Category Archives: Health effects from wind turbines

Huron County wind turbine noise investigation launched

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Home in Huron County: Finally, tracking wind turbine noise complaints — the government isn’t doing it [Photo Gary Moon]
November 11, 2017

Here is an excerpt from a report on the recent meeting in Clinton, announcing the launch of the Huron County public health investigation into wind turbine noise.

A few notes: as far as we are aware, the “study” is actually an “investigation” under the Health Protection and Prevention Act of Ontario, in which reports of adverse health effects may be reported and investigated. The only association with the University of Waterloo was the review by the ethics committee of that university — the university is not involved in any other phase of the project.

Wind Concerns Ontario had proposed to carry out Phase II of the study which would involve follow-up measurements in homes identified as problematic by the Health Unit, as part of a research study by a multi-disciplinary team. Although federal government funding was not achieved for that proposal, efforts to fund that initiative are ongoing.

This project is the first of its kind in Ontario; it was initiated based on reports of adverse health effects by residents of Huron County made to their health unit, and is supported by them.

For more information about the Huron County Health Unit project please visit the website here.

Huron County Health Unit launches wind farm study

By John Miner

ONTARIO FARMER November 7, 2017

Huron County’s on-again, off-again study on the health impact of wind farms is moving ahead with warnings from the researchers about what it can’t accomplish.

Even if the results in the end definitely show that wind farms are damaging the health of residents, the county’s health unit will not be able to order the turbines stopped, a public meeting was told.

“We do not have the authority to curtail or shut down wind turbines. If you are thinking of participating in the study in the hope that we will shut down the turbines, we want you to understand we cannot do that,” Dr. Erica Clark, an epidemiologist with the Huron County Health Unit, announced at the start of a public information session attended by about 60 people.

Courts have determined that Ontario health units do not have the legal ability to issue orders to protect public health in cases where the provincial government has given that responsibility to another body, Clark said.

In the case of wind farms, the government has given the power to regulate wind turbines to the Ministry of the Environment, not public health units, she said.

Dr. Maarten Bokhout: “If research indicates there are health issues, that can be raised with the Ontario government”

Dr. Maarten Bokhout, Acting Medical Officer of Health at the Huron County Health Unit, said while he cannot step on the Environment Ministry’s toes and he does not have the power to write orders against wind turbines, the results of the study will be published online, including interim reports.

The health unit’s one-year study, established in collaboration with the University of Waterloo and reviewed by the university’s ethics committee, will look at how people are annoyed by noise, vibration and light [shadow flicker] from wind farms.

The goal is to establish how many people are bothered by wind turbines in the county and determine if environmental conditions that make the noise, vibration light and sensations from wind turbines worse.

The study will rely on residents living within 10 km of a wind turbine who volunteer to keep a diary of their experience within their own home.

Participants are asked to record their observations at least once a week.

The researchers will not be making any actual sound or vibration measurements for the study.

Huron County is home to more than 300 industrial wind turbines and some of the largest wind farms in the province.

Some residents have blamed the turbines for a series of health problems, including headaces, nausea, dizziness and insomnia.

Clark, who is principal investigator on the study, said they want participation from both people who have been bothered by wind turbines and those who haven’t experienced any problems.

The 10-kilometre study zone around wind turbines means thousands of Huron County residents are eligible to sign up for the project, including all of the towns of Goderich and Exeter.

See the print edition of Ontario Farmer for a related story: Rural residents skeptical government would act on wind

Source: http://www.windconcernsontario.ca/huron-county-wind-turbine-noise-investigation-launched/

Wind Turbine Study Recruitment Begins

kincardine

Recruitment is now underway for the new wind turbine study.

This study has been reviewed and received research ethics clearance through a University of Waterloo Research Ethics Committee (ORE 22115). However, the decision to participate is yours.

The Huron County Health Unit Medical Officer of Health will not be writing an order under section 13 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. A single study will not provide enough evidence to prove causality. Further, the Medical Officer of Health does not have the authority to write an order under section 13 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to curtail or shut down wind turbines. An Ontario Health Services Appeal and Review Board decision and Ontario Superior Court of Justice judicial review outline the limits on a Medical Officer of Health’s authority to write orders.

