Northumberland health unit explores wind turbines

by Jeanne Beneteau, Northumberland Independent

PORT HOPE — Manvers Wind Concerns representatives have asked the local heath unit to support the group’s fight for in-depth investigations into potential adverse health effects from wind turbine exposure.

At the April 21 Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit board meeting, Pontypool residents and Manvers Wind Concerns board members Dave Bridges, Anne Johnson, and Carmen Krogh, a retired pharmacist from Killaloe, asked the board to support their request for Health Canada to set up studies to determine whether living close to industrial wind turbines presents a public health risk. The board instructed staff to examine the information submitted by the delegation to see what role, if any, the health unit could have regarding the request.

Ms. Krogh said a self-reporting survey on the adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines conducted by WindVOiCe (Wind Vigilance for Ontario Communities) and presented to Standing Committee for the Green Energy Act in September 2009, goes beyond the anecdotal.

“More people than you realize have been forced out of their homes,” she said. “I have a high level of concern for these people. There is legislation in place to determine where wind turbines should go, but never any studies from a health safety perspective.”

The survey reported a variety of health problems associated with wind turbine exposure, including quality of life reduction, depression, sleep disturbances, stress, cognitive disorders, high blood pressure and cardiac vascular impacts, said Ms. Krogh. Most disturbing is there are no studies on long-term exposure, especially on infants, growing children, and the unborn whose mothers are exposed, she said.

“I encourage you all, do your own reading,” said Mr. Bridges. “The setbacks (of 550 metres) must be increased. Australia is looking at two kilometres.”

The WindVOiCe survey recommended the Ontario government evoke the precautionary principle and halt further wind development until authoritative guidelines based on the best available science are in place; the Manvers Wind Concerns representatives said they agree with this recommendation.

“Health and preventing health problems is your responsibility,” Ms. Johnson said. “This is absolutely a public health issue. I’ve read and read and read and I am convinced wind turbines shouldn’t mix with people.”

After the meeting, medical officer of health Dr. Lynn Noseworthy said wind turbine legislation is set by Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure under the Green Energy Act, 2009 while regulations under the Act are enforced by the Ministry of the Environment.

“So wind turbines are not within our (health unit) mandate, from that perspective,” said Dr. Noseworthy. “However, staff will examine the issue and report back to the board.”

6 thoughts on “Northumberland health unit explores wind turbines

  1. What a cop out Dr. Noseworthy! If your job is not to ensure safe living conditions to the people of Ontario then may I suggest you quit taking your pay cheque!

    Shame on you!

  2. So the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure is charge of our health and safety. I’ve heard the same cop-out from the Min. of Transportation when told that highway 402 would have a stretch of highway where drivers would be subject to intense shadow flicker for 10 straight minutes of driving. Now, if these spinney machines weren’t producing energy, say they were just huge mobile ‘signs’, then the Min of Transportation would be all over them.

    This object produces electricity, therefore it isn’t a health and safety issue of concern??? Where’s the logic in that? Are there doctors that we can contact at the Ministry of energy and Infrastructure?

  3. I am so offended by these puppet doctors for the Liberal energy agenda that I have decided that if any ill health, impacts my family or myself from the proposed 8 IWT’s of which 2 will be 550 meters from my home, I will sue the the Health Department of our County, The Ont government’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and also the hosting family. I will sue them six ways from Sunday for their failure to protect my family. It will be well worth the financial commitment.

  4. The GEA fixed things so that IWT installation would go ahead without any more obstructions being put in the way. Seems nixed the health system as well.

    The objective of the GEA was to get IWTs installed no matter what. Nothing can stand in the way here.

  5. The Ministry of Health is among those government departments being lobbied by the wind and renewable energy industry – check the lists of lobbyists and their targets. Need we say more…..

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