Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Wind turbine noise

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 08 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1527

Rapid Response:

Re: Wind turbine noise

I live within approximately 1 km of five GE 1.5 MW turbines. I sleep very well at night and have had no change in my health since they were commissioned much earlier in the year.

Outside my residence, I can hear one or more of the turbines when the wind is of a certain strength and from a certain direction and it is the form of the well documented "swoosh". I have never felt or observed any LFN effects.

Some will say that I'm just not sensitive to the sounds being emitted by the turbines; and that a significant part of the population are hyper-sensitive to those sounds.

However, I don't understand why none of the many hundred host landowners and wind turbine workers in my province (Ontario) exhibit any adverse effects. When you include host landowner families, the cohort probably approaches 1000. None of them complain of any symptoms and, when informally questioned, none of them report any symptoms.

Having had considerable experience in the wind industry, I know that these people are not subject to gag orders.

Occasionally, I'm sure that a turbine can be incorrectly placed and cause real annoyance. At that point, it is up to the developer to either bring the turbine into compliance or to reach a settlement with the resident.

In Ontario, with its 550m minimum setback, incorrect placement is a very rare event.

Competing interests: Former wind developer, now retired

06 August 2012
Malcolm Hamilton
Professional Engineer
47 St. Clair Ave W Toronto ON M4V 3A5