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WHO noise warning on turbines

Katie Coyne24/10/2018 - 19:12

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Windturbine noise concern for WHO
Windturbine noise concern for WHO

Noise is one of the UK’s biggest environmental threats and poses a serious health risk to the public warns a World Health Organisation study.

The WHO report, Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region, has considered wind turbines for the first time – as their number is growing – as well as personal electronic devices and toys.

There are currently 7,155 onshore turbines in the UK, which provide around 17 per cent of the UK’s electricity. The WHO report recommends that noise levels are reduced to below 45 dB Lden, ‘as wind turbine noise above this level is associated with adverse health effects’.

Health problems associated with noise pollution include hearing loss, tinnitus, high blood pressure and even heart problems are some of the consequences of noise pollution the report warned about.

The WHO report urges policy makers to put in place ‘suitable measures’ to reduce the health dangers of noise pollution but does not recommend which methods to use.

Other sources of noise are also identified in the report including traffic, planes and trains, and loud music.

Craig Storey from Cirrus Research, which manufactures and specialises in environmental noise monitoring, said: ‘The WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines are based on very strong, peer-reviewed, evidence that noise pollution is a serious environmental hazard to both physical and mental health. It moves noise from the “nuisance” category into “serious health risk”, more akin to air or water pollution.

‘This report and guidelines are helping to focus international attention on the issue and it doesn’t hold back in its assessment that action is needed to stop people’s lives being blighted by noise pollution.’




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