continues to evolve (Part B and Appendix C) which appears to have been passed over by Algonquin Power Co.


1. Publication of Knopper and Ollson (2011) strengths and weaknesses of authors

Weaknesses 
Neither author has any formal education nor training that qualify them to be licensed 
health care practitioners or clinician scientists. Interpreting a person or patient’s history, 
conducting an examination of a human subject, ordering or interpreting diagnostic blood tests or 
imaging, developing a differential diagnosis, rendering a working or final diagnosis or 
recommending treatment are all activities that lie beyond their scope of expertise. As will be 
discussed these constraints appear to be set aside by the authors. In their remarks and conclusions 
they venture into the sphere of health care practitioners (e.g. diagnosis, pathogenesis and 
treatment recommendations) areas in which neither of them has expertise.



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Credit:  Mark Macaskill | The Sunday Times | Published: 6 July 2014 | www.thesundaytimes.co.uk ~~

The British Medical Association (BMA) is facing a backlash from doctors and anti-wind farm campaigners in Scotland who claim the body is not doing enough to investigate the impact of giant wind turbines on public health.

Homeowners who live within a few miles of wind turbines have complained that the whirring of blades causes chronic sleep deprivation. Others insist that headaches and nausea are linked to the low-level hum generated by turbines.

The European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) has been lobbying the BMA to monitor the health of patients – with the help of GP’s – who live in close proximity to wind farms.

However, at a meeting of BMA representatives in Harrogate last month, the body was urged to support renewables on the basis it will help mitigate the effects of climate change.

It was suggested that any investments held by the BMA be transferred “from energy companies whose primary business relied upon fossil fuels to those providing renewable energy sources” and that the body transfers to electricity suppliers who are “100% renewable”.

The move has angered some doctors who accused senior BMA officials of “ignoring” pleas to address a potential public health impact of onshore wind farms.

A spokeswoman for the BMA rejected the claims last week, insisting EPAW had made contact after a deadline for submissions to the meeting had passed. She said that although the meeting of representatives recommended investing in renewables, the BMA does not make direct investments.

However Susan Crosthwaite, an EPAW spokeswoman, said: “That a vote was subsequently taken at the meeting to divest from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy without members having had access to the information we sent raises an issue of conflict of interests. Since May, attempts were made to have information given to members concerning adverse health effects of turbines. These attempts failed.”

Dr Angela Armstrong, a GP from Wigtown in Dumfriesshire, said: “As a BMA member I was distressed to hear that our president has ignored pleas to ask doctors to monitor the health of patients living near turbines in view of the ever increasing evidence that there are significant health implications.”

Studies have concluded that noise emitted by wind turbines can affect nearby residents. In Scotland, planning guidance is for turbines to be at least 1.24 miles from residential homes.

A spokeswoman for BMA Scotland said: “The BMA is happy to consider any motions submitted by members for debate to the annual conference – the policy-making body of the BMA. If a member of the BMA wishes our representatives to consider a motion to assess the health impact of wind farms, then there are clear protocols for submitting motions to the agenda committee.”


Source:  Mark Macaskill | The Sunday Times | Published: 6 July 2014 | www.thesundaytimes.co.uk