Controversy blows in about the health effects of wind turbines

By the Editor of the Guelph Mercury

I’m no doctor, and I’m not about to play one in this column. But one has to simultaneously wonder about the health effects of wind turbines and feel for the soon-to-be lab rats living in the proposed shadow of 500-foot monoliths.

Invenergy LLC plans to erect 25-35 turbines in the countryside northeast of Guelph. And make no mistake, the project will almost certainly receive approval.

About a year ago, the province made changes to the Green Energy Act and in January, Premier Dalton McGuinty made a $7-billion investment in the green-energy sector. The main focus of the investment is wind and solar electricity. It all makes it easier and faster to approve and build wind farms.

Companies applying for wind farms require only two things: Renewable energy approval from the Ontario Ministry of Environment and a power contract with Ontario Power Authority.

What isn’t apparently required is any sort of health study examining the effects of living beneath several of these behemoths; even though the province openly admits more needs to be known.

‘‘Going forward, the ministry of the environment will develop the science to monitor and measure low frequency noise, as currently there are no established and accepted protocols.” the ministry said on its website. ‘‘In the future, wind farm operators may be required, through conditions of the renewable energy approval, to monitor and address perceptible low frequency noise once acceptable protocols for doing so have been established.”

One has to question why those protocols are not established long before another shovel breaks ground in construction of another turbine? Why are the people of Belwood being asked to play the part of guinea pig?

It’s simply not fair. It’s almost inhumane. To think, taxpaying citizens will be forced into this experiment.

This isn’t simply a case of NIMBY and potentially plummeting property values — although I’m sure those are the main concerns of some.

But they certainly are not the priorities for the likes of vocal opponents Silvana Sangiuliano and Laura Humphrey, both of whom are loving, concerned parents of young children.

Both admit to fearing for their families’ collective health.

Ontario Minister of Environment Brad Duguid recently wrote in a letter to the editor that “currently, there is no evidence to support the correlation between wind turbines and their impact on health.”

Ignorance is no excuse.

Duguid went on to write “we all want to leave a cleaner, more sustainable planet for our children and grandchildren. That is why it only makes sense to invest in green, renewable energy . . . ”

If Duguid and the province truly care so much about the children and grandchildren, wouldn’t it make sense to ensure their safety first?

The province recently appointed a research chair to “examine any new research that may come forward.”

But in the meantime, wind turbines will continue to crop up across Ontario. What if new research does, in fact, find turbines are unhealthy?

Who pays for the removal of those already in existence? Who pays for the ailing health of those having lived beneath them for days, months or years already?

Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott asked a year ago, “why the rush?”

And that’s precisely what Belwood residents want to know, too.

Arnott wants to see controversial wind farm projects placed on hold, pending completion of a study documenting their health effects.

“Before building massive new wind farms, we need to know they’re safe,” he said March 25. “That’s the valid point my constituents are making.”

Too bad the Liberal majority at Queen’s Park is missing it.

6 thoughts on “Controversy blows in about the health effects of wind turbines

  1. Duguid went on to write “we all want to leave a cleaner, more sustainable planet for our children and grandchildren. That is why it only makes sense to invest in green, renewable energy . . . ”

    The above statement is nothing more than re-hashed rhetoric probably straight out of a CANWEA “playbook” that gives these political hacks some “talking points” to sell this Wind Scam and basically make all misinformed people “feel good” about getting destroyed by this destructive Industry.

    We KNOW better after a little research what the TRUTH really is…………..$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  2. For clarity; to put up industrial wind turbines it takes someone else’s 1) land, 2) MOE’s recognition that it qualifies as a renewable (put wind in the title and it is done), 3) a contract with OPA (bit of a bottle neck until the landscape is covered in transmission lines), 4) some initial seed money (need investors as most companies do not want to use their money) and 5) our money, which government efforts are making available as much as it takes regardless of the impact to other programs. Loss of one of those items and the project does not go forward. It is a formula most companies work through. Acquire land, get recognition of renewable status, get OPA contracts, ensure future money support, get investors (using the recognition that the above other points are a done deal or close to it are sometimes needed to get investors). Health concerns and environmental impacts are just side shows they either ignore or provide false claims to distract from what it would take to stop them. Recognition of health concerns by from a majority of caring Ontario residents would reduce the amount of land available by increasing buffers from homes, but it puts more pressure on the environment that is not adjacent to homes. The environment and wildlife would suffer from loss of functional habitat from turbine development placement and the required additional transmission line corridors. Longer transmission transportation will most not likely result in additional power, but a power drain due to the enormous amount of energy required to maintain transmission lines. Focus on how to block the 5 points above would provide the results needed to address the health concerns. Getting laws in place to protect health concerns after will be easier to ensure our children are not dealing with this again.

  3. I have lived beside a turbine farm or over two years. Three weeks after these turbines were turned on, my health issues started.

    Sleepless nights, affecting my family. Endless sleepless nights. I bought a top of the line Serta mattress set, but that did nothing. After a year, I bought another top of the line Sealy mattress set, but that did nothing. So, over $5,000.00 in mattress sales to see if that could help us sleep. Still nothing.

    Two years ago, I started seeing my family Dr. due to a rash that suddenly appeared and seemed to “move” around my body. I had never experienced a skin rash before.

    After 4 prescriptions, with no success, he sent me to a Dermatologist, who I am still seeing today. Two years later and 3 more perscriptions as well as new home regimes that literally cost me hundreds of dollars, this rash is still running rampant over my body. Even the Specialist has not determined what it is. All I know is that I can no longer sit in hot water due to the irritation of the rash.

    My family Dr is also aware of the ‘ear ringing’ that never goes away. It is constant in my ears, and I have never had ear issues before. In reading further about this ear ringing, some call it “Tinitus”, but I did not get that diagnosed from my Dr. yet (although he has made record each time I visit that this is happening to me)

    Other symptoms my family experiences are – No sleep, skin rash, ears ringing, irritability, vibrations, low frequency noises that never go away —- constant noise no matter what wind direction.

    I live in an area of a 44 turbine farm (Port Alma Wind Farm). I live on Lake Erie. I build my retirement home there. Now I am surrounded by Turbines, and these symptoms. I am very concerned about over 700 more now probably going into the lake behind me.

    We can no longer hear the birds, or the waves. We pay extreme taxes, as we are on the lake front, but now are no longer experiencing the benefits from living by the lake.

    When you see a Dermatologist who is not able to help me, and my family Dr not able to help me, and still hear that the Government is allowing these to be “SLAMMED INTO OUR ENVIRONMENT” and not listening to any of us with health issues, it is a CRIME.

    They do not allow people to beat other people, shoot other people, or murder them in any other way without being punishable…….

    Why are they allowing this to happen to me and others around me? They WILL BE RESPONSIBLE IF I CAN EVER PROVE THIS IS WHAT CAUSED MY SYMPTOMS!!!!!!!!!

    But knowing that, they would NEVER admit it, as there are far too many of us that have been physically hurt by this act.

    It is easier for them to keep slamming these up, and turning a deaf ear to those of us that show concern.

    … least until their families are affected. Then let’s see how things change.

  4. Suzanne, I’m so sorry to hear how this has affected you and your family. Please read the tab on the top of the page for “Victims” for some info that may help cope with it.

  5. I do not understand why all the people in Ontario suffering from serious symptoms caused since the turbines began are not involved in a class action suit against the developer, land owner and Government of Ontario. The desks of these people should be overflowing with law suits.

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