Review finds wind energy is clean, safe: Political implications of NHMRC review

nhmrc_logoThe National Health and Medical Research Council has released its long-awaited review into wind farms and health. 

The NHMRC review shows, once again, that wind farms are clean and safe. 

The review finds no conclusive evidence linking wind farms to ill health affects. The Systematic review of the human health effects of wind farms states:

In summary, the systematic review indicated that there was no consistent evidence that noise from wind turbines, whether estimated in models or using distance as a proxy, is associated with self-reported human health effects. (p.17)

The evidence considered does not support the conclusion that wind turbines have direct adverse effects on human health, as the criteria for causation have not been fulfilled. Indirect effects of wind farms on human health through sleep disturbance, reduced sleep quality, quality of life and perhaps annoyance are possible. Bias and confounding could, however, be possible explanations for the reported associations upon which this conclusion is based. (p.18)

The findings are consistent with previous research, so should be no surprise to anyone.

Implications for the Abbott government:

The NHMRC review, the twentieth by a credible health body, was released just weeks after the Abbott government confirmed it would undertake its own study on wind energy and health. 

Yet further investigations at the behest of the Prime Minister will add fuel to fire of the anti-wind farm campaign. Now that the science is in, it’s time to for politicians to show leadership, accept the result and move on.  Continue reading “Review finds wind energy is clean, safe: Political implications of NHMRC review”