Wind power promises it is clean and green using the wind to generate electricity by spinning the blades of wind turbines. Focusing on the manufacturing process “clean and green” claims are tainted with growing issues surrounding the use of known pollutants used to make turbines. Turbine blade production involves plastics and composite materials to create the finished product. Like any industrial production the chemicals used can involve toxic water pollutants. Pollutants which if released into the environment (and includes exposure risk to health for the people on the shop floor) that can be persistent. Risks and remedies are being studied by looking at known and unknown adverse effects. Drinking water contamination concerns are heightened surrounding the types of plastics being used in the construction of industrial wind turbines. Additionally it raises questions about risks of harm to the environment once the blades are exposed to the natural elements after installation.
“A highly toxic water pollutant, known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), last year caused a number of U.S. communities to close their drinking water supplies. Because of its historical use in Teflon production and other industrial processes as well as its environmental persistence, PFOA contamination is a pervasive problem worldwide.”
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-06-pfoa-threat.html#jCp
The following is an example of PFOA containing products advertised for use in wind turbine blade manufacturing.
What is Wind Turbine Blade Mould Release Fabric?http://www.krteflon.com/list/?2_1.html
A Welland wind turbine blade plant received approval to discharge emissions into the environment from Ontario in 2014. The list of allowed discharges reads like a chemical alphabet soup and clearly states that contaminates are surrounded by unknowns and no ministry standards. Ironically this particular plant was closed shortly after citing a lack of new wind projects in Ontario. READ about the plant closure.
“Emissions to the atmosphere include ammonia, petroleum distillates, ethylbenzene and suspended particulate matter.”
“Suspended particulate matter emissions occur from the sanding of the turbine blades and includes Bisphenol-A-(epichlorhydrin), formaldehyde, 1,6-bis(2,3-epoxypropoxy)hexane, Epoxy Resin, Phenolic Novolac Resin and Glycidated Alcohol. These contaminants do not have ministry POI standards. Ministry toxicologists have determined that, based on an assessment of available toxicological information and of guidelines from the MOE and other jurisdictions, the estimated maximum POI concentrations listed in this application for these contaminants are considered acceptable.”