Wind turbine noise and health-related quality of life of nearby residents: a cross sectional study in New Zealand
Shepherd, Daniel; McBride, David; Welch, David; Dirks, Kim; Hill, Erin
Hearing allows humans to detect threats in the environment and to communicate with others. However, unwanted sound has the capacity to evoke reflexive and emotional responses, and can act a stressor. The World Health Organisation classifies noise as an environmental pollutant that degrades sleep, quality of life and general health. Previous research provides evidence of a relationship between wind turbine noise and both annoyance and sleep disturbance. However, wind turbines are a relatively new source of community noise, and as such their effects on health have yet to be fully described. We report a study exploring the effect of wind turbine noise on health and well-being in a sample of New Zealand residents living within two kilometres of a wind turbine installation. Our data provide evidence that wind turbine noise can degrade aspects of health-related quality of life and amenity. On this evidence, wind turbine installations should be sited with care and consideration with respect to the communities hosting them.
Conference: Fourth International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise, Rome
Keywords: Wind farm, noise, quality of life, annoyance
Research Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)