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Articles by Ken Paulman

Ken Paulman, editor of Midwest Energy News, is a professional journalist who has worked as an editor for the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, and Minnesota Public Radio.

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Photo: Vlasta JuricekCross-posted from Midwest Energy News.

There’s no denying that wind turbines make noise. A giant rotor blade the size of an aircraft wing swooshing through the air is going to make a noticeable sound, particularly in a quiet, rural setting.

And it’s an often-repeated claim of wind farm opponents that this noise can lead to a whole host of health issues, including headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Health fears, among other objections, have sometimes been cited by local governments as they establish large setbacks, moratoriums, or other restrictions on wind farm development.

But a new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters [PDF] suggests those claims are, at best, conflated. The analysis by four Swedish scientists reviews existing literature and finds that with the exception of some self-reported cases of sleep disturbance, there is no scientific or empirical basis to conclude that wind turbine noise causes health problems.

Among the works examined was Nina Pierpont’s oft-cited book Wind Turbine Syndrome, which relies on anecdotal evidence from 38 individuals l... Read more

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