wind turbines

Panel Discounts Hearing Damage from Wind Turbines

Former ACOEM President Dr. Robert McCunney, on a panel assembled by the American Wind Energy Association to review the published literature on possible health effects caused by today's wind turbines, said the experts found no risk at all.

Former ACOEM President Dr. Robert McCunney stated it as clearly as it can be stated: "noise from the wind turbines does not pose a risk of hearing loss or any adverse health affect, from our perspective." Part of a panel assembled by the American Wind Energy Association to review the published literature on possible health effects caused by today's wind turbines, McCunney spoke in a Jan. 20, 2010, webinar, "Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects," that has been posted online by the U.S. Department of Energy.

McCunney's discussion is highly relevant because nearby residents' health claims based largely on noise generated by the large turbines is stalling wind projects even as installed capacity has soared in much of the United States, according to DOE and the Mass Torts blog, which posted a report on the webinar on Feb. 23. McCunney, who was the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine's president in 1999-2000, joined experts in noise vibration, acoustics, and occupational medicine to examine how turbines generate noise, at what frequencies and volume the noise occurs, and whether the noise could be harmful. Their conclusion: While individuals' ability to detect noise will differ, the opposition to turbines is based on annoyance, not on harmful exposures.

"In short, if people think the wind turbines are a good idea, they're less likely to be annoyed by the noise," he said. "If people are hesitant about the wind turbines for whatever reason they may have, they're more likely to be annoyed, believe it or not, at the same noise levels."

McCunney said later the panel found no link between low-frequency noise from wind turbines and health effects. "There was just nothing in the scientific literature to support a link," he said, adding later, "The noise is simply not high enough to damage human hearing."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • Create Flexible Safety Dashboards

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations allows you to easily create and view safety KPIs to help you make informed business decisions. Our best of breed default indicators can also save you valuable time and effort in monitoring safety metrics.

  • Schedule and Record Observations

    IndustrySafe's Observations module allows managers, supervisors, and employees to conduct observations on employees involved in safety critical behavior. IndustrySafe’s pre-built BBS checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to Safety Training

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common FAQs.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - May 2019

    May 2019


      Why Pick a PAPR? 
      Fire Safety: Plan, Prevent, Train, Recover
      The Truth About Heat Stress and FRC
      Underestimated No More
    View This Issue