A b s t r a c t

Short-term sleep loss is known to cause temporary difficulties in cognition, behaviour and health but the effects of persistent sleep deprivation on brain development have received little or no attention. Yet, severe sleep disorders that last for years are common in children especially when they have neurodevelopmental disabilities. There is increasing evidence that chronic sleep loss can lead to neuronal and cognitive loss in children although this is generally unrecognized by the medical profession and the public. Without the restorative functions of sleep due to total sleep deprivation, death is inevitable within a few weeks. Chronic sleep disturbances at any age deprive children of healthy environmental exposure which is a prerequisite for cognitive growth more so during critical developmental periods. Sleep loss adversely effects pineal melatonin production which causes disturbance of circadian physiology of cells, organs, neurochemicals, neuroprotective and other metabolic functions. Through various mechanisms sleep loss causes widespread deterioration of neuronal functions, memory and learning, gene expression, neurogenesis and numerous other changes which cause decline in cognition, behaviour and health. When these changes are long-standing, excessive cellular stress develops which may result in widespread neuronal loss. In this review, for the first time, recent research advances obtained from various fields of sleep medicine are integrated in order to show that untreated chronic sleep disorders may lead to impaired brain development, neuronal damage and permanent loss of developmental potentials. Further research is urgently needed because these findings have major implications for the treatment of sleep disorders. download pdf file

James E. Jan a,b,*, Russ J. Reiter c, Martin C.O. Bax d, Urs Ribary e,
Roger D. Freeman f,g, Michael B. Wasdell h
a Pediatric Neurology and Developmental Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, BC, Canada
b Child and Family Research Institute and BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada
c Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, TX, USA
d Child Health, Chelsea and Westminster Campus, Imperial College, London, UK
e Cognitive Neurosciences in Child Health and Development, Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience Institute, Simon Fraser University,
Burnaby, BC, Canada
f Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, BC, Canada
g Neuropsychiatry Clinic, BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada
h BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, Fraser Health Authority, Surrey, BC, Canada

Dr Christopher Hanning, Honorary Consultant in Sleep Disorders Medicine to the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, based at Leicester General Hospital, having retired in September 2007 as Consultant in Sleep Disorders Medicine.

There can be no reasonable doubt that industrial wind turbines whether singly or in groups (“wind farms”) generate sufficient noise to disturb the sleep and impair the health of those living nearby and this is now widely accepted. A recently published peer reviewed editorial in the British Medical Journal (Hanning 2012) states: “A large body of evidence now exists to suggest that wind turbines disturb sleep and impair health at distances and external noise levels that are permitted in most jurisdictions. link

University of Waterloo Applied Health Sciences
Exploring the Association between Proximity to Industrial Wind Turbines and Self-Reported Health Outcomes in Ontario, Canada by Claire Paller March 2014 download pdf file

"Conclusion: Specifically, study findings suggest that future research should focus on the effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep disturbance and symptoms of inner ear problems."

Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health
Michael A. Nissenbaum, Jeffery J. Aramini1, Christopher D. Hanning2
Participants living within 1.4 km of an IWT had worse sleep, were sleepier during the day, and had worse SF36 Mental Component Scores compared to those living further than 1.4 km away. Significant dose-response relationships between PSQI, ESS, SF36 Mental Component Score, and log-distance to the nearest IWT were identified after controlling for gender, age, and household clustering. The adverse event reports of sleep disturbance and ill health by those living close to IWTs are supported. link

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Canada’s Role
Convention on the Rights of the Child [2]Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CRC.aspx
Article 6
2. States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.

Convention on the Rights of the Child [2]Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CRC.aspx
Article 31
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure,

University of Waterloo Events 
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 3:30 pm

Harm from Wind Turbines, What has been known for Decades. A review of research on the effects of Low Frequency/Infrasound on people and animals.

