Clarifications on the Design and Interpretation of Conclusions from Health Canada’s Study on Wind Turbine Noise and Health
It has been extensively communicated that Health Canada’s Community Noise and Health Study (CNHS) did not find positive associations between wind turbine noise (WTN) levels and any of the evaluated health outcomes, beyond an increase in the prevalence of high annoyance toward several wind turbine features. The authors emphasize that this general conclusion remains bound by the study strengths and limitations. Following the publication of the CNHS findings, there has been interest among some individuals to present alternative interpretations of the results originally reported by Michaud et al. (J Acoust Soc Am 139(3):1443–1454, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4942391). While recognizing the importance of independent scientific re-evaluation and/or reinterpretation, this commentary serves to clarify and, where necessary, correct some of the information put forward by others. One factor that has been re-evaluated by external stakeholders is the subsample of participants that comprise the lowest WTN category. In their reanalysis, they have eliminated this category, or introduced alternative comparative data. This paper identifies substantial issues associated with the re-evaluation put forth. To thoroughly address these issues and to avoid further confusion or misinterpretation, the authors of the CNHS provide a comparison between the CNHS health condition prevalence data and nationally representative health-based surveys conducted in Canada during the same calendar year. In addition, this paper responds to comments received to date on the CNHS, including the study’s age range, the generalization of findings, the provision of raw data, and conclusions on the association between WTN level and health.
|Keywords||Canada, Community Noise and Health Study, Cross-sectional study, Health effects, Noise, Wind turbine|
Michaud, D.S. (David S.), Feder, K. (Katya), Voicescu, S.A. (Sonia A.), Marro, L. (Leonora), Than, J. (John), Guay, M. (Mireille), … Villeneuve, P. (2018). Clarifications on the Design and Interpretation of Conclusions from Health Canada’s Study on Wind Turbine Noise and Health. Acoustics Australia, 46(1), 99–110. doi:10.1007/s40857-017-0125-4