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Canada to study health impact of wind turbine noise

Fifteen new wind turbines were officially opened by Sprott Power Corporation in Amherst, Nova Scotia, June 25, 2012. REUTERS/Paul Darrow
Fifteen new wind turbines were officially opened by Sprott Power Corporation in Amherst, Nova Scotia, June 25, 2012. REUTERS/Paul Darrow

(Reuters) - Canada will conduct a study to explore if there is a relationship between wind turbine noise and health problems reported by people living near wind power developments, the government health department said on Tuesday.

"This study is in response to questions from residents living near wind farms about possible health effects of low frequency noise generated by wind turbines," Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's health minister, said in a statement.

The study, in collaboration with Statistics Canada, will focus on an initial sample of 2,000 homes that are near about a dozen wind turbine facilities in Canada.

In addition to taking physical measurements from participants, such as blood pressure, investigators will conduct face-to-face interviews and take noise measurements inside and outside of some homes to validate sound modeling.

Similar studies conducted in other countries have turned up little to no evidence that wind turbines pose a health risk to nearby residents.

Several studies have noted some evidence that turbine noise can disrupt sleep. Some people living near wind turbines have complained of headaches, earaches, anxiety and high blood pressure.

The results of the Canadian study are expected in 2014.

(Reporting By Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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