I’ve since heard dozens of similar stories from nurses, farmers, panel-beaters, civil servants, businessmen and forestry workers across the world, from New South Wales to Sweden and Pembrokeshire.
The symptoms they claim to have suffered may vary – dizziness; balance problems; memory loss; inability to concentrate; insomnia; tachycardia; increased blood pressure; raised cortisol levels; headaches; nausea; mood swings; anxiety; tinnitus; palpitations; depression – but the theme remains the same.
In December 2011, in a peer-reviewed report in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, Dr Carl Phillips – one of the U.S.’s most distinguished epidemiologists – concluded that there is ‘overwhelming evidence that wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder type diseases, at a nontrivial rate’.
According to a study by U.S. noise control engineer Rick James, wind farms generate the same symptoms as Sick Building Syndrome – the condition that plagued office workers in the Eighties and Nineties as a result of what was eventually discovered to be the Low Frequency Noise (LFN), caused by misaligned air conditioning systems.
The combination of LFN and ‘amplitude modulation’ (loudness that goes up and down) leads to fatigue, poor concentration and dizziness.
And sleep specialist Dr Chris Hanning believes it stimulates an alert response, leading to arousal episodes throug the night that make restful sleep impossible.
‘I’ve spoken with many sufferers and sadly the only treatment is for them to move away from the wind farm.’
But if the problem is really so widespread, why isn’t it better known?
The short answer is money: the wind industry is a hugely lucrative business with millions to spend on lobbying.
What’s more, until recently, it benefited from the general public mood that ‘something ought to be done about climate change’ and wind power – supposedly ‘free’, ‘renewable’ and ‘carbon-friendly’ – was the obvious solution.
On conflicting studies/reports on wind farm noise and its effects:
The article is gets polemical at times, but I cut-and-pasted perhaps the most useful parts.
I'm not sure what to think about this--except, perhaps move people away from the wind farms after compensating them/going to court?
It could be an interested unintended consequence of government subsidies.