UI research finds no health hazards from wind turbines

Noise created by wind turbines does not cause adverse health effects, according to a recently released report written by members of the Iowa Environmental Council and researchers at the University of Iowa.

“With the rapid expansion of wind energy, some neighbors to wind turbines have claimed the sound has affected their health. While, to some, the sound might be annoying, research studies have established no adverse health effects,” states Peter Thorne, a professor and head of the University of Iowa’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Health.

Media Coverage

Iowa Report Refutes Human Health Risks Of Wind Turbines (North American Windpower)

Wind turbine health risks unfounded, says new research (Windpower Engineering)

Sound from wind turbines not detrimental (NWestIowa.com)

UI research finds no hazards from wind turbines (Daily Iowan)

Are wind turbines harming health? A new paper says ‘no’

Wind TurbineA paper released Thursday from three Iowa groups looked at research around the public health impact of wind turbines and found little evidence they’re harming neighbors. Studies found sound from wind turbines may be annoying, but they “have established no adverse health effects,” said CPH professor Peter Thorne.

View the report

Media Coverage

Report: Sound from wind turbines does not harm human health (The Gazette)

Are the wind turbines popping up across Iowa harming neighbors’ health? A new paper says ‘no.’ (Des Moines Register)

Researchers conclude wind turbines unlikely to impact human health (Radio Iowa)

Report: Wind turbines have no negative effect on health (The Courier)


Lynch, Robertson, and Thorne honored with university awards

Each year, University of Iowa faculty and staff members are honored for their valuable contributions to the university’s core mission of teaching, service, and research. Following are the College of Public Health award recipients in 2018.

Michael J. Brody Award for Faculty Excellence in Service

A portrait of Charles Lynch of the University of Iowa College of Public HealthCharles Lynch

Lynch is professor of epidemiology in the College of Public Health and medical director and principal investigator of the Iowa Cancer Registry, which provides invaluable data to the state and nation, educates Iowans about cancer prevention and early detection, and helps to train future cancer epidemiologists. He has provided extraordinary service to the state and nation through his own groundbreaking research into the association between radon and lung cancer, which has likely saved the lives of many Iowans and others around the world. He is also the longtime Iowa director for the Agricultural Health Study, researching the health, safety, and risk factors associated with farming and pesticide use among more than 58,000 Iowans enrolled in that study. His extensive university service includes acting as chair or vice chair of the Board in Control of Athletics and the Presidential Committee on Athletics, both of which honored him with their Distinguished Service Awards. He received the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence in 2014.

David J. Skorton Award for Staff Excellence in Service

portrait of Gayle RobertsonGayle Robertson

Robertson is research support manager for the State Health Registry of Iowa (SHRI) in the Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health. She is the primary individual responsible for pre- and post-award research administration in the SHRI, where she oversees the multi-year, multi-million dollar Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) contract from the National Cancer Institute (one of the university’s largest federal contracts). Her long-term knowledge and experience have greatly enhanced the SHRI’s ability to develop and provide needed resources, and she has been instrumental in developing strategies to maintain research excellence in the face of declining federal funding. She has also contributed noteworthy service to the college and university as a member of the College of Public Health Staff Council and then university Staff Council, of which she is currently a member of the executive committee.

Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence

Peter Thorne

portrait of Peter ThorneThorne is professor in and head of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health in the College of Public Health, where he also directs the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center. He is associate director of the interdisciplinary Human Toxicology program, a model program for student training and research engagement that he helped establish. An internationally known scholar in the fields of environmental hazards, pulmonary toxicology, and human health risk assessment, he serves on the Board of Environmental Studies and Toxicology for the National Academy of Sciences, and recently served as chair of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board. He has collaborated with many communities concerned about environmental exposures to dangerous chemicals, to evaluate the hazards they face and their associated health impacts. He is an active and sought-after teacher and mentor for students and for junior faculty, helping build careers that shape scientific innovation.

See the full list of award winners in Iowa Now.

Thorne recognized with Regents Award for Faculty Excellence

A portrait of Peter Thorne of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.Peter Thorne, CPH professor and head of occupational and environmental health, has been awarded a 2018 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence.

Given by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the award honors faculty members for work representing a significant contribution to excellence in public education. The University of Iowa will select up to six faculty members each year to receive this award and will award each recipient a $1,000 one-time stipend.

The recipients are announced in the spring and the award is presented in the fall semester.

Congratulations, Peter!