By Miriam Raftery
April 5, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Evidence of negative health impacts on people living near wind turbines is mounting. An article in Principia Scientific International concludes, “There are serious adverse health effects associated with noise pollution generated by wind turbines. It is essential that separation distances between human habitation and wind turbines are increased.” The author notes that some countries are now recommending at least 3 kilometers and suggests even this distance many not be far enough, due to newer, larger turbines.
The author cites evidence documenting sleep deprivation caused by low-frequency noise from wind turbines, noting that young and old people are the most vulnerable. Lack of sleep due to nocturnal noise can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, fatal strokes and memory impairment. Sleep deprivation has, in fact, been used as a means of torture in the past to elicit confessions from prisoners.
The study notes that some acousticians derive revenues from the wind industry and observes, “The wind industry has at times acted in a way that is reminiscent of the tobacco industry in the past” by blatantly lying about noise levels produced by wind turbines.
“Good and caring Government should entail acting with greater caution when its policies could jeopardise the health and human rights of its people,” the author concludes.
An article in the winter 2014 edition of Acoustics Today concludes that there are many ways that inaudible low frequency/infrasound from wind turbines could impact the human ear and other parts of the body. The article rejects the validity of A-weighted scales for measuring wind turbine noise and calls for steps to be taken to protect the public health.
“Based on well-established principles of the physiology of the ear and how it responds to very low-frequency sounds, there is ample justification to take this problem more seriously than it has been to date,” conclude the authors, who include a Harvard-trained audiologist. “Given the present evidence, it seems risky at best to continue the current gamble that infrasound stimulation of the ear stays confined to the ear and has no other effects on the body.”