You are eligible to participate if you are an English speaking Huron County resident and live within 10 km of a wind turbine. To see if your household is eligible, please view the eligibility map [PDF]. If you are having trouble opening the PDF, please see below.

If you live within five km of a wind turbine you will be mailed an information letter and consent form. If you live 5-10 km from a wind turbine you can still participate by reading the information letter on this website, downloading and printing the consent form, and returning the completed consent form to the Huron County Health Unit by mail or in person. You can also find copies of the information letter, consent form, parent permission form, child assent form, Registration Survey and Observation Diary at any branch of the Huron County Library. A copy of the map showing what areas of the county can participate in the study is also available at all branches of the Huron County Library.

For more information about this study

Brown County Hosts Meeting on Wind Turbine Health Effects

On October 14, 2014 Brown County Board of Health  unanimously approved a motion declaring the Shirley Wind turbines a “Human Health Hazard” . The debate and reports of adverse health effects continues to date.

“To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines at Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, WI. A Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health.”

A special event was held on September 12, 2017 with 4 speakers who gave presentations about wind turbine health effects:

BCCRWE September 12, 2017  Wisconsin
Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy
Press release

Shirley Wind (Brown County, WI) has received global attention following the October 14, 2014 declaration by the Brown County Board of Health that Duke Energy’s eight 2.5 MW wind turbines are a human health hazard – a declaration that has not been rescinded.

In an ongoing effort to gain further understanding of the issue of wind turbine adverse health effects, a joint meeting of the Brown County Human Services Committee and Board of Health was held on September 12, 2017. Four guest speakers gave presentations, followed by two hours of challenging and constructive questions from county officials (see questions here). The speakers included:

Herb Coussons, MD, Brown County primary care physician who has evaluated six of the numerous adversely affected Shirley Wind residents
Robert W. Rand, ASA, INCE, who has been investigating wind turbine noise with site noise measurements for the last eight years, including at Shirley Wind and Falmouth, MA
Robert J. McCunney, MD, who practices occupational and environmental medicine in Boston, MA
Mark Werner, PhD, from the Wisconsin Division of Public Health

The presentations by Dr. Coussons and Robert Rand focused on the science, on their personal expertise, and on what wind turbine residents have taught us about adverse health effects resulting from wind turbine emissions. Their goal is to protect public health, including the health of residents at Shirley Wind, by sharing with county officials why they have concluded that industrial wind turbines sited in proximity to human populations can cause adverse health effects.

Neither Dr. Coussons nor Robert Rand received any compensation for speaking at this meeting, whereas, when pressed, Dr. McCunney admitted on stage that he was paid by Duke Energy (owner of Shirley Wind) to speak at this meeting. Dr. McCunney has also co-authored literature reviews in 2009 and 2014 that were each funded by the American Wind Energy Association and/or the Canadian Wind Energy Association. He has also testified on behalf of wind interests in numerous court cases or wind project permitting proceedings in the US and other countries.

The central focus of Dr. McCunney’s presentation was the Health Canada study, which he knows, or should have known, cannot be applied to Shirley Wind. Health Canada and its lead researcher, Dr. David Michaud, have made it clear in public papers and statements that:

•“… results may not be generalized to areas beyond the sample as the wind turbine locations in this study were not randomly selected”
•“… this design does not permit any conclusions to be made with respect to causality.”
•“… the results will not provide a definitive answer on their own.”

Dr. McCunney did not disclose these limitations in his presentation, potentially leaving the impression that the Health Canada study is applicable to Shirley Wind, which it is not.

In summary, the meeting demonstrated that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that wind turbines pose public health risks, and that it is time for Wisconsin and Brown County health authorities to formally acknowledge this, so that the discussion will move forward to correct the harm that wind turbines have caused.

Watch it at: https://youtu.be/8bpc-pYMu48 … and don’t miss the critically important Q & A session, paying special attention to each question asked and how, or if, it is answered.

A repository of additional information related to this meeting will be developed over time and can be accessed at: http://bccrwe.com/27

Noise from wind turbines may cancel a Sale

good neigboursParis – The noise of new wind turbines may justify the cancellation of the purchase of a house if the buyer claims it.

The purchaser, faced with this nuisance, may in fact invoke his own misjudgment which has vitiated his consent, especially if he has been preoccupied with the environment before buying, judges the Court of Cassation.

