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Health Canada tweaks methods for study on possible health effects of wind farms

Wind turbines near Arlington, Ore. A Chinese firm is suing President Barack Obama and the U.S. government for blocking a wind farm near a U.S. Navy base in Oregon.

Jamie Francis/The Oregonian

Health Canada says it has tweaked its methods for a study on the possible link between wind farms and the adverse health effects reported by those living near them.

Ottawa announced last summer it would conduct the study, a decision that was lauded by opponents of the towering turbines.

The department says revisions to the plan were informed by more than 950 comments submitted by residents during a public consultation.

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It says changes were made to the assessment of infrasound and a questionnaire to be administered by Statistics Canada.

Turbine opponents contend that exposure to low-frequency noise and vibrations from wind turbines – in particular, inaudible infrasound – can lead to sleep disorders, headaches, depression, anxiety and even blood pressure changes.

The $1.8-million study will initially focus on residents in 2,000 dwellings near eight to 12 wind-turbine installations.

There are about 140 such land-based wind farms in Canada, most of them in Ontario and Quebec.

The study is being conducted by a team of more than 25 experts in acoustics, health assessment and medicine, including four international advisers.

Results are expected in late 2014.

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