The topic of adverse health effects associated with wind facilities is globally debated. It is acknowledged that if placed too close to residents, industrial wind turbines can negatively affect the physical, mental and social well-being of some. In addition to the general population, at risk are the vulnerable such as fetuses, babies, children, elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions. There is published research on the effects of Low Frequency/Infrasound (LFI) on people and animals dating back several decades. This presentation will provide some of the available evidence drawn from peer reviewed literature, authoritative references, and other sources.

It is proposed that known risk of harm can be avoided by siting wind facilities a protective distance from residents.


Carmen Krogh is published in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals and has presented papers at scientific noise conferences. She is an independent, full time volunteer and for almost 6 years has researched health and other effects associated with industrial wind energy facilities and shares information with individuals, communities, authorities, wind energy developers, industry and others.  Krogh’s background in health care, vigilance monitoring, editing and publishing helps inform her work. She held senior positions at a major teaching hospital; as a drug information researcher; a professional association and the Health Protection Branch of Health Canada (PMRA). She is a former Director of Publications and Editor-in-chief of the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS), the book used by physicians, nurses, and health professionals for prescribing information on prescription medication in Canada. Her goal is evidence-based siting of IWTs that protects human health.


Cheriton School of Computer Science
Event website 
DC - William G. Davis Computer Research CentreRoom 1302
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1Canada

Nikki and her husband reside in Chatham-Kent, Ontario. Their rural home is surrounded by IWTs. Her family, including two young boys, have suffered health, environmental, and economic problems associated with living near turbines.

Nikki's property taxes have doubled since the renovations mentioned in this video, despite real estate agents saying her house is "unsellable" - she is currently taking action to resolve this property tax issue.

Nikki started a blog which has resulted in international conversations between victims suffering the same health problems.http://mywinddiary.blogspot.ca/

watch video here
The Monks of the Monaro
I write to the NHMRC here as a priest and a very concerned pastor of the Orthodox Church. I am a monk and leader of the monastic community of the Russian Orthodox Church of Australia called the Holy Transfiguration Monastery (HTM). We have been extremely concerned with the way in which wind farms, and in particular the one adjacent to our existence in far southern NSW called Boco Rock Windfarm, will have an impact upon our community as shown in current predicaments around the globe and here in Australia at existing and operating wind developments. Our existence, indeed function, depends very much on the stability and silence of the natural surroundings. We accommodate 4000 people per annum at our guest facilities and take great efforts in assisting and attending to their diverse and complex needs. My job is to oversee the function and wellbeing of the monastic community and the visitors who seek respite and care through our doors. Having become aware of the anecdotal information available about the health impacts wind farms can have on people, I took my own initiative and visited wind farm communities and affected peoples both here in Australia and abroad in the USA, Japan, Wales, Scotland, New Zealand, Turkey, Greece and Germany. I am unequivocally convinced that after hundreds of discussions, staying at peoples houses, counselling and consoling them in their suffering, that these adverse health impacts from wind turbines are not anecdotal nor ‘nocebo’ but unfortunately true and even worse than possibly imagined.

My travels in Turkey 2012 are a good example of the anguish people adjacent to wind farms are enduring. Having arrived there to the outskirts of the city of Antakya near the border with Syria to look at ancient ruins, we happened upon a cluster of 28 120 meter tall turbines “kindly” donated by the German government right in the middle of this very poor stone hut village. Without any need for prompting my driver and his family who were showing us about the ruins, they detailed to me with sorrow and anger the soaring rates of cancer and complex health issues within their own family, let alone the entire village there. They had never heard of ‘wind turbine syndrome’ nor did they have access to the internet or have literacy skills to verify or understand what was happening to them, such was their level of dire poverty. But regardless of verifying or testing somehow that these turbines were killing them or not, one thing was clear and that was everybody in this village was somehow medically and mentally impacted upon as a result of the the turbines being planted in the middle of their village.
read entire letter here

A Highly Alarming Position Paper From a Medical Association (Australian AMA)

On the background of my long working life in community and occupational medicine, including environmental medicine and research, weighting the preventive aspects, I am shocked to read your position paper on wind farms and health. The style and language is definitely not based on scientific, medical wording but sounds much more of what we hear from the wind turbine industry and their sales promoting lobbyists. A pure worship to this “modern” technology.  The industry has never documented their harmlessness, based on research, involving relevant medical expertise (e.g. audiologists, medical epidemiologists, community medical specialists etc.) without any conflicts of interests.

