US, Japan, France, Australia, UK – Health Impacts from Industrial Wind Turbines

Owen Sound Times

There is a misconception that Ontario is the only place reporting health problems associated with living near industrial wind turbines.

Dr. Michael Nissenbaum of the United States reports on preliminary findings of a controlled study (Mars Hill, Maine) to investigate potential adverse health effects. He concludes that adults living within 1,100 metres of industrial wind turbines suffer high incidences of chronic sleep disturbances and headaches, among other somatic complaints, and high incidences of dysphoric psychiatric symptomatology, compared to a control group living 5,000-6,000 metres away. This controlled study is a work in progress.

The Japanese government announced plans to conduct a four-year health study on the subject of “Wind Turbine Disease.” In February 2009 reports that “residents living near wind turbines are increasingly complaining of headaches, dizziness, insomnia and other ailments, sparking fears that the new energy source could pose a risk to public health.”

In France a decision issued by the Court of Appeal of Rennes, Dec. 1, 2009 ordered the eight wind turbines installed in Cast, Châteaulin and Plomodiern be stopped from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. The members of the Association pour la protection du Ménez Quelec’h et de Saint-Gildas, filed a legal action in January 2008 against the disturbance caused by the wind turbines. There is a petition asking for a moratorium on industrial wind turbines in France. 

A parliamentary standing committee inquiry being held by the Australian government is recommending a 2-km setback and other provisions.

The European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW), made up of 380 groups from 20 European countries, is calling for an independent investigation by health professionals to explore the problems of wind turbine noise and the related health consequences.

The Sunday Times, London, U.K., reported Dec. 13, 2009 that civil servants “suppressed warnings that wind turbines can generate noise damaging people’s health for several square miles around.” Warnings were that noise levels of 43dBA were too high and the best way to protect locals was to cut the maximum permitted noise to 38 decibels, or 33 decibels if the machines created discernible beating noises as they spun (beating refers to aerodynamic modulation). As a result of this information being suppressed, some became ill. The Times article:

The adverse health impact of industrial wind turbines on human health is a worldwide concern.

It is time for governments to acknowledge the harm being done to people living near wind turbine installations. Their refusal to support independent third-party health studies is unconscionable. Many are calling for a public inquiry.

Lorrie Gillis Grey Highlands

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