Pondering the Windmill

Rising concern over impact of wind turbine, or windmill, noise is topic for new report in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Published on: Jan 1, 2014

They're popping up across the country, wind turbines that turn the air into power. And while there have been concerns in the past over these big-bladed behemoths, the concern that's popping up these days has more to do with noise, than other worries like bird kills.

In a new report in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, author Nate Steltenrich, a California science writer, explores the rising concern - and growing body of research - on wind turbine noise and its potential impact. As farmers across the country lease out land to windmill builders they have created a solid income stream for their operations. This new research shows that there could be new opposition to turbine building.

NOISE MAKERS: Theres rising concern about the noise wind turbines make - new journal article looks at most current research.
NOISE MAKERS: There's rising concern about the noise wind turbines make - new journal article looks at most current research.

The concern is that there seem to be health impacts from windmill noise - headaches, hypertension and more. The key is earlier work on noise pollution and whether that could relate to the sound made by fields of windmills and the impact of residents living nearby.

This is an early look at research and by no means an endpoint, but given that many readers have been renting land to windmill projects, this report offers insight into opposition you may see in the future. You can read the entire report - Wind Turbines: A Different Breed of Noise - online.

The report looks at the issue from a number of angles, and notes that windmills are so new that there's only a small body of research available so far. However, there is rising concern over the noise issue that farmers in windmill developing areas should be aware of as they move forward. This report offers readers a deeper insight into what could grow into a hot topic in 2014.