Evaluation of annoyance from the wind turbine noise: A pilot study
Department of Physical Hazards, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland
Department of Physical Hazards, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, św. Teresy 8, 91-348, Łódź, Poland
Department of Occupational Psychology, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2014;27(3):364–388
Objectives: The overall aim of this study was to evaluate the perception of and annoyance due to the noise from wind turbines in populated areas of Poland. Material and Methods: The study group comprised 156 subjects. All subjects were asked to fill in a questionnaire developed to enable evaluation of their living conditions, including prevalence of annoyance due to the noise from wind turbines and the self-assessment of physical health and well-being. In addition, current mental health status of the respondents was assessed using Goldberg General Health Questionnaire GHQ-12. For areas where the respondents lived, A-weighted sound pressure levels (SPLs) were calculated as the sum of the contributions from the wind power plants in the specific area. Results: It has been shown that the wind turbine noise at the calculated A-weighted SPL of 30-48 dB was noticed outdoors by 60.3% of the respondents. This noise was perceived as annoying outdoors by 33.3% of the respondents, while indoors by 20.5% of them. The odds ratio of being annoyed outdoors by the wind turbine noise increased along with increasing SPLs (OR = 2.1; 95% CI: 1.22-3.62). The subjects' attitude to wind turbines in general and sensitivity to landscape littering was found to have significant impact on the perceived annoyance. About 63% of variance in outdoors annoyance assessment might be explained by the noise level, general attitude to wind turbines and sensitivity to landscape littering. Conclusions: Before firm conclusions can be drawn further studies are needed, including a larger number of respondents with different living environments (i.e., dissimilar terrain, different urbanization and road traffic intensity).