DES MOINES — Iowa-based researchers have concluded there’s little scientific evidence that sound from wind turbines poses a public health risk. Instead, the authors say reported symptoms of hearing loss or poor sleep are more likely related to people’s attitudes about wind development.
The findings by the Iowa Policy Project and the Iowa Environmental Council are based on an overview of peer-reviewed studies. Co-author David Osterberg says reports of symptoms are associated with annoyance at developers rather than the actual sound of the turbines.
“Maybe you ought to think about how you treat people so they feel like they have more control over the whole process,” Osterberg says. “That would probably do more than trying to address the sound because we don’t think it’s the sound.”
Wind turbines produce sound pressure, but Osterberg and his research associates concluded it’s not at a level that affects humans.