High levels of stress hormone near wind turbines: Polish study

wind-turbine-sickPreliminary studies_reaction growing_geese IWT_LFN_Polish J Vet science V16_No4 2013
The School of Veterinary Medicine in Poland states:
Abstract
Wind farms produce electricity without causing air pollution and environmental degradation. Unfortunately, wind turbines are a source of infrasound, which may cause a number of physiological effects, such as an increase in cortisol and catecholamine secretion. The impact of infrasound noise, emitted by wind turbines, on the health of geese and other farm animals has not previously been evaluated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of noise, generated by wind turbines, on the stress parameters (cortisol) and the weight gain of geese kept in surrounding areas.

The study consisted of 40 individuals of 5- week- old domestic geese Anser anser f domestica, divided into 2 equal groups. The first experimental gaggle (I) remained within 50 m from turbine and the second one (II) within 500 m. During the 12 weeks of the study, noise measurements were also taken.

Weight gain and the concentration of cortisol in blood were assessed and significant differences in both cases were found. Geese from gaggle I gained less weight and had a higher concentration of cortisol in blood, compared to individuals from gaggle II. Lower activity and some disturbing changes in behavior of animals from group I were noted. Results of the study suggest a negative effect of the immediate vicinity of a wind turbine on the stress parameters of geese and their productivity.

Other quotes include:

The study included 40 individuals of 5-week-old domestic geese Anser anser f. domestica, divided into two groups of 20 individuals each. The first gaggle (group I) remained within 50 m from the turbine (with a capacity of 2 MW) in Rapałki near Rypin (Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland), the second one (group II) within 500 m.

Venous blood was collected in order to obtain serum which, until assessment, was stored deep-frozen (-80oC) in small aliquots. The cortisol concentration in the serum of birds…

Although corticosterone is considered to be the dominant avian glucocorticoid and is well known as a stress hormone in birds (Koren et al. 2012), there are some papers demonstrating that birds also produce cortisol (Walsh et al. 1985, Schmidt and Soma 2008, Sohail et al. 2010, Swathi et al. 2012, Jadhaw et al. 2013). We, therefore, examined the changes of cortisol concentration in blood of geese as a response to the possible stress caused by infrasound generated by a wind turbine.

In the course of the experiment the measurements of noise were taken as follows: 10 times at 4 designated measuring points situated 140 m away from the turbine and 5 times within 50 m from the turbine, at the place where the geese were kept. In addition, measurements (in four directions) at a distance of 200 m from the plant and at every subsequent 100 m, up to 1500 m, were made. Both audible sound and infrasound were measured using a class I sound and vibration analyzer

Noise measurements in the infrasound range (Lin scale) generated by the wind turbine in Rypałki allowed determination of the intensity of sound at the point 50 meters from the turbine (the location of geese), where the average value was 94.5 dB, while the average value in site 1 was 99 dB, site 2- 105 dB, site 3- 96.23 dB and site 4- 98.63 dB. When the distance from the turbine was greater, the intensity of recorded infrasound was significantly lower.

The differences in the cortisol concentration in the blood of animals from both gaggles, in the 5th, 10th and 17th week of rearing, were found to be highly significant (p < 0.001).

the concentration of cortisol in the blood of geese increased with the time of exposure to the immediate vicinity of the wind plant. All three successive measurements of cortisol concentration showed a higher concentration of “stress hormones” in birds kept at a distance of 50 m from the turbine. The lower cortisol concentration in animals kept at a distance of 500 m may indicate that this distance is safer for animals but still not safe enough…

This is a crucial study with “before and after” results indicating a serious impact on cortisol the”stress hormone”.

The School of Veterinary Medicine in Poland states:

Abstract

Wind farms produce electricity without causing air pollution and environmental degradation.

Unfortunately, wind turbines are a source of infrasound, which may cause a number of physiological

effects, such as an increase in cortisol and catecholamine secretion. The impact of infrasound noise,

emitted by wind turbines, on the health of geese and other farm animals has not previously been

evaluated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of noise, generated by wind

turbines, on the stress parameters (cortisol) and the weight gain of geese kept in surrounding areas.

The study consisted of 40 individuals of 5- week- old domestic geese Anser anser f domestica, divided

into 2 equal groups. The first experimental gaggle (I) remained within 50 m from turbine and the

second one (II) within 500 m. During the 12 weeks of the study, noise measurements were also taken.

Weight gain and the concentration of cortisol in blood were assessed and significant differences in

both cases were found. Geese from gaggle I gained less weight and had a higher concentration of

cortisol in blood, compared to individuals from gaggle II. Lower activity and some disturbing changes

in behavior of animals from group I were noted. Results of the study suggest a negative effect of the

immediate vicinity of a wind turbine on the stress parameters of geese and their productivity.
 
Other quotes include:
The study included 40 individuals of 5-week-old
domestic geese Anser anser f. domestica, divided into
two groups of 20 individuals each. The first gaggle
(group I) remained within 50 m from the turbine
(with a capacity of 2 MW) in Rapałki near Rypin
(Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland), the
second one (group II) within 500 m.
 
Venous blood was collected in order
to obtain serum which, until assessment, was stored
deep-frozen (-80oC) in small aliquots. The cortisol
concentration in the serum of birds…
 

Although corticosterone

is considered to be the dominant avian

glucocorticoid and is well known as a stress hormone

in birds (Koren et al. 2012), there are some papers

demonstrating that birds also produce cortisol (Walsh

et al. 1985, Schmidt and Soma 2008, Sohail et al. 2010,

Swathi et al. 2012, Jadhaw et al. 2013). We, therefore,

examined the changes of cortisol concentration in

blood of geese as a response to the possible stress

caused by infrasound generated by a wind turbine.
 
In the course of the experiment the measurements
of noise were taken as follows: 10 times at
4 designated measuring points situated 140 m away
from the turbine and 5 times within 50 m from the
turbine, at the place where the geese were kept. In
addition, measurements (in four directions) at a distance
of 200 m from the plant and at every subsequent
100 m, up to 1500 m, were made. Both audible
sound and infrasound were measured using a class
I sound and vibration analyzer
 
Noise measurements in the infrasound range
(Lin scale) generated by the wind turbine in Rypałki
allowed determination of the intensity of sound at
the point 50 meters from the turbine (the location of
geese), where the average value was 94.5 dB, while
the average value in site 1 was 99 dB, site 2- 105 dB,
site 3- 96.23 dB and site 4- 98.63 dB. When the distance
from the turbine was greater, the intensity of
recorded infrasound was significantly lower.
 
The differences in the cortisol concentration in
the blood of animals from both gaggles, in the 5th,
10th and 17th week of rearing, were found to be
highly significant (p < 0.001).
 
…the concentration of cortisol in the
blood of geese increased with the time of exposure to
the immediate vicinity of the wind plant.
All three successive measurements of cortisol concentration
showed a higher concentration of “stress
hormones” in birds kept at a distance of 50 m from
the turbine. The lower cortisol concentration in animals
kept at a distance of 500 m may indicate that this
distance is safer for animals but still not safe enough…

This is a crucial study with “before and after” results indicating a serious impact on cortisol the”stress hormone”.

4 thoughts on “High levels of stress hormone near wind turbines: Polish study

  1. ..said Robert Hornung, “These geese have turbine-envy; they’re worried sick about imaginary property value losses; and they speak English, to boot. Shame on them for not caring about our children and grandchildren.”

  2. Pingback: Increased Cortisol Levels | Cornwall Wind Watch

  3. Pingback: Stressed Geese - Wind Farm Realities

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