According to a recently published study, people living near a wind power plant did not have more diseases or symptoms than in the reference area. An in-depth study shows that wind power is planned and built in Finland at a sufficient distance from the population.
A study by the Turku University of Applied Sciences’ Built Environment research group found that the noise level of the wind farm in the yard did not affect the symptoms or illnesses experienced by the residents. Sound levels were modeled separately for each building’s yard. The noise level guideline value did not exceed the guideline value of 40 dB (A) set for wind power plants in any of the sites in Finland.
“The result of the study is very significant and welcome. It shows that Finland’s recommended noise levels have been set at an appropriate level,” says Anni Mikkonen, CEO of the Finnish Wind Power Association.
“The research results confirm the previous results of international and Finnish scientific studies, which have shown that wind power does not cause health problems when the power plants are located in accordance with the guideline values and the noise level does not exceed 40 dB (A),” Mikkonen continues.
The main purpose of the study was to examine the health effects of wind power plants. However, the survey asked very extensively about the experiences of the living environment and did not give a special weight to wind power. The study also compared the nuisance of wind turbines and road traffic at the same sound pressure level. According to the results, the annoyance of wind power noise and road traffic noise is at the same level when the sound exposure for these noise types is 30-40 dB.
“The finding that wind power noise and road traffic noise are equally annoying at noise levels below 40 dB is very interesting, especially when this particular study is the first to look at the annoyance of these two different sound types at the same time. The claim that the noise of a wind power plant would disturb more than the noise of road traffic is thus not indisputable”, says Mikkonen.
Turku University of Applied Sciences press release: Road traffic noise is a more serious health risk than wind power noise
Summary of the study was published in the issue of the Environment and Health magazine 1/2022
Research article in a peer-reviewed international scientific journal ScienceDirect