Although no one is at fault, the error of one of the parties leads to a defect in his consent which justifies the handing over of things to their former state, that is to say the reciprocal restitution of the house and its price, Admit the judges.

Since the construction of wind turbines is not a question of town planning, it may not be reported as such to the future purchaser, To inform the city council on urbanism projects, observes the judges.

This future purchaser can not therefore complain that it has not been reported to him. It would have been necessary to ask precisely the question of a project of installation of wind turbines. But in any case, even informed of the project, the seller could make a mistake as to the significance of its consequences.

In short, the seller, purchaser, notary and administrations are excusable because, knowing the project, nobody could imagine the magnitude of the nuisance. It was only when they appeared that the purchaser could see that if he had known, he would not have bought. 

(Cass Civ 3, 29.6.2017, Z 16-19.337)

This future purchaser can not therefore complain that it has not been reported to him. It would have been necessary to ask precisely the question of a project of installation of wind turbines. But in any case, even informed of the project, the seller could make a mistake as to the significance of its consequences. In short, the seller, purchaser, notary and administrations are excusable because, knowing the project, nobody could imagine the magnitude of the nuisances. It was only when they appeared that the purchaser could see that if he had known, he would not have bought. (Cass Civ 3, 29.6.2017, Z 16-19.337). (© AFP / 07 July 2017 09h55)

Installation of wind turbines. But in any case, even informed of the project, the seller could make a mistake as to the significance of its consequences. In short, the seller, purchaser, notary and administrations are excusable because, knowing the project, nobody could imagine the magnitude of the nuisances. It was only when they appeared that the purchaser could see that if he had known, he would not have bought. (Cass Civ 3, 29.6.2017, Z 16-19.337). (© AFP / 07 July 2017 09h55)

While knowing the project, no one could imagine the extent of the nuisances. It was only when they appeared that the purchaser could see that if he had known, he would not have bought. (Cass Civ 3, 29.6.2017, Z 16-19.337). (© AFP / 07 July 2017 09h55)

Google translate Original text in French:

Link to Court Decision

Le bruit des éoliennes peut annuler une vente  

french wind project
Installation of wind turbines in France

Noise as a Public Health Problem

icben

Sound emitted by wind turbines has been dogged by ongoing world wide reports of associated adverse health resulting from exposure due to industrial wind turbine acoustic emissions. Health effects that can be severe enough people are forced to abandoned their homes. Seeking relief, respite and to protect their health from further negative impacts due to exposure to noise pollution.  The 12th International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem was held in Zurich on 18–22 of June 2017.  The proceeding received multiple papers on the subject of wind turbine noise and health.

The following shares some of the papers presented.

12th ICBEN Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem

Selected papers from the 12th International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem, Zurich, 18–22 June 2017:

Recent progress in the field of non-auditory health effects of noise – trends and research needsby Yvonne de Kluizenaar and Toshihito Matsui – The Netherlands and Japan
… A wealth of new research on non-auditory health effects of noise has been published over the last 3 years. …

Health Effects of Low Frequency Noise and Infrasound from Wind Farms: Results from an Independent Collective Expertise in Franceby Philippe Lepoutre, Paul Avan, Anthony Cadene, David Ecotière, Anne-Sophie Evrard, Frédérique Moati, and Esko Topilla – France
… Recent results on the physiology of cochleo-vestibular system have revealed several pathways of physiological effects mechanisms that could be activated in response to exposure to ILFN. This sensory system has a particular sensitivity to these frequencies, superior to that of other parts of the human body. Available data suggest the hypothesis that sounds of frequencies too low or levels too low to be clearly audible could have effects mediated by receptors of the cochleo-vestibular system. …

Noise Annoyance Caused by Large Wind Turbines – A Dose-Response Relationshipby Valtteri Hongisto and David Oliva – Finland
The purpose was to determine a dose-response-relationship of large wind turbines with nominal power of 3-5 MW. A cross-sectional survey was conducted around three wind power areas in Finland. The sample involved all households within 2km from the nearest turbine. Altogether 400 households out of 753 reported the annoyance indoors. The dose-response relationship was determined between the predicted noise exposure, LAeq, outdoors and the percentage of highly annoyed by wind turbine noise indoors. The percentage of highly annoyed, %HA, was less than 3%, and relatively even below 40dB LAeq. %HA started to increase when the level exceeded 40dB. …

