CanWEA expresses concerns; seeks more details on proposed Health Canada study to ensure scientific validity of research
Ottawa, ON, September 7, 2012 – The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) today filed comments with respect to a proposed Health Canada study, "Health Impacts and Exposure to Wind Turbine Noise: Research Design and Noise Exposure Assessment", to be undertaken in collaboration with Statistics Canada.
CanWEA, in its thorough review of the materials posted by Health Canada for public comment, has significant concerns related to the proposed methodology and the scope of this study as presented. Many of these concerns are fundamental. It is the opinion of CanWEA that substantial modifications to the proposed methodology and study design are required to ensure the results of the study make a useful contribution to the significant volume of global scientific literature already in existence. CanWEA has submitted comments in the following areas: treatment of annoyance; participant and project selection; treatment of control groups; the lack of demonstrated ability to account for the prevalence of reported symptoms and bias; the proposed sound modeling and measurement procedures; the poor amount of research cited; and the lack of a commitment to compare results (e.g., executing a risk assessment) between wind energy and other sources of community concern or known health/environmental impacts.
While it may be the case that our concerns are mainly attributable to the lack of detail provided by Health Canada (meaning, areas where we have raised a concern have already been accounted for, but not yet articulated by Health Canada), CanWEA respectfully requests the study team provide a formal response to the concerns we have raised and then re-issue a revised study design and methodology with much more detail (considering the comments received) for further review by stakeholders.
CanWEA believes the proposed study has the potential to make a valuable contribution to our understanding of the issue of wind turbines and human health if it is executed with sufficient scientific rigour, absent of bias, and produces results that are reproducible by an independent research group.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association is the voice of Canada's wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy on behalf of its 400 members. CanWEA monitors and reviews all credible sources of information related to wind energy. We appreciate the opportunity to comment on this significant undertaking, and look forward to reviewing the response to our submission.
To access the Executive Summary from CanWEA's submission to Health Canada, click here.
To access CanWEA's full submission to Health Canada, click here.
To access global statements and 17 reviews on wind energy and human health: http://www.canwea.ca/media/release/release_e.php?newsId=154
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