Epidemiological study on long-term health effects of low-frequency noise produced by wind power stations in Japan
* Presenting author
We investigated whether long-term exposure to wind turbine noise (WTN) including low-frequency noise generated by wind power facilities is a risk factor of sleep disorders. We performed an epidemiological study of living environment and health effects, surveying 9,000 residents (≥20 years) living in areas with operational wind power facilities. Sleep disorders were assessed using the Athens Insomnia Scale. To assess environmental noise in residential areas near the wind turbines, low-frequency sound exposure levels were measured at 50 community centers of the town. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used for evaluation of a risk factor for several noise exposure indices. Significant relationships between the distance from the nearest WT to dwellings and hearing, annoyance, sleep disorders were observed. By multiple logistic analysis the prevalence rate of sleep disorders was significantly higher for residents who reported subjectively hearing noise being than for those who did not. Moreover, the reported prevalence rate of sleep disorders was significantly higher in residents living at a distance of ≤1,500 m from the nearest wind turbine compared to that for residents living at a distance ≥2,000 m. The attitudes of residents towards wind power facilities and sensitivity to noise strongly affected their responses regarding sleep disorder prevalence.