Australia to research whether wind farms harm human health

Wind farms probably don't have much of an effect on human health, but that doesn't stop the conspiracy theories and complaints. To address those concerns, the Australian government has just announced a pair of grants that will fund research in how wind farms affect human health...if they do at all. The two grants total $3.3 million, and were granted by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Wind farms are usually positioned far away from human homes — in many places, you only see them if you happen to be driving down a stretch of highway nearby. Still, in some places there are elements of the wind farms that can be apparent to nearby homes: the noise they produce, for one example. Some claim these effects can be harmful to people, and though some research has been done to look into the matter, there's nothing too substantial at this time.

One potential source of harm is the noise the wind farms produce, which some say can disrupt sleep and, due to sleep deprivation, degrade the health of people nearby. Independent research will be conducted on this issue and more to see whether they pan out or are overblown. Research will be conducted by the Flinders University of South Australia and the University of New South Wales.

The first of those two universities will look into whether there is any concern about noise from wind farms, at least in terms of human health. The second university will look into "broader social and environmental circumstances that may influence the health of people" who live nearby to a wind farm.

SOURCE: Australian Government