April 5, 2019

Trump said that wind turbines cause cancer!

Do stress and lack of sleep contribute to the development of cancer, as with other diseases?  Yes.

Does wind turbine noise raise stress levels and disrupt sleep?  Yes.

The World Health Organization has recognized the importance to health of uninterrupted sleep and has recommended outdoor noise limits for wind turbines: <https://wind-watch.org/doc/?p=5227>

It’s very difficult to be definite about any environmentally caused illness, because so many variables are involved. But reports have been consistent since around 2000, when the size of wind turbines increased dramatically, of many people suffering a similar set of symptoms after nearby wind turbines start operating. When they leave the area, they experience relief from the overt symptoms (eg, headache, dizziness, feeling of pressure, stress, depression, irritability). The cause is thus quite obvious.

Pets and other animals are similarly affected.

Dr. Nina Pierpont coined the term “Wind Turbine Syndrome” for those symptoms, which also include sleep disturbance and deprivation, tinnitus (ringing in ears), ear pressure, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia (fast heart rate), irritability, problems with concentration and memory, and panic episodes associated with sensations of movement or quivering inside the body. She attributed these effects to inner ear disturbances caused by infrasound and low-frequency noise (ILFN), akin to motion sickness.

As with motion sickness, people have different sensitivities, which also complicates the epidemiology.

Interested acoustical engineers then began measuring ILFN near large wind turbines and did indeed find that pulsing ILFN is a characteristic component of their noise.

In December 2011, Denmark added a 20-dBA limit on low-frequency noise (10–160 Hz) inside homes.

In Portugal, researchers led by Mariana Alves-Pereira have studied longer-term physical changes in the lungs, heart, and muscles caused by ILFN. They called it “vibroacoustic disease” and have documented conditions near wind turbines that are as bad as for the cases they studied of people living near heavy industrial sites.

The science is still relatively new, but the effect of noise, whether audible or infrasonic, is increasingly recognized as a valid concern in siting wind turbines near homes and places of work.

For example, in 2017 Vermont implemented a nighttime limit of 39 dBA 100 feet from any nonparticipating residence with the goal of keeping the interior sound level below 30 dBA. See also: <http://wndfo.net/ords>

[Also see: Wind farms do make you sick” (Irish Daily Mail, 16 Oct 2015)]