Hearing Beyond the Limit: Measurement, Perception and Impact of Infrasound and Ultrasonic Noiseby Christian Koch – Germany
In our daily lives, many sources emit infrasound due to their functions or as a side effect. At the other end of the hearing frequency range, airborne ultrasound is applied in many technical and medical processes and has also increasingly moved into everyday life. There are numerous indicators that sound at these frequencies can be perceived and can influence human beings. However, the precise mechanisms of this perception are unknown at present and this lack of understanding is reflected by the unsatisfactory status of the existing regulations and standards. …

A Review of the Human Exposure-Response to Amplitude-Modulated Wind Turbine Noise: Health Effects, Influences on Community Annoyance, Methods of Control and Mitigationby Michael J. B. Lotinga, Richard A. Perkins, Bernard Berry, Colin J. Grimwood, and Stephen A. Stansfeld – U.K.
… The conclusions of most reviews of the research on the effects of WTN on health, including those carried out on behalf of Government agencies, confirm that annoyance is caused by WTN, and that AM appears to increase annoyance. The association of WTN with sleep disturbance appears to be considerably more complex. … All of the field studies outlined so far have focussed on the responses to time-averaged WTN exposure levels. In a study of noise emissions from 1.8 MW turbines, it was argued that noise annoyance expressed by residents at 500-1900m distances might be exacerbated by AM, increased levels and low-frequency content occurring in the late evening and night-time. These phenomena were attributed to the stable night-time atmosphere causing high wind shear, and the coincidence of AM patterns from the turbines. … On the basis of the review and studies considered above, a control for AM has been proposed for use in planning windfarm developments. This control takes as its basis the principle that AM increases annoyance caused by WTN, and that this increase can be characterised by adding a penalty value to the overall WTN level, to equalise it with subjective judgement of a negligible-AM WTN sound. The results of ref 58 suggest that fluctuation in broadband WTN-like sounds will almost certainly be sensed by most people with normal hearing at approximately 3dB ΔLAeq,100ms(BP) which forms the proposed onset for the penalty. … The possible influence of increased low-frequency content in the AM is addressed by the design of the metric used to rate the magnitude, which employs frequency filtering to ensure the signal is evaluated for the range that produces the maximum AM rating. …

Review of Research on the Effects of Noise on Sleep Over the Last 3 Yearsby Sarah McGuire and Gunn Marit Aasvang – U.S. and Norway
… Among
the new actigraphy and polysomnographic field studies are the first studies on wind turbine noise which have used objective measures of sleep, as well as a study examining the potential benefit of nighttime air-traffic curfews. Also there have been new epidemiological studies which have added to the knowledge on the effects of noise on self-reported sleep disturbance. …

The Inadequacy of the A-Frequency Weighting for the Assessment of Adverse Effects on Human Populationsby Bruce Rapley, Mariana Alves-Pereira, and Huub Bakker – New Zealand and Portugal

Case Report: Cross-Sensitisation to Infrasound and Low Frequency Noiseby Bruce Rapley, Huub Bakker, Mariana Alves-Pereira, and Rachel Summers – New Zealand
This Case Report describes an episode experienced by two noise-sensitised individuals during a field trip. Exposed to residential infrasound and low frequency noise due coal mining activities, the subjects reacted suddenly, strongly and unexpectedly to pressure pulses generated by a wind farm located at a different town, approximately 160km by road from their residence. Simultaneous physiological data obtained in one subject and subjective sensations occurring during the episode are reported. Acoustical evaluations of the location of the episode are also reported. The possibility of a nocebo effect as an etiological factor for their bodily reactions is cogently eliminated. …

Evaluation of Wind Turbine Noise in Japanby Akira Shimada and Mimi Nameki – Japan
In order to tackle with wind turbine noise (WTN) related complaints, Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ) set up an expert committee in 2013. In November 2016, the committee published a report on investigation, prediction and evaluation methods of WTN. The report compiles recent scientific findings on WTN, including the results of nationwide field measurements in Japan and the results of review of the scientific literature related to health effects of WTN. The report sets out methodology for investigation, prediction and evaluation as well as case examples of countermeasures. A noise guideline for wind turbine, which suggests WTN should not be more than 5dB above the residual noise where residual noise levels are above 35-40dB, is also presented in the report. MOEJ is developing a WTN noise guideline and a technical manual for WTN investigation based on the report. Both documents will be finalized in the fast half of 2017.

