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Wind turbine noise, annoyance and self-reported health and well-being in different living environments

Journal article
Authors Eja Pedersen
Kerstin Persson Waye
Published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume 64
Issue 7
Pages 480-486
ISSN 1351-0711
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 480-486
Language en
Links <Go to ISI>://000247402600010
Keywords exposure, wind turbine noise, annoyance,
Subject categories Environmental medicine

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of perception and annoyance due to wind turbine noise among people living near the turbines, and to study relations between noise and perception /annoyance, with focus on differences between living environments. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in seven areas in Sweden across dissimilar terrain and different degrees of urbanisation. A postal questionnaire regarding living conditions including response to wind turbine noise was completed by 754 subjects. Outdoor A-weighted sound pressure levels (SPLs) were calculated for each respondent. Perception and annoyance due to wind turbine noise in relation to SPLs, was analysed with regard to dissimilarities between the areas. Results: The odds of perceiving wind turbine noise increased with increasing SPL (OR 1.3; 95% Cl 1.25 to 1.40). The odds of being annoyed by wind turbine noise also increased with increasing SPLs (OR 1. 1; 95% Cl 1.01 to 1.25). Perception and annoyance were associated with terrain and urbanisation: (1) a rural area increased the risk of perception and annoyance in comparison with a suburban area; and (2) in a rural setting, complex ground (hilly or rocky terrain) increased the risk compared with flat ground. Annoyance was associated with both objective and subjective factors of wind turbine visibility, and was further associated with lowered sleep quality and negative emotions. Conclusion: There is a need to take the unique environment into account when planning a new wind farm so that adverse health effects are avoided. The influence of area-related factors should also be considered in future community noise research.

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