(Also, read angry comments at Dr. King’s claim of innocence in the LF Press)
By Cheryl Heath Clinton News Record
Excerpt: Matthews also took on the question of whether the province will undertake a comprehensive health study on industrial wind turbines now that wind farms are becoming more abundant in Ontario thanks to the province’s Green Energy Act.
The short answer to the question of the possibility of a full-scale study is no.
“There is no evidence, whatsoever, that there is an issue related to turbines,” says Matthews, noting Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health completed a report, The Potential Health Impact of Wind Turbines, which shows there is no correlation between wind projects and ill health effects.
Though that report, completed by Dr. Arlene King, did not include interviews with victims of turbine projects or involve an independent study, Matthews says her ministry is satisfied with King’s findings.
“We have done a very thorough, comprehensive review of health effects,” says Matthews, adding she is “satisfied” with that report, and that she is well “aware of some concerns” with wind projects.
Matthews notes the province has also appointed a research chairman to review wind turbine-related data related to health.
Meanwhile, the medical officer for Grey Bruce is preparing a proposal to lead the charge on a study of the health effects of living near wind turbines.
According to the Owen Sun Sound Times, Dr. Hazel Lynn reports the health unit’s board of directors has asked her to prepare a report on what’s possible for study of the Grey Bruce region.
Lynn says the study’s options are somewhat narrow and revolve around comparing the effects on residents at increasingly greater distances from wind turbines.
According to the Sun Times report, Lynn is hoping to conduct the survey in several communities that have wind turbines.
“Some communities seem to have a lot more problems than others, and that might begin to increase our knowledge of siting when you’ve got irregular fields, and up hills and down valleys, which seems to aggravate the problem,” said Lynn, who ruled out conducting physical examinations or chemical tests to corroborate symptoms.
Lynn said it would take several years to acquire enough scientific information to detect any patterns and produce conclusive findings.
“It took 40 years to prove smoking caused lung cancer and we knew it long before that,” she said.
Lynn said it could cost upwards of $250,000 to hire a researcher, prepare a questionnaire and involve people to conduct the study and analyze the data.
This type of study has been done several places before, so the study design is readily available.
Lynn said she changed her mind about the possible relationship between illness and living near wind turbines because of a growing body of evidence in the medical literature. She says it is plausible that health is disturbed by low-frequency infrasound.
“And it’s very consistent throughout the world. When people live closer than a kilometre, then the complaints start to rise,” she said.
Lynn will present her report and recommendations at the January health board meeting in Owen Sound.