From: National Wind Watch

At 10 different facilities, acoustical engineers Robert Rand and Stephen Ambrose measured wind turbine noise to be 3-12 dB (average 4.5-9 dB) louder than had been predicted.

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Author:  Laurie, Sarah
Knowing I would be following Lilli Green’s footsteps with her moving stories of the people she has met around the world adversely impacted by wind turbines has helped me focus on aspects of this complex yet simple problem, which I think have not received enough public attention.

Essentially my interest and that of the Waubra Foundation is in the damage unregulated noise pollution is doing to human health, with a particular focus on the effects of infrasound and low frequency noise. Wind Turbines are one source, but there are others also doing damage.
So my talk is deliberately aimed at better understanding some lessons from the past, both scientific, and ethical, which might help us move forward.

Constructively addressing the current conundrum about precisely what is causing the reported symptoms, sensations, sleep disruption and deteriorating mental and physical health of residents living near industrial wind turbines around the world, and trying to prevent such damage to health in future, has not been helped by ignoring or “burying” important research findings of the past, particularly those of Dr Neil Kelley and his co researchers, and NASA researchers from the 1980’s. [1,2,3]

For those who are not aware, Dr Kelley and his co researchers at the Solar Energy Research Institute in the US, closely connected with the US Department of Energy and NASA, identified in 1985 that the source of the annoyance for the residents living near a single downwind bladed turbine was impulsive infrasound and low frequency noise, which resonated within the building structures. [4]

Their research was detailed, thorough, and conducted in the best scientific fashion – curiosity about unintended consequences or “annoyance” being reported by residents. They wanted to find out what was causing these reported problems, in order to prevent them occurring in future.

The effects were consistently reported to be worst in small rooms facing the noise source. [5] Sensitisation or “conditioning” was also acknowledged [6] – in simple terms people did not habituate or “get used to” the sound energy but became more and more sensitised to it with cumulative exposure. This effect has been consistently reported to me by those affected by infrasound and low frequency noise.

read full letter
Michael A. Persinger (1)  
(1)Behavioural Neuroscience and Biomolecular Sciences Programs, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, P3E 2C6, Canada

Infrasound displays a special capacity to affect human health and adaptation because its frequencies and amplitudes converge with those generated by the human body. Muscle sounds and whole-body vibrations are predominately within the 5- to 40-Hz range. The typical amplitudes of the oscillations are within 1–50 μm, which is equivalent to the pressures of about 1 Pa and energies in the order of 10−11 W m−2. Infrasound sources from the natural environment originate from winds, microbaroms, geomagnetic activity, and microseisms and can propagate for millions of meters. Cultural sources originate from air moving through duct systems within buildings, large machinery, and more recently, wind turbines. There are also unknown sources of infrasound. It is important to differentiate the effects of infrasound from the awareness or experience of its presence. Moderate strength correlations occur between the incidences of infrasound and reports of nausea, malaise, fatigue, aversion to the area, non-specific pain, and sleep disturbances when pressure levels exceed about 50 db for protracted periods. Experimental studies have verified these effects. Their validity is supported by convergent quantitative biophysical solutions. Because cells interact through the exchange of minute quanta of energy that corresponds with remarkably low levels of sound pressure produced by natural phenomena and wind turbines upon the body and its cavities, traditional standards for safety and quality of living might not be optimal.

9.3 Modern wind turbines

Modern wind turbines, because of their size (height) and rotational velocity, have the capacity to generate significant intensities of infrasound with complex waveforms and harmonics.... the magnitude of the vibration components inside and outside the house may not differ... Some expert acoustic engineers have detected specific acoustic ‘‘fingerprints’’ from specific wind turbines tens of kilometers from the source... The frequency between 1 and 4 Hz, the delta range for brain waves (electroencephalographic measures), is the one involved with slow wave (deep sleep). Disruptions in this sleep, particularly during the first approximately 5 h of the sleep cycle, can affect the remarkably synchronized release of hormones and proteins that facilitate tissue repair and normal homeostasis... 

A recent review by Salt and Kaltenbach (2011) described values recorded by several researchers for infrasound levels between *150 and 750 m from turbines with hub heights of 62 and 36 m blade lengths. The sound spectrum was dominated by frequencies below 10 Hz. Within the range of 1 Hz, the sound pressure levels were over 90 db when unweighted measurements were taken. These magnitudes were associated with the inaudible infrasound rather than the intermittent ‘‘swooshing’’ sounds that are more conspicuous. The authors emphasized the fact that people living near these turbines could be exposed 24 h per day for weeks that extend into years.

 Use weblink or pdf file to view entire Original Paper

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Illinois School Superintendent Letter: Turbine noise creating health problems for students
William C. Mulvaney - October 1, 2013
from: WindAction

This letter, which was read at the Vermilion county board meeting on Monday, October 8, 2013, was written by William C. Mulvaney, the Superintendent of Schools for Armstrong Township High School and Armstrong-Ellis CUD #61 in Illinois. The project is Invenergy's California Ridge with 134 turbines in Vermilion and Champaign counties.  The setback at the time of construction was 1000 feet from the foundation of a family home.  The setback was later changed to 1200 feet from the foundation.  Mr. Mulvaney served on a wind ordinance panel. His message about students and families suffering the impacts of turbine noise and flicker is important.

Dear Chairman Weinard,

My name is Bill Mulvaney and I am the Superintendent of Schools for Armstrong Township High School and Armstrong-Ellis CUD #61. I also served on the wind panel that met to try and give direction to the county board on wind turbine ordinances. Our panel did not come up with any recommended changes, but I would like to share a few thoughts with you.

I have noticed that we have some children in our district that appear to be having some medical issues related to the wind turbines. Headaches, lack of sleep and jaw issues seem to be the most common. The students also complain about not being able to sleep or not getting a full night's sleep due to sound issues.

