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For the record

"Does living near wind farms damage hearing?" Image

"Does living near wind farms damage hearing?"

Articles in the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express on 1st October had headlines claiming “Living near a wind farm could make you deaf, warn scientists” and “Turbine buzz ‘is deafening’”. However, the research on which the articles were based does not support these headlines.

Dr Ralph Holme, Head of Biomedical Research at Action on Hearing Loss explained:

“Our ears normally produce very quiet sounds that can be measured by sensitive microphones. These sounds are called spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs). The research does show that low frequency noise can change the level and frequency of these sounds. However, the researchers only monitored for up to 7 minutes after the low frequency exposure, so we do not know if the changes are permanent or temporary.

It is important to remember that SOAEs can be influenced by many different things including everyday noise we might experience just walking down the street. And there was no evidence provided in this research that these changes alter a person’s ability to hear.”

Document type: For The Record

Published: 1 October 2014

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