There is no scientific evidence that links wind turbines to adverse health effects, according to a new study published by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
Concerns regarding the adverse health impacts of wind turbines focus on the effects of infrasound, noise, electromagnetic interference, shadow flicker and blade glint produced by wind turbines.
In addition to audible noise, concerns have been raised about infrasound from wind farms and causing negative health effects. However several authors have suggested that low-level frequency noise or infrasound emitted by wind turbines is minimal and of no consequence, the report states. Furthermore, numerous reports have concluded that there is no evidence of health effects arising from infrasound or low-frequency noise.
The report goes on to say that the evidence on shadow flicker does not support a health concern because the chance of conventional horizontal-axis wind turbines causing an epileptic seizure for an individual experiencing shadow flicker is less than one in 10 million.
In regards to blade glint, manufacturers of all major wind turbine blades coat their blades with a low-reflectivity treatment, which prevents reflective glint from the surface of the blade. According to Australia's Environment Protection and Heritage Council, the risk of blade glint from modern wind turbines is considered to be very low.
‘The health effects of many forms of renewable energy generation, such as wind farms, have not been assessed to the same extent as those from traditional sources,’ the report concludes. ‘However, renewable energy generation is associated with few adverse health effects compared with the well-documented health burdens of polluting forms of electricity generation.’