Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 398f. Updated Friday, 28 February 2014

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No ill wind from turbines: study

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released a draft Information Paper on the potential effects of wind farms on human health.

The paper said there was no reliable or consistent evidence that wind farms directly caused adverse health effects in humans.

"There is some consistent but poor quality evidence that proximity to wind farms is associated with annoyance and, less consistently, with sleep disturbance and poorer quality of life,'' it said.

More research recommended

"However, it is unknown whether these effects are caused by the wind turbines themselves, or by other related factors."

But Chief executive of the NHMRC, Professor Warwick Anderson said that given the quality of the existing evidence was poor, further research was warranted.

NHMRC plans to release a Targeted Call for Research once public consultation has closed and contributions have been considered.

The draft paper is based on the findings of an independent literature review commissioned by the NHMRC, which used rigorous, internationally recognised methods to select and analyse all available evidence.

The review and draft paper build on the NHMRC's earlier work on this issue, honouring its commitment to a 2011 Senate Inquiry into the impact of wind farms.

"When Australian communities are genuinely concerned about the quality of their health, it is essential they have access to reliable advice based on the best available evidence," Professor Anderson said.

NHMRC is seeking public comment on the draft Paper until Friday, 11 April 2014.

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