Wind energy is environmentally-friendly, affordable, and benefits our communities. Studies also show it is a safe way to generate electricity.
- A growing number of scientific, medical, and acoustical experts have studied wind turbines and health around the world and authored more than 25 comprehensive reviews on the potential health effects. 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 provides electricity without emitting greenhouse gases or air pollutants, and uses no freshwater to generate electricity – creating a healthier environment for people and wildlife.
- A review of 60 research studies conducted worldwide on wind turbines and human health was published in the Frontiers in Public Health – June 2014 and the authors concluded that the weight of evidence suggests that when sited properly, wind turbines are not related to adverse health effects in humans though they may be source of annoyance for some people.
- Health Canada published its own study in 2014, which found that wind turbine noise exposure was not associated with self-reported medical illnesses and health conditions.
- 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.
- 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.” The 2010 study is available in the Resources section below.
- Find out what the experts say in Wind Energy: Safe Power, Clean Future
Did you know?
The Ontario Ministry of Environment has estimated that the shutdown of the province’s coal-fired generating stations could reduce health care costs in Ontario by $3 billion annually. OCCCAE – Facts and Myths Debunked
Read more credible findings by experts in science, medicine and occupational and environmental health
- Wind Turbines and Health: A Critical Review of the Scientific Literature is a report commissioned through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that provides a comprehensive and multidisciplinary review of scientific literature on wind turbines and human health.
- 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 sub-audible 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
- Expert Panel Report to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Key findings are outlined in the Executive Summary P. ES-1 – ES-13 Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel
- 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.”
- Summary of main conclusions reached in numerous reviews of the research literature on wind farms and health compiled by Prof Simon Chapman, School of Public Health and Teresa Simonetti, Sydney University Medical School.
- 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.
- In 17 Canadian hearings to date, “courts found that wind farms would not and do not cause health impacts,” says a review by the Energy & Policy Institute.
- The Quebec National Institute of Public Health issued a report on wind turbines and public health (French only) which concluded that “wind turbine generated infrasound does not seem to be of sufficient intensity to cause health problems or annoyance”. CanWEA translated the key conclusions and recommendations from the report.