Wind Farm Infrasound Myth Debunked

South Australia’s Environment Protection Authority has released a report showing infrasound levels at homes near wind turbines is no greater than what is experienced elsewhere.
Infrasound is sound that is lower in frequency than 20 Hz (Hertz), which is lower than the “normal” limit of human hearing.
Infrasound is a point seized upon by some anti-wind farm campaigners as a contributor to “Wind-Turbine Syndrome“, a mysterious affliction said to cause psychological issues and physiological problems such as insomnia, headaches, tinnitus, vertigo and nausea.
In the EPA study, undertaken in conjunction with Resonate Acoustics, infrasound levels were recorded at seven locations in urban areas and four locations in rural areas; including two residences approximately 1.5 kilometres away from wind turbines at Bluff Wind Farm and Clements Gap Wind Farm.
The EPA says infrasound levels measured at the two residential locations near wind farms were “within the range of infrasound levels measured at comparable locations away from wind farms”. The report notes the results at one of the houses near a wind farm were the lowest infrasound levels measured at any of the 11 locations included in the study.
“This study concludes that the level of infrasound at houses near the wind turbines assessed is no greater than that experienced in other urban and rural environments, and that the contribution of wind turbines to the measured infrasound levels is insignificant in comparison with the background level of infrasound in the environment.”
Commenting on the report, Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said, “The results of the EPA’s report show that the real contributors to infrasound are things like air-conditioners, traffic and urban office environments – not wind farms. This is great news for clean and safe renewable wind energy and further reassurance for communities near wind farms.”
In January last year, Australia’s Climate And Health Alliance (CAHA) stated “There is no credible peer reviewed scientific evidence that demonstrates a link between wind turbines and direct adverse health impacts in people living in proximity to them.”
The report on infrasound levels near wind farms and in other environments can be viewed in full here (PDF).