Several recent studies have reported that they have been unable to find any credible evidence of health problems caused by living close to wind farms – although there may be significant annoyance at the noise.
The U.S. State of Massachusetts has published a "Wind Turbine Health Impact Study". The panel of health and engineering experts that carried out the review concluded there was no evidence that psychological distress or mental health problems were caused by proximity to turbines. However, they did acknowledge that noise, vibrations, or shadow flickering might annoy people living near turbines and could cause sleep disruption, if the wind turbine is particularly loud or very close by.
The panel also said there was no evidence to back up claims that infrasound directly impacts the inner ear system, which helps people to retain their balance, or that shadow flicker from rotating turbines could cause seizures.
A New Zealand study, by Daniel Shepherd et al, found no differeneces in psychological or social quality of life or self-rated health between those living near wind farms and demographocally equivalent groups away from wind farms. They did, however, find that a large proportion of those living near wind turbines found the noise annoying and reported less satisfactory sleep.
In the Netheralnds, where some 440,000 people live near wind farms, a study, "Response to Noise from Modern Wind Farms in the Netherlands", found that people who made financial gains from turbines reported virtually no annoyance from wind turbines, while those who did not benefit economically reported much higher levels of annoyance. Those who found wind turbine noise annoying, were less annoyed by the same level of noise from transport or industry. Annoyance was strongly correlated with a negative attitude toward the visual impact of wind turbines and being able to see wind turbines significantly increased the risk of annoyance.
The Climate and Health Alliance, a coalition of 20 Australian health care groups, including the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Australian Psychological Society, has produced a "Health and Wind Turbines" paper which states that, while large-scale commercial wind farms have been in operation internationally for many decades, often in close proximity to thousands of people, there is no scientifically validated evidence of any associated increase in ill-health in these populations.
The Climate and Health Alliance Convenor, Fiona Armstrong, said that “There is no credible peer reviewed scientific evidence that demonstrates a link between wind turbines and direct adverse health impacts in people living in proximity to them, In contrast, Australia’s current energy generation that relies on the burning of fossils fuels such as coal and gas is not only contributing to climate change but (particularly in the case of coal) also poses significant threats to human health.”