TWO ACOUSTICIANS SUCCUMB TO
WIND TURBINE SYNDROME (MAINE)

SOURCE windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

April 23 2011

From:  Robert W. Rand, Rand Acoustics
To:  Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD
Date:  4-20-11

I just got back from a several-day wind turbine noise survey with my long-time colleague, Steve Ambrose—like me, a Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering.

I’m writing to let you know that we both experienced adverse medical effects in the vicinity of the turbine under survey (one industrial wind turbine) under strong wind conditions aloft. Nausea, loss of appetite, vertigo, dizziness, inability to concentrate, an overwhelming desire to get outside, and anxiety.

The distance was approximately 1700 feet.

We obtained relief, repeatedly, by going several miles away.

I will be looking very carefully at the data and recordings acquired at this site to correlate with the experience. Short story is—and I reserve the right to revise any comments here as I learn more—it matches the Pedersen Waye 2004 curve, where the annoyance ramps up quickly above 32 dBA.

That curve hides the real story, however. The A-weighted level doesn’t track the experience at all. I know! Steve and I sat for hours on Monday, comparing what we were feeling and what our meters were displaying. The dBA doesn’t work at all. So we have a complete disconnect between medical impact and regulatory framework.

Don’t count on dBC either.

I think that this impact could be related to how the ear is pumped by the repetitive pressure in a quiet rural background, or indoors. In Hull, Massachusetts, the background is high (Ldn60) and the two industrial turbines there don’t raise appeals to stop the noise, or even any complaints to speak of, at the same or closer distances than I was at this last week.

I hypothesize that if the ear is working at a low background level, different things happen in the auditory and vestibular system than when the ear is working at higher sound levels. (Wish I had more training in neurobiology!)

Many have been affected by wind turbine noise here in Maine and elsewhere, and we have listened to a number tell of their symptoms and problems with wind turbines. We have determined the potential for community noise impact of wind turbines in rural areas and published our findings.

However, the symptoms we experienced on this trip were unexpected for us. We have been surveying other wind turbine sites over the last 15 months and have not experienced these effects. (We each have over thirty years of experience in general and industrial acoustics, and have evaluated just about every kind of noise source—and noise level—imaginable.) I repeat, this is the first time I have experienced these symptoms simply by being near a noise source.

However, I see this as a gift. We are experienced acousticians who work from the neighbor’s perspective. Now we know personally, viscerally, what people have been telling us! We must now include ourselves in the percentage of the population that can experience significant and debilitating adverse health effects from the acoustic energy emitted by wind turbines.

Large industrial wind turbines must be considered seriously as capable of creating an adverse health effect within a certain distance with a dose-response or threshold relationship that varies with the individual.

JOIN THE HERD
E-MAIL: info@windcows.com

Noise & Health Effects of Large Wind Turbines
IF YOU LIVE NEXT TO A WIND FARM AND ARE SUFFERING FROM ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS, COMPLAIN

Several physicians from around the world -- e.g., Amanda Harry in England, Robert McMurtry in Ontario, Robyn Phipps in New Zealand -- have recorded a common set of ill health effects among people living near industrial-scale wind turbines