This analysis uses data from the Community Noise and Health Study developed by Statistics Canada to investigate the association between residential proximity to wind turbines and health-related outcomes in a dataset that also provides objective measures of wind turbine noise. The findings indicate that residential proximity to wind turbines is correlated with annoyance and health-related quality of life measures. These associations differ in some respects from associations with noise measurements. Results can be used to support discussions between communities and wind-turbine developers regarding potential health effects of wind turbines.VC 2018 Acoustical Society of America.
Results suggest that proximity to wind turbines is inversely associated with the environment domain quality of life score. This association suggests that every kilometer a person lives further away from a wind turbine is associated with a 1.23 point increase in score on the environmental health quality of life scale (Table I). A higher score is indicative of a higher environmental quality of life. The marginal means presented in this table show the group means for levels of each variable, controlling for all other covariates in the model. For example, people who report experiencing migraines have a lower mean environmental quality of life score (mean score¼15.18) compared to those that do not report having migraines, when accounting for all other covariates.
Distance to wind turbines was also found to be strongly associated with increased annoyance. This suggests that the odds of reporting being annoyed by a turbine are reduced by about 20% for every kilometer a person lives further away from a wind turbine (Table II).
In models where proximity to wind turbines was directly substituted into the models developed using modelled wind turbine noise, the association between distance to wind turbines and annoyance was also statistically significant and demonstrated a decrease in the likelihood of annoyance with increasing residential distance from the turbine. Michaud et al. also found a significant association between wind turbine noise and annoyance (Michaud et al., 2016). There was a positive association between distance to wind turbines and the scores for the physical health quality of life domain where there was not a significant association between wind turbine noise and physical health [Least squared means (Feder et al., 2015). There were no statistically significant associations found between residential proximity to wind turbines and the other outcomes.