Wind turbines and health: a critical review of the scientific literature

J Occup Environ Med. 2014 Nov;56(11):e108-30. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000313.


Objective: This review examines the literature related to health effects of wind turbines.

Methods: We reviewed literature related to sound measurements near turbines, epidemiological and experimental studies, and factors associated with annoyance.

Results: (1) Infrasound sound near wind turbines does not exceed audibility thresholds. (2) Epidemiological studies have shown associations between living near wind turbines and annoyance. (3) Infrasound and low-frequency sound do not present unique health risks. (4) Annoyance seems more strongly related to individual characteristics than noise from turbines.

Discussion: Further areas of inquiry include enhanced noise characterization, analysis of predicted noise values contrasted with measured levels postinstallation, longitudinal assessments of health pre- and postinstallation, experimental studies in which subjects are "blinded" to the presence or absence of infrasound, and enhanced measurement techniques to evaluate annoyance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Auditory Threshold
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Noise / adverse effects*
  • Personality
  • Power Plants / instrumentation*
  • Sound / adverse effects
  • Sound Spectrography
  • Wind*