We have also been advised that we will be losing a couple of families because the wind turbines were placed close to homes and the families can no longer handle the flicker and noise issues.

While these issues were brought up at our panel discussion, I was not fully aware of the impact that the wind turbines would have to my school district. It is never a good thing when children have health issues or families have to leave their homes to get away from the turbines. The revenue generated by the turbines is a blessing to our schools, but the unintended consequences are real.

I hope this letter sheds some light on the real issues that affect districts that house wind farms. I also hope that when ordinances are discussed in the future, that these issues are considered.


William C. Mulvaney
Armstrong Schools

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Photos of Chatham Kent wind turbines from Lake Erie and Rondeau Bay 2013
View all photos in this group at Wind Victims Ontario - Pictures
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many more pictures to come, unfortunately...
Author:  National Wind Watch 

Bakker RH, Pedersen E, van den Berg GP, Stewart RD, Lok W, Bouma J. Impact of wind turbine sound on annoyance, self-reported sleep disturbance and psychological distress. Science of the Total Environment2012 May 15;425:42-51. [link]

Janssen SA, Vos H, Eisses AR, Pedersen E. A comparison between exposure-response relationships for wind turbine annoyance and annoyance due to other sources. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America2011;130(6):3746-53. [link]

Krogh C, Gillis L, Kouwen N, Aramini J. WindVOiCe, a self-reporting survey: adverse health effects, industrial wind turbines, and the need for vigilance monitoring. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 2011;31:334-9. [link]

Møller M, Pedersen C. Low frequency noise from large wind turbines. Journal of the Acoustic Society of America2010;129:3727-44. [link]

Nissenbaum M, Aramini J, Hanning C. Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health. Noise & Health 2012 September-October;14:237-43. [link]

Nissenbaum M, Aramini J, Hanning C. Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines: a preliminary report. Proceedings of 10th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (ICBEN), 2011, London, UK. Curran Associates, 2011. [link]

Pedersen E. Human response to wind turbine noise – perception, annoyance and moderating factors. Dissertation, 2007, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Institute, Göteborg University. [link]

Pedersen E. Effects of wind turbine noise on humans. Proceedings of the Third International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise, Aalborg, Denmark, 17-19 June 2009. [link]

Pedersen E. Health aspects associated with wind turbine noise — results from three field studies. Noise Control Engineering Journal 2011;59:47–53. [link]

Pedersen E, Larsman P. The impact of visual factors on noise annoyance among people living in the vicinity of wind turbines.Journal of Environmental Psychology 2008;28(4):379–89. [link]

Pedersen E, Persson Waye K. Perception and annoyance due to wind turbine noise — a dose-response relationship. Journal of the Acoustic Society of America 2004;116:3460–70. [link]

Pedersen E, Persson Waye K. Wind turbine noise, annoyance and self-reported health and well-being in different living environments. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2007 Jul;64(7):480-6. [link]

Pedersen E, Persson Waye K. Wind turbines – low level noise sources interfering with restoration? Environmental Research Letters 2008;3:015002. [link]

Pedersen E, van den Berg F, Bakker R, Bouma J. Response to noise from modern wind farms in The Netherlands. Journal of the Acoustic Society of America 2009;126(2):634–43. [link]

Pedersen E, van den Berg F, Bakker R, Bouma J. Can road traffic mask sound from wind turbines? Response to wind turbine sound at different levels of road traffic sound. Energy Policy 2010;38:2520-7. [link]

Phillips C. Properly interpreting the epidemiologic evidence about the health effects of industrial wind turbines on nearby residents. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 2011;31:303-8. [link]

Salt AN, Hullar TE. Responses of the ear to low frequency sounds, infrasound and wind turbines. Hearing Research2010;268:12–21. [link]

Salt A, Kaltenbach J. Infrasound from wind turbines could affect humans. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society2011;31:296–303. [link]

Shepherd D, McBride D, Welch D, Dirks K, Hill E. Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health related quality of life.Noise & Health 2011;13:333–9. [link]

van den Berg GP. Effects of the wind profile at night on wind turbine sound. Journal of Sound and Vibration 2003;277:955–70. [link]

van den Berg G, Pedersen E, Bouma J, Bakker R. Project WINDFARMperception. Visual and acoustic impact of wind turbine farms on residents. FP6–2005-Science-and-Society-20. Specific support action project no 044628, 2008. [link]

The only known cure for Radio Wave Sickness is to stop being exposed to high frequencies.
By Catherine Kleiber
Waveforms and picture courtesy of David Colling

Wind turbines are causing serious health problems. These health problems are often associated, by the people having them, with the flicker and the noise from the wind turbines. This often leads to reports being discounted.

Residents of the area around the Ripley Wind Farm in Ontario where Enercon E82 wind turbines are installed feel that the turbines are making them ill. Residents suffer from ringing in the ears, headaches, sleeplessness, dangerously elevated blood pressure (requiring medication), heart palpitations, itching in the ears, eye watering, earaches, and pressure on the chest causing them to fight to breathe. The symptoms disappear when the residents leave the area. Four residents were forced to move out of their homes, the symptoms were so bad. Residents also complain of poor radio, TV and satellite dish reception. There is no radio reception under or near the power lines from the wind turbines because there is too much interference. Local farmers have found that they get headaches driving along near those power lines.

The waveforms below were taken at one of the residences in the area. The first waveform was taken before the wind farm started operation. (As you can see, a ground current problem existed even before the wind farm started.) The frequency profile of the neutral to earth voltage changed dramatically after the wind farm became operational (second waveform). There are far more high and very high frequencies present; indicated by the increased spikiness of the waveform.

Please view full report in the weblink
excel file