HEALTH & SAFETY
To determine the true cost of generating electricity, the cost of pollution and other 'external costs' should be included in the calculations. External costs are the costs to human health and the environment, which are not reflected in the price of the electricity.
An additional concern associated with wind turbines is potential interference with radar and telecommunication facilities. And like all electrical generating facilities, wind generators produce electric and magnetic fields (EMF):
- Wind turbines do not use combustion to generate electricity, and hence don't produce air emissions.
- The only potentially toxic or hazardous materials are relatively small amounts of lubricating oils and hydraulic and insulating fluids. Therefore, contamination of surface or ground water or soils is highly unlikely.
- EMF diminish to near zero at about 90 m from an overhead power line and are even less of an issue with underground lines. Therefore, setbacks for wind turbines and placing power lines underground will mitigate any perceived health effects from EMF.
- Infrasound and low frequency noise are established as real causes of illness in some people, but there are no harmful infrasound effects from wind turbines.