by STEVE ROBERTSON, Portland Observer
Dr Sarah Laurie, the medical director of the Waubra Foundation, a group concerned about wind farm development near Ballarat, said she met last week with Glenelg Shire’s CEO, local doctors and citizens to discuss what she considers to be the damaging health effects of sound coming from the turbines and travelling up to 10 kilometres away.
“There is a link between early morning high blood pressure, heart attacks and the turbines at wind farms,” she said. “I have recommended to people near the Waubra project that, if they live within five kilometres of the wind farm and are concerned about their blood pressure, they should check it with a 24-hour monitor.”
She urged any concerned person living within five kilometres of a wind farm to purchase their own blood-pressure monitoring equipment, and to see a doctor if their blood pressure was over 140/80 when they first awoke in the morning.
Dr Laurie said people living close to turbines in both America and Canada were self-administering 24-hour blood pressure tests. Preliminary results showed “dangerously” high blood pressure levels while some people slept and while turbines were operating, she added.
“These are patients who did not necessarily have previously diagnosed hypertension,” Dr Laurie noted.
Dr Laurie, who said her medical practice was “on hold” due to family responsibilities and her foundation commitments, said she was not being paid to travel around Australia and Canada researching this issue and talking with community leaders. Although her own Beetaloo Valley home in South Australia is not near a wind farm, she said she’d personally experienced symptoms like headaches and sleeplessness while staying in houses close to turbines.
“The condition has been identified in Europe, the UK, the USA and Canada. This is not just a Waubra issue, it’s happening right around the world,” she said.