This week, The Australian’s environment editor, Graham Lloyd, wrote that:
“The debate about wind has been polarised by ideology and is characterised by mistrust”.
Also this week, a rural property owner has slammed the current development process as secretive, underhanded and destructive to all property owners.
Low frequency noise is not unique to wind turbines and the effect it can have on quality of life is well documented by the World Health Organisation.
Graham Lloyd writes that there has been a reluctance by wind companies to release information that would allow an independent assessment of the acoustic impact of the turbines they are operating.
Steven says the siting and monitoring of wind turbines requires close attention in regional areas because of the low levels of background noise at night.
“All industrial noise guidelines include the concept of background noise and are based on the understanding that if the noise exceeds the background level by 5dB(A)(decibels)then the noise will be ‘noticeable’. If it exceeds that level by more than 5dB(A) then the noise will be ‘annoying’ for a significant number of people.
The term ‘annoyance’ has a specific meaning in acoustics and includes adverse health effects, both physiological and psychological, including sleep disturbance, sleep deprivation anxiety and stress.”
Steven suspects some wind turbines operate well outside the 5dB(A)level as it is assumed that increasing wind speed leads to increasing background noise, which will ‘mask’ the turbine noise.
Steven’s research shows this is not always true, particularly where wind turbines are located on hills and ridges elevated well above rural dwellings below.
Question: Could this account for some of the disconcertingly wide variance in reports of ill health?
Definitely time for an independent look at the science here.