The balance of scientific evidence and human experience to date clearly concludes that wind turbines are not harmful to human health – in fact, wind energy reduces harmful air emissions and creates no harmful waste products when compared with other sources of electricity.
This conclusion has been reached by numerous independent reviews of the scientific literature.
The global wind industry collectively continues to engage with experts in science, medicine and occupational and environmental health to monitor ongoing credible research in the area of wind turbines and human health.
In addition to being a major source of emission reductions, wind energy does not create hazardous radioactive waste products. An article by Drs. Cathy Vakil and Éric Notebaert of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), stated: “We see nuclear power as a serious threat to public health.”
On July 23, 2012, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health reinforced her position on wind energy and human health to the Standing Committee on Estimates by stating: “I stand by the conclusions that I made in my study of 2010. The weight of the evidence does not support any direct health effects associated with wind turbines if they are appropriately placed, and that is with a minimum of a 550-metre set-back.”
Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study: Summary of Results This research concludes that there is no evidence of a causal relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and self-reported medical illnesses and health conditions.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health: According to the scientific evidence, there is no direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects. (Summary P.3 / Wind Turbine Regulation in Ontario P.8-9 / Main Conclusions P.10) The Potential Health Impact of Wind Turbines
Expert Panel Review: There is nothing unique about the sounds and vibrations emitted by wind turbines. The body of accumulated knowledge about sound and health is substantial. The body of accumulated knowledge provides no evidence that the audible or subaudible sounds emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects. (Main conclusions P. 5-1 – 5-2) Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects An Expert Panel Review or Executive Summary & Biographies
Study results by Simon Chapman, professor of public health at Sydney University, suggest that health problems attributed to wind energy are a ”communicated disease” – or a sickness spread by the suggestion that something is likely to make a person sick. This is caused by the ”nocebo effect” – the opposite of the placebo effect – in which the belief that something can cause an illness creates the perception of illness.
A report released by the South Australian Environment Protection Authority (EPA), consistent with most studies in this area, concluded that “…the level of infrasound at houses near the wind turbines assessed is no greater than that experienced in other urban and rural environments, and that the contribution of wind turbines to the measured infrasound levels is insignificant in comparison with the background level of infrasound in the environment.”