But human bodies, inner ears and the brain are easily affected by those amounts of sound energy – only they are not “audible” in a narrow definition, but they are definitely hazardous and strongly activating specific brain nuclei (amygdale, hippocampus), causing panic, anxiousness and in long run depression. But worst of all, they cause impaired sleep or insomnia (sleeplessness) with deleterious effects (see the new Norwegian HUNT study attached). So all the “mechanisms” you speak about, direct and indirect, are there and they are well documented, see e.g. the Alec Salt recent article (attached).


A PHYSICIAN SHALL always exercise his/her independent professional judgment and maintain the highest standards of professional conduct.

A PHYSICIAN SHALL not allow his/her judgment to be influenced by personal profit or unfair discrimination.

A PHYSICIAN SHALL be dedicated to providing competent medical service in full professional and moral independence, with compassion and respect for human dignity.

A PHYSICIAN SHALL deal honestly with patients and colleagues, and report to the appropriate authorities those physicians who practice unethically or incompetently or who engage in fraud or deception.

A PHYSICIAN SHALL certify only that which he/she has personally verified.

A PHYSICIAN SHALL respect the local and national codes of ethics.”

read entire letter

Mauri Johansson, MD, Master in Humanities and Health Studies
Specialist in Community and Occupational Medicine (including Environmental Medicine)
Sportsvej 17
7441 Bording
Denmark (Europe)

How is it possible that an organization like AMA comes with statements that will harm the people who suffer from the infrasound of wind turbines even more. Because of this statement these people will be put aside as people with psychiatric problems and therefor not worthwhile listening to….?

Do you realize that your statement will have an impact on the international community as well? Countries are looking at each other how they solve the resistance that there is against wind turbines because of the health problems that are reported by many many people living in the proximity of wind turbines.

It looks like Health organisations get the assignment from their governments to write a report where these health problems are being denied. How can you live with this as doctors, who made the oath of Hippocrates?

Absence of Evidence does NOT mean Evidence of Absence, which is known in the whole scientific world. So how is it possible that well educated doctors and scientists say that because there is no evidence that people will be harmed, the people will not be harmed and that there is nothing to worry about?

Has the lobby of wind industry reached so far that everybody can be bought?

As a health practitioner in Holland I am very worried to see a similar thing happening here. We have an institute that does research for the well-being(?) of the people (RIVM). But if the outcome might not be convenient for the policy of the government, the research is influenced in a way that the outcome doesn’t harm the plans, which are in this case putting up wind turbines in the proximity of the people. The result is that over 10.000 (!!!) people will be living in the distance of 700 meters from wind turbines within a few years. read entire letter

Janet Holtkamp

I am a behavioural Pediatrician and I specialize in assessment and care of children with developmental and mental health problems.

Noxious stimuli (or unexpected, or unnatural stimuli) are a source of environmental stress that affect the human brain and mounts a physiologic response to restabilize. For “typical” brains, known sources of environmental stress include airports, highways and industry. Wind turbines concern me, given my strong knowledge of neurobiology. Due to well-documented disruption to the .. ”normal” environment (vibration, noxious repetitive sound) this is potentially a danger to health. There is also a rational fear that families living near these structures are being exposed, and have no reassurance of the long-term effects on health, particularly brain biology. In children, the developing brain is exquisitely sensitive and plastic — it relies on clean inputs to develop normally. Science has no evidence that this abnormal, incessant stimulus does not have long lasting effects on the developing fetal child and adolescent brain. Applying basic principles in fact suggest great danger of disrupting normal human neural networks.

Dr Chrystella Calvert

I have read the AMA Position Statement on the Health Effects of Wind Farms and I am alarmed.

