U Waterloo results previewed: positive link between noise and health problems!
It’s only a small appetizer of sorts, but the news that the Ontario Research Chairs symposium in Toronto last week featured a poster presentation by the University of Waterloo Renewable Energy Technologies and Health (RETH) study on industrial wind turbines and health problems is BIG.
Here is a report from health researcher Carmen Krogh. The only record of the presentation is a photograph of the poster, but here is the summary:
University of Waterloo Research Chair
industrial wind turbine (IWT) study results statistically significant
Oct. 24.2013/ At a recent symposium in Toronto facilitated by former Toronto Mayor David Miller titled Symposia of the Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy, a poster entitled ‘Wind Turbine Noise, Sleep Quality, and Symptoms of Inner Ear Problems’ was displayed by Claire Paller, Phil Bigelow, Shannon Majowicz, Jane Law, and Tanya Christidis.
The research indicates statistically significant results for sleep, vertigo and tinnitus (excerpt):
“All relationships were found to be positive and statistically significant.”
The University of Waterloo – Ontario Ministry of Environment funded IWT health study was publicly displayed during thesymposium
on sustainability held at York University , Toronto on October 17, 2013.
It is reported that 396 surveys were included in the analysis (excerpts include):
“In total there were 412 surveys returned; 16 of these survey respondents did not provide their home address. Therefore, 396 surveys were included in the analysis.”
Of note is the acknowledgement that as the distance from the IWT increases, sleep improves:
“The relationship between ln(distance) (as a continuous variable) and mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was found to be statistically significant (P=0.0096) when controlling for age, gender and county. This relationship shows that as the distance increases (move further away from a wind turbine), PSQI decreases (i.e. sleep improves) in a logarithmic relationship. Multivariate analysis involved assessing distance to the nearest wind turbine as both distance and ln(distance). In all cases, ln(distance) resulted in improved model fit.”
In addition the authors state that the relationship between vertigo and tinnitus worsened for those living closer to IWTs:
“The relationship between vertigo and ln(distance) was statistically significant (P<0.001) when controlling for age, gender, and county. The relationship between tinnitus and ln(distance) approached statistical significance (P=0.0755). Both vertigo and tinnitus were worse among participants living closer to wind turbines.”
The conclusion states:
“In conclusion, relationships were found between ln(distance) and PSQI, ln(distance) and self-reported vertigo and ln(distance) and self-reported tinnitus. Study findings suggest that future research should focus on the effects of wind turbine noise on sleep disturbance and symptoms of inner ear problems.”
Counties and projects in the study include:
§ Bruce (Enbridge project);
§ Chatham-Kent (Raleigh);
§ Dufferin (Melancthon);
§ Elgin ( Erie Shores );
§ Essex (Comber):
§ Frontenac ( Wolfe Island );
§ Huron (Kingsbridge); and
§ Norfolk (Frogmore/Cultus/ClearCreek).
Based on this evidence, it is not clear what the next steps will be for the Ministry of Environment. However, based on these results, evidence gathered by other researchers in Ontario and elsewhere supports these statistically significant findings.
Carmen Krogh BSc Pharm
Ontario , Canada
So, positive association, related to distance, and confirmation that sleep disturbance, vertigo and tinnitus can result from the environmental noise and the infrasound produced by the wind power generators.
Our questions today are:
HOW can this provincial government go on approving wind power projects when there is a link to health effects like this?
HOW can the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario continue to support the provincial government in its push for wind power, with confirmation now that a community health problem is the result?
The government needs to act now.
The RNAO needs to have a meeting of its policy people and the CEO, and decide where the priorities lie: political alliances, or the truth.