Ontario’s wind-turbine-installing powers-that-be have been trying to convince everyone (and maybe even themselves) that wind turbines do not cause any health problems for those unfortunate to live too close. There are now two major reports being bandied about that try to make that case. First was the report from the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. King. Second was the Sierra Club’s report, of which I’ll have more to say in a later posting. A key part of the “evidence” they both use is the work of Eja Pedersen, a medical researcher in Sweden. As an example, from the Sierra Club:
In this self-reported study, for levels between 37.5-40 dBA, 73% of respondents noticed the noise of wind turbines while approximately 6% were annoyed. At 40 dBA and above 90% of people noticed the sound while 15% were annoyed. By maintaining the limit of 40 dBA most people will hear the sound of a wind turbine, but very few if any will be annoyed and there are no negative health effects (Pederson, 2008).
Both King and the Sierra Club insist the Ontario limit for noise is 40 dBA, and since Pedersen didn’t find much annoyance at that noise level, therefore Ontario’s limits will protect the neighbors. There’s a number of problems in this chain of logic (which of course I’ll detail below), enough to render the comparison totally misleading. Continue reading Ontario and Pedersen