Wind Turbine Noise Effects on Sleep: The WiTNES Studyby Michael Smith, Mikael Ögren, Pontus Thorsson, Laith Hussain-Alkhateeb, Eja Pedersen, Jens Forssén, Julia Ageborg Morsing, and Kerstin Persson Waye – Sweden
Onshore wind turbines are becoming increasingly widespread globally, with the associated net effect that a greater number of people will be exposed to wind turbine noise (WTN). Sleep disturbance by WTN has been suggested to be of particular importance with regards to a potential impact on human health. … Almost all measures of self-reported sleep were negatively impacted following nights with wind turbine noise. The WTN nights lead to increased sleep disturbance, reduced sleep quality, increased tiredness, increased irritation, awakenings, increased difficulty to sleep, sleeping worse than usual, and decreased mood. Subjects dwelling close to wind turbines, and consequently potentially exposed to WTN at home, repeatedly scored their sleep and restoration lower than the reference group following the WTN nights.

Frequency Weighting for the Evaluation of Human Response to Low-Frequency Noise Based on the Physiological Evidence of the Vestibular Systemby Junta Tagusari, Shou Satou, and Toshihito Matsui – Japan
Several studies were found regarding adverse health effects due to low-frequency noise emitted by industrial machines including wind turbines. However, the causal chain between low-frequency noise and health effects still remains unclear. Meanwhile, from the physiological viewpoint, low-frequency noise stimulate hair cells in the vestibular system, which could cause dizziness, vertigo, headache and nausea. The stimulating process is different from the hearing process in the cochlea, which implies that the A-weighting is not appropriate for evaluating the risk of low-frequency noise and that an alternative method is required. …

 

Source: National Wind Watch

child & noise

 

Falmouth Ordered to shut down Turbines

falmouth wind turbine clock is ticking

By Ethan Genter  Cape Cod Times

Posted Jun 20, 2017 at 9:09 PM
Updated Jun 20, 2017 at 9:34 PM

BARNSTABLE — A Barnstable Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered the town of Falmouth to shut down two town-owned wind turbines.

Judge Cornelius Moriarty issued his decision at about 4:30 p.m. in the case which pitted the town against its own Zoning Board of Appeals and a neighbor of the turbines. The Board of Selectmen had appealed a decision by the zoning board that found the turbines are a nuisance.

In an emergency meeting Tuesday night, selectmen instructed the town manager to comply with Moriarty’s order.

“We are going to abide by what the judge has ordered,” said Doug Jones, chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

Known as Wind 1 and Wind 2, the two turbines at the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Facility have been subjected to a litany of lawsuits, with neighbors saying the turbines have negatively affected their health and enjoyment of their properties.

Moriarty’s decision was welcomed by Barry Funfar, who lives next to one of the turbines and has sunk more than $100,000 into fighting their operation.

“We’ve been waiting for this decision for six months,” Funfar said.

The last action in the case was in December.

“My wife and I have been taxed by these turbines, right out of our home. … I’m very, very happy,” Funfar said.

Wind 1 has already been shut down under a prior court ruling, and Wind 2 had been reduced to 12-hour operation cycles.

In their emergency meeting Tuesday, the selectmen only touched on what to do as of 7 a.m. Wednesday morning, when Wind 2 is scheduled to go back online for its next 12-hour cycle.

Jones declined to comment on what the town plans to do after losing its appeal.

“The Town is evaluating the decision with its attorneys,” according to a statement issued by Town Manager Julian Suso.

The selectmen are scheduled to meet again on Monday in executive session to further discuss the judge’s decision, which contradicts another court decision.

In April, a Barnstable Superior Court jury sided with the town, saying there was no nuisance at a Wind 1 neighbor’s property.

There are several other lawsuits working their way through the courts, and while he looks forward to seeing what the selectmen decide, Funfar said he sees Tuesday decision as a “happy bump” in what will likely remain a long road ahead.

“My wife is going to be so happy to hear this,” he said.

