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Acoustics Australia

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 69–86 | Cite as

A Review of Wind Turbine-Generated Infrasound: Source, Measurement and Effect on Health

  • Renzo Tonin
Original Paper
  • 483 Downloads

Abstract

Some people who reside in proximity to wind turbines complain of a range of adverse health impacts. These include tinnitus, raised blood pressure, heart palpitations, tachycardia, stress, anxiety, vertigo, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, headaches, ear pressure, exacerbated migraine disorders, motion sensitivity, inner ear damage and sleep deprivation. This article begins with a historical review of prognoses such as Vibroacoustic Disease and Wind Turbine Syndrome which were proposed to explain the reported health symptoms and the hypothesised link to the emission of infrasound from wind turbines. A review of noise measurements at wind turbine sites conducted by various investigators shows that the level of infrasound is below the threshold of hearing. Notwithstanding, others postulate that stimulation by infrasound of the otolith organs causes nauseogenic symptoms or that stimulation of the outer hair cells, which are said to be particularly sensitive to infrasound frequencies, explains the symptoms. A review of social surveys is undertaken of self-reported health effects attributable to wind turbine noise, including the effects of sleep disturbance. A description is finally provided of physical exploration studies which subject participants to infrasound and measure their response.

Keywords

Wind farm Wind turbine noise Infrasound Health impacts Nauseogenic symptoms 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author declares no funding was provided in respect of the preparation of this article and the author has no association with any wind farm proponents.

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Copyright information

© Australian Acoustical Society 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Renzo Tonin & Associates (NSW) Pty LtdSurry HillsAustralia

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