Health Canada Announces Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study

July 10, 2012           For immediate release

OTTAWA – Health Canada, in collaboration with Statistics Canada, will conduct a research study that will explore the relationship between wind turbine noise and health effects reported by, and objectively measured in, people living near wind power developments.

“This study is in response to questions from residents living near wind farms about possible health effects of low frequency noise generated by wind turbines,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. “As always, our Government is putting the health and safety of Canadians first and this study will do just that by painting a more complete picture of the potential health impacts of wind turbine noise.”

Health Canada is aware of health-related complaints from individuals living in close proximity to wind turbine establishments. The study is being designed with support from external experts, specializing in areas including noise, health assessment, clinical medicine and epidemiology.

The proposed research design and methodology was posted on Health Canada’s web site today for a 30-day public comment period. Feedback obtained will be reviewed by the design committee, compiled and published to the website, along with the design committee’s responses.

The study will be focused on an initially targeted sample size of 2,000 dwellings selected from 8-12 wind turbine installation facilities in Canada. In addition to taking physical measurements from participants, such as blood pressure, investigators will conduct face-to-face interviews and take noise measurements inside and outside of some homes to validate sound modelling.

Health Canada has expertise in measuring noise and assessing the health impacts of noise because of its role in administering the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA). As defined under REDA, noise is a form of radiation.

The study results are expected to be published in 2014.

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http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/nr-cp/_2012/2012-109-eng.php

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