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Do turbines too close to homes cause illness?

“First we had tobacco, then asbestos, and urea formaldehyde, and now wind turbines. Don’t we ever learn? Our public health system should be screaming the precautionary principle. The very people who are sworn to protect us have abandoned the public.”

Dr. Noel Kerin, Director and Corporate Secretary, Occupational and Environmental Medical Association of Canada

“Given the mounting evidence indicating adverse effects that wind turbines can have on human health, it is critical that more research be conducted into adequate setback distances”.

Stephen Boles, "Wind Turbine Syndrome: Are wind farms hazardous to human health?" Red, Green and Blue, June 7, 2009


The Society for Wind Vigilance.

The Society for Wind Vigilance is an international federation of physicians, engineers and other professionals promoting the development of authoritative wind turbine guidelines to protect the health and safety of communities. The mission of The Society for Wind Vigilance is to mitigate the risk of both physiological and psychological adverse heath effects through the advancement of independent third party research and its application to the siting of industrial wind turbines.

Currently there are no authoritative guidelines for the siting of industrial wind turbines. Globally industrial wind turbine facilities are being erected at a record pace and are increasingly being sited close to human populations. Noise and setback requirements vary widely.

As a result there are victims who are reporting adverse health effects from exposure to industrial turbine facilities.

There is so much evidence of problems that a decision to allow industrial turbines within 2km of homes should be seen as reckless.

The precautionary principle should be applied.

People all over the world living close to turbines report health problems.

The problems are denied by wind farm companies and governments who want more wind farms.

The situation is unsatisfactory. Peoples lives are being destroyed because the problem is not not being properly addressed.

Key points

1. The importance of sleep

Sleep is a basic biological necessity, and disturbed sleep is associated with a number of health problems. Studies of sleep disturbance in children, the elderly and shift workers clearly show the adverse effects. Wind turbines are known to cause sleep disturbance.

For further information see the work by Dr Christopher Hanning. Click here.

2. Wind Turbine Syndrome

While the term was introduced by Dr Nina Pierpont the symptoms had already been reported by other studies conducted by Dr Amanda Harry  and by Dr Barbara Frey in the UK. These are headaches, nausea and irritability. They may sound vague but to the people who suffer they are very real.

More about Wind Turbine Syndrome by clicking here.

3. What part is played by Low frequency sound.

We might not be able to hear it but there is a lot of evidence that low frequency sound from turbines is a major factor. The French medical academy recognised this in 2006 and they recommended that turbines should not be closer than 1.5km to dwellings.

Read more here.  

Further information and references

We provide a small number of references and links. Any search of the Internet for Wind Turbines, and health effects will find a vast amount of information.

A comprehensive report for audiologists about the impact of wind turbines and the noise they make is available from the Wind watch site - click here for the report.     While written for audiologists it is very readable.

Other sites worth visiting


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