Scientific Critique Finds Canada's Wind Turbine Health Study Was Flawed

NAW Staff, Friday 16 November 2012 - 11:26:14

The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is speaking out against a recently published paper that claims wind turbine noise adversely impacts sleep and health.

The paper - written by Michael A. Nissenbaum, Jeffery J. Aramini and Christopher D. Hanning, who are all directors and/or scientific advisers for the Society for Wind Vigilance - was previously reviewed and considered by experts at the first Environmental Review Tribunal hearing on wind energy in Ontario and in the Queen's Bench of Saskatchewan case McKinnon v. Martin.

This information was also reviewed by an expert panel on wind turbines and human health commissioned by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which concluded that "attributing any of the observed associations to the wind turbines (either noise from them or the sight of them) is premature," CanWEA notes.

Both courts, as well as the Massachusetts independent expert panel, found no justification for halting wind energy development as a result of the information presented in the paper, CanWEA says.

CanWEA and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) jointly commissioned experts to conduct a scientific critique of the paper. The review, conducted by Intrinsik Environmental Sciences, identified concerns related to the study’s design, methodology, sample size and administration of questionnaires to participants.

The Intrinsik critique noted that no new sound data were obtained for this study and that the use of limited information visually obtained from other reports "is not scientifically defensible and should not have been used to draw conclusions about the findings of the questionnaires with distance from turbine locations."

Intrinsik also found that the "authors extend their conclusions and discussion beyond the statistical findings of their study." Furthermore, the firm concluded that the authors did not demonstrate a statistical link between wind turbines’ distance and sleep quality, sleepiness and health.




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