 

falmouth_vermont-1473171761-2525

Industrial Wind Turbines Can Harm Humans

Carmen Krogh
Carmen Krogh is a researcher into the risks of harm to human health associated with wind energy facilities

ABSTRACT:
The topic of the risk of harm to human health associated with wind energy facilities is controversial and debated worldwide. On March 29, 2017, Carmen Krogh presented at the University of Waterloo which considered some of the research dating back to the early 1980’s. A snapshot of some of the current research available in 2017 was provided. The research is challenged in part by the complexities and numerous variables and knowledge gaps associated with this subject. This presentation explored some of these research challenges and provided an update on the growing body of evidence regarding human health risk factors. Included was the emerging research indicating risks to those working in this field.
BIO:
Carmen M Krogh is a full time volunteer and published researcher regarding health effects and industrial wind energy facilities and shares information with communities; individuals; federal, provincial and public health authorities, wind energy developers; the industry; and others. She is an author and a co-author of peer reviewed articles and conference papers presented at wind turbine scientific noise conferences. Ms Krogh is a retired pharmacist whose career includes: senior executive positions at a teaching hospital (Director of Pharmacy); a drug information researcher at another teaching hospital; a Director of a professional organization; and a Director (A) at Health Canada (PMRA). She is the former Director of Publications and Editor in Chief of the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS), the book used by physicians, nurses, and health professionals for prescribing information in Canada.

No headlineVideo:  University of Waterloo- Livestream: Industrial Wind Turbines Can Harm Humans

Critique of “Health Nuisances of Land-based Wind Turbines”

Critique of “Health Nuisances of Land-based Wind Turbines”, Statement by the French National Academy of Medicine issued May 9, 2017

By Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD.

The French National Academy of Medicine has used this document in an attempt to redefine “Wind Turbine Syndrome”:

In summary, the health nuisances seem to be primarily visual (disfigurement of the landscape and its psychosomatic consequences) and to a lesser degree noise (of an intermittent and random character as generated by wind turbines of older generations). Medically, wind turbine syndrome is a complex and subjective entity with several factors contributing to its clinical expression, some related to the wind turbine itself, others to the complainants and to the social, financial, political, and communication environment (p. 14).

To reach this conclusion, the authors first review turbine noise levels and hearing thresholds, concluding that noise levels are low. They then review the following potential mechanisms:

  • Outer hair cells (Salt): “The work is not clinical or experimental but theoretical, based on the analysis of electrophysiologic, biomechanical, and acoustic models and data, and its conclusions are conservative.” Mechanism not supported (p. 9).
  • Otolith organs (Schomer, Todd, Rand): Conflicts with other studies suggesting that the sensitivity of otolith hair cells to infrasound is too low for this mechanism to be relevant to the production of motion sickness symptoms (pp. 9-10).
  • Stimulation of visceral organs (Pierpont): Intensities of infrasound not high enough (p. 10).
  • Direct action of noise on sleep: This mechanism is supported with a 1.5 km radius, but not further mentioned in the conclusions (see below) (p. 10).
  • Psychological factors: These are supported, including the impact of new technologies, the nocebo effect, individual factors of hearing sensitivity and emotional/psychological fragility, and social and economic factors such as lack of profit sharing and excessive communication of unsupported fears on social media (pp. 10-12).

The authors continue:

  • These nuisance factors being identified, the analysis of the medical and scientific literature (more than sixty articles have been published to date on the health effects of wind turbines) does not make it possible to demonstrate that, when wind turbines are properly located, they have a significant impact on health. In other words, no disease or infirmity can be imputed to their functioning.
  • The problem, however, is that the definition of health has evolved. According to WHO, this today is defined as “a state of complete physical well-being, mental and social,” not only the absence of illness or infirmity.
  • In this sense, we must admit that wind turbine syndrome, though the symptoms are subjective, reflects an existential suffering, a psychological distress, in short a violation of the quality of life, which, however, concerns only a part of the neighboring population (p. 14).

The authors proceed to discuss how to ameliorate the effects of wind power development, assuming (as they do) that wind energy is a political given. They propose extending the setback distance from 500 to 1000 m, while recognizing that this is neither politically feasible nor likely to be effective with larger turbines (p. 17).

They discuss caps on dBA noise levels relative to pre-construction and suggest that post-construction enforcement should be improved (p. 15). They suggest design features that affect airflow over and around the blades or stop the turbines when noise thresholds are exceeded (p. 16).

They recommend better public discussion and profit-sharing:

  • In the dual aim of improving the acceptance of wind energy and mitigating its impact health, directly or indirectly, on a part of the population of residents, the workgroup recommends:
  • To facilitate dialogue between local residents and farmers [who host turbines] as well as the referral of complaints to the authorities, to ensure that public inquiry is conducted with legal rigor and effectively implemented, and to ensure that residents have more interest in the economic repercussions or spin-off of the projects (p. 18).

My critique of the Academy’s report:

Out-of-date on noise descriptions. Does not use the “wind turbine signature” of pulsatile infrasound/low frequency noise with duration of 4 to 100 msec, which is perceptible at sound pressure levels as low as 60 dB (Punch & James 2016, Cooper 2014).

Never mentions migraine as a clinical entity affecting 18% of women and 6% of men; individual differences are instead treated as a reason to discredit physiologic causation and discredit as psychological frailty the population affected. They cite 4 to 20% affected, saying this is so close to the 10% considered affected by traffic noise in Europe that it is acceptable. This is tantamount to defining a sacrifice population and includes blaming of victims.

All the recommended interventions are either in place, have been tried and are useless, or have been called for for years but require changes in human nature, reducing the recommendations herein to “tuttut, let’s all behave better.”

This document attempts to redefine “wind turbine syndrome” to represent factors which are actually not wind turbine syndrome. Wind turbine syndrome is the reaction of migrainous or motion-sensitive people to wind turbine acoustic emissions, the latter now well defined as sharply pulsatile lowfrequency noise. Wind turbine syndrome is different from hysteria or nocebo, as it occurs in people by surprise, who had no thoughts about the turbines before the turbines were installed and turned on and the symptoms began.

I challenge every member of the French working group and their consultants, listed in the report, who self-identifies as having migraine, motion sensitivity, or balance problems, or their family members, including children with developmental disorders such as autism in which auditory and position/balance processing are distorted, to spend a week in a wind park. This would be simple to accomplish and could lead to a tidy “exposure” experiment without ethical obstacles, as the authors believe that they could not be affected as they do not have the psychological limitations and shortcomings they blithely attribute to affected people and use as an excuse to dismiss them.

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD
19 Clay St
Malone, NY 12953
518-483-6481 ph
518-207-4488 fax
pierpont@twcny.rr.com

References:

Jerry L. Punch and Richard R. James, “Wind Turbine Noise and Human Health: A Four-Decade History of Evidence That Wind Turbines Pose Risks,” The Journal at Hearing Health & Technology Matters (October 2016), 72 pp.

Steven Cooper, “The Results of an Acoustic Testing Program: Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm,” The Acoustic Group Report for Energy Pacific, 44.5100.R7:Msc (November 26, 2014), 224 pp.

Download Article

Dr_Nina_Pierpont
Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD

Source: Friends Against Wind

Physiological effects of wind turbine noise on sleep

sleepConclusions: Physiological measurements indicate that nights with low frequency band amplitude modulation and LAEq,8h=45 dB, slightly open window (LAEq,8h=33 dB indoors) impacted sleep the most. In particular, amplitude modulation and the presence of beating were important constituents of the wind turbine noise contributing to sleep disruption

Presented: Buenos Aires – 5 to 9 September, 2016  PROCEEDINGS of the 22nd International Congress on Acoustics

Wind Farm Noise: Paper ICA2016-440 Physiological effects of wind turbine noise on sleep Michael G. Smith(a), Mikael Ögren(b), Pontus Thorsson(c), Eja Pedersen(d) and Kerstin Persson Waye(e) (a) University of Gothenburg, Sweden, michael.smith@amm.gu.se (b) University of Gothenburg, Sweden, mikael.ogren@amm.gu.se (c) Chalmers University of Technology Sweden, pontus.thorsson@akustikverkstan.se (d) Lund University, Sweden, eja.pedersen@arkitektur.lth.se (e) University of Gothenburg, Sweden, kerstin.persson.waye@amm.gu.se

house-surrounded-by-wind-turbines