A FEDERAL government health body has dismissed claims that low-frequency noise from turbines causes health problems in people who live near wind farms.
A review of published scientific literature by the National Health and Medical Research Council found that wind farms caused no direct pathological effects and any potential impact could be minimised by following existing planning guidelines.
The review follows claims that infrasound, or low-frequency noise, causes ''wind turbine syndrome'', which includes symptoms of nausea, dizziness, heart palpitations and headaches.
Claims the symptoms are linked to wind turbines have been most prominently backed by New York pediatrician Nina Pierpont in her book Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment.
The health council review of 29 published studies and reports found Dr Pierpont's assertions were yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal and had been heavily criticised by acoustic specialists.
The review found infrasound was constantly present in the environment due to ambient air turbulence, ventilation units, ocean waves, traffic and machinery.
''A survey of all known published results of infrasound from wind turbines found that wind turbines of contemporary design, where rotor blades are in front of the tower, produce very low levels of infrasound,'' it said.
The audible noise of a 10-turbine wind farm 350 metres away was found to be roughly equivalent to a quiet bedroom, and less than a busy office or a car travelling at 64 km/h 100 metres away.
The review found there was no evidence that shadow flicker from blades was likely to cause epileptic seizures or that turbines cause dangerous electromagnetic fields.
The Clean Energy Council said the review should put to rest claims that wind farms could make people sick.
Council policy director Russell Marsh said more than 100,000 turbines had been installed around the world over the past three decades. He said the study was consistent with a statement made by Victoria's chief medical officer, John Carnie, other international studies and acoustic research.
Randall Bell, president of the Victorian Landscape Guardians, said the review was effectively saying that hundreds, possibly thousands, of people around the world complaining of wind turbine syndrome were lying.
He said the health council review was consistent with the indifference of other government agencies to the plight of people near wind farms. ''Until you do get a different attitude one is inclined to be very sceptical about this [review],'' he said.