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Turbines: Health Hazards

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 14 May 2007, Official Report, column 1003W, on turbines: health hazards, what qualifications Hayes McKenzie possessed in relation to infrasound emitted by wind turbines; and what role medical experts played in the production of the report. (142509)

The Hayes McKenzie report for DTI “The measurement of Low Frequency Noise at three UK wind farms” investigated the levels of low frequency noise and infrasound emitted by wind turbines, it was not within the remit of the study to undertake new medical analysis.

However, the study did refer to the document prepared for the World Health Organization “Community Noise” which states that

“there is no reliable evidence that infrasounds below the hearing threshold produce physiological or psychological effects”.

It also referenced work undertaken for DEFRA on low frequency noise and its effects.

Dr. Andrew McKenzie and Malcolm Hayes are acoustic experts with between them over 45 years experience. They have conducted work in relation to wind turbines at over 400 proposed, consented or completed sites in the UK and overseas.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research his Department has carried out on the numbers of individuals and households adversely affected by infrasound emitted by wind turbines. (142510)

DTI and DEFRA have recently commissioned a report by Salford university one of the objectives of which is

“to establish the levels and nature of the noise complaints received across the UK relating to noise issues from wind farms, both historic and current, and determine whether Aerodynamic Modulation (AM) is a significant effect”.

This report will be published later this summer.