A groundbreaking study has revealed the correlation between infrasound produced by wind turbines and people’s health problems. World renown acoustical engineer Steven Cooper was retained by the operator of the Cape Bridgewater wind project in Victoria, Australia to do a sound study. He is responsible for getting better noise regulations at airports world wide. Victoria is the state that instituted a 2 km setback for wind turbines from homes after seeing the devastating effects on people’s lives (Amendment VC82).
It is proven science that infrasound can cause serious harm to the body. The French scientist Vladimir Gavreau and his staff were plagued with nausea and gruelling headaches in the building they were working in. Investigators came in to check out the problem, and they fell sick. One day Gavreau noticed a rippling effect in his coffee that came and went. When they left the building, the symptoms disappeared. Finally, engineers found an improperly installed fan motor was generating an inaudible 7 Hz sound through the ventilation system. Realizing how effective it was, they tried making a weapon out of it. There were accidents causing symptoms that lasted for days.
In a study entitled Sick Building Syndrome: Acoustic Aspects published in Indoor and Built Environment, Burt Tyrrell of the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology found the same 7 Hz frequency present in an office building. Headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, to name a few, were symptoms of the office workers
At a recent Environmental Review Tribunal appeal against the Niagara Region Wind Corporation wind project, an expert witness claimed that infrasound from a wind turbine beyond 300 metres was immeasurable. Another one said that it just blended in with the natural infrasound. The Ministry of the Environment engineer claimed they could measure down to 4 Hz and that a study from South Australia, an HGC consultants study, and Health Canada showed there was no problem.
The Canadian Wind EnergyAssociation lobbied the Ontario Government back in 2009 to make sure there wasn’t any monitoring of infrasound and low frequency noise, saying it wasn’t a problem. If it’s not a problem, then what’s the problem with monitoring it?
The Ministry of the Environment’s capability for sound measurement is lacking and shows a lack of understanding on their part. They drive around in expensive hybrid vehicles, yet they can’t get decent sound metres. Steven Cooper uses expensive equipment–very expensive equipment! His SVAN 979 metre costs $8,439, not including the special infrasound microphone. He can measure down to 1 Hz. The three homes he was monitoring were from 650 m to 1.6 km from the wind turbines. Over in South Australia, the University of Adelaide researchers were clearlymeasuring the wind turbine infrasound at a home 8.7 km away, clearly distinguishable by its pulsating frequency.
The symptoms experienced by people living near wind turbines known as Wind Turbine Syndrome are the same as the acoustic symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome. It is the same causal agent. It makes no difference where the infrasound comes from. The result is the same.
This battle is winnable. One day there will be justice. For the sake of those suffering I hope it’s soon.
letter published in the Sachem newspaper on February 12th