To dismiss any adverse effects is absurd in view of the mounting evidence. Even the wind industry seems to accept that wind farm noise causes annoyance and sleep disturbance and sleep deprivation. 
The emerging evidence of inadequate sleep as a major risk factor, particularly for Cardiovascular Disease, is overwhelming. If there is any chance of these associations being causal, your Association should be taking them very seriously. I write this as someone with many years’ experience in CVD epidemiology.

The wind industry constantly repeats that there is no evidence that wind farms are injurious to health but there is not a single, properly conducted study to demonstrate that they are harmless. It also dismisses any associations as indirect. This is irrelevant from a Public Health prospective as the removal of an indirect effect can be highly preventative.

I find it unacceptable that a respected, prestigious medical association like your own appears to take its advice on health from the wind industry, rather than promoting good quality conducted research in which all aspects of the putative associations between wind farms and health are evaluated.

What has happened to Primum Non Nocere as a guiding precautionary principle?

I am attaching a review of the topic I wrote recently for local consumption. It can be criticised for falling short of a ‘systematic review,’ never-the-less, it does summarize some of the most recent literature which is important.

With best wishes

Professor Emeritus Alun Evans
Visiting Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Public Health
The Queen’s University of Belfast
Institute of Clinical Science B
Grosvenor Road
Belfast BT12 6BJ

I am a retired psychologist and was a member of both the Clinical and Counselling Colleges of the Australian Psychological Society when they were active. I have been in private practice for over 25 years as well as being the principal psychologist in a large rural hospital for five years.

Recently I visited some areas of rural South Australia and Victoria and spoke with quite a number of people who claimed to be adversely affected by the operation of industrial wind turbines in their vicinity. I queried if 100% of them could be affected by this new “nocebo effect” when its opposite — the placebo effect, was usually apparent in only 30% of experimental subjects. Unfortunately there is no reputable research supporting this “nocebo effect” so it must remain a guess.

Naturally as a psychologist (retired) I was interested in the deeper story than the widely reported symptoms I was hearing about. I was greatly disturbed when I was unable to find any other cause for their suffering than the turbines. So I did some research. What became obvious was the following:

1. Wind turbines make noise.2. Noise affects people.3. Some noise makes people happy and healthy, some noise makes people depressed and sick.More detailed research provided some more information behind the above statements:

1. Wind turbines make noise.

Rick James, in a paper by Alec N. Salt 2010, provides graphs of recordings titled Industrial Wind Turbines Generate Infrasound (http://oto2.wustl.edu/cochlea/wt1.html). These clearly illustrate the sound generated by wind turbines, both those sounds people can hear (e.g. blade passes) and those they can not (called infrasound).


2. Noise affects people.

The noise people can hear is obvious and affects people, some to their advantage and some to their disadvantage

The noise people can not hear is less obvious. Some is benign and some sickening.

It has been said that if a person can not hear something it can’t affect them. This is untrue. It is also untrue of the other senses – Infra red and ultraviolet light can not be seen but one burns your eyes and the other burns your skin: some poisons can not be tasted but can still kill you – e.g. Tetrodotoxin (puffer fish poison), salmonella and cholera toxin: carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide can not be smelled but can kill a person.

Again noise people can hear has obvious affects – fingernails scratching a black board, a beautiful symphony, the deep beat of a rock band, the scream of a jet fighter, the brakes of a truck and so on. http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/2013

Sound that most people can not hear is either too highly pitched (high frequency) or too low (lower frequency than 20 Hz)

There is lots of anecdotal evidence that some infrasound, sound you normally don’t hear, makes you sick. Here are some of the health problems reported:-


Acute vestibular dysfunction/disorder (first 12 also listed by Affadavit of Dr Owen Black, MD, May 2009, De Kalb County, Illinois) to the recent Australian Senate enquiry.

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Headache, including migraines
  • Tinnitus
  • Ear pressure (often described as painful)
  • Balance problems, dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Visual blurring
  • Irritability
  • Problems with concentration and memory
  • Panic episodes
  • Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
Acute Sympathetic Nervous System Stimulation

  • Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
  • Arrythmias, which residents might describe as palpitations
  • Hypertension (High blood pressure) which has been reported by some residents to be considered unstable by their treating doctor or cardiologist, and to vary in response to exposure to operating wind turbines. continue reading entire letter here

Letter to the Australian Medical Association

Dear Sir

It has come to my knowledge that you have released a position paper about the effects of low frequency noise and infrasound from wind power.

I would like to draw your attention to my recently published article about migraine and infrasound in the Swedish Medical Journal “Läkartidningen” which is available below.

As you well know, migraine is a polygenetic inherited disease with occasional episodes of headache. It is also well known that people with migraine are more sensitive to sound and light than the normal population, especially during an attack of migraine headache. Futhermore it is a well known fact that pulsating sound and flickering light are strong triggers to elicit an attack of migraine.

Migraine is a very common condition in the population with a 15% prevalence for migraine headache. It is quite obvious that the genetic predisposition is much higher – everyone with a genetic disposition will not suffer from migraine headaches. You may well live with the genetic predisposition and never suffer from migraine headache in all your life.

Recent studies have found that these genetic changes affect among others the Ca-channels. This channelopathie increases the cellular depolarisation and as a result the nerve cells are more sensitive to stimulation – less stimulus is needed to trigger a nerve-potential. The main triggers for migraine are – as we all know – all kinds of sensory stimulation, food containing biogenic amines such as tyramine, glutamine, histamine etc., and increased levels or fluctuating levels of estrogen.

Thus sound is a trigger. Loud noise of varying amplitude is a strong trigger that will increase the neural sensitivity in persons with migraine. For example a teacher with a genetic tendency to migraine in a noisy classroom. After a while all senses will become more sensitive (more sensitive to sound, more sensitive to light, more sensitive to vestibular stimuli for example). Hyperacusis makes the situation in the classroom worse and eventually an attack of migraine headache will appear.

Low frequency noise or infrasound noise is no exception. Even if the sound is not heard the sound pressure will exert the same force on the eardrum as audible sound. The sound waves will be transmitted to the inner ear and hair cells are then stimulated. Even if the stimulation is not recognized as sound it will affect brainstem centres and elicit other sensations.

Infrasound is normally not possible to hear, you more likely will feel it as a vibration. Low frequency sound is possible to hear if the volume (sound pressure in dB) is strong enough. But it is a known fact that there are persons who can hear low frequency sound and infrasound at sound pressure levels of 40 db or less. If you have migraine and have developed hyperacusis it is most likely that you are as sensitive to low frequency sound as to normal sound.

Infrasound from wind turbines has properties that differ from other types of infrasound such as infrasound emanating from natural sources (eg wind, rivers) and from artificial sources including road traffic. Infrasound from road traffic (as well as the other examples) has a continuous, constant character – a kind of constant background noise. Infrasound from wind turbines has a fluctuating character with varying amplitude. Infrasound from wind turbines also has three distinct frequencies with higher amplitude than the average infrasound pressure (blade pass frequencies).

A third issue is that the sound pressure for infrasound and low frequency sound is much stronger than the sound pressure for the sound you can hear (for audible sound). If the measured sound pressure at a given distance is 40 dB for audible sound, then the sound pressure for infrasound is 60–80 dB at the same measuring point. Additionally infrasound is amplified inside buildings by resonance effects.

Thus the conclusion is that low frequency sound and infrasound from wind power has the qualities to trigger increased sensitivity and eventually migraine headache or other migraine-symptoms – such as vertigo or tinnitus (without headache).As migraine is so common in the population, this is a relationship that you can not avoid considering.

Futhermore there is increasing knowledge that continuous stimulation of triggers eventually will create a central sensitisation in the brain with a chronic extremely increased sensitivity to sensory stimulation.

I hope that you will take these facts in consideration and advocate for further studies and work for a safe distance for wind power from homes and workplaces that will protect the public health.

Kindest regards

Håkan Enbom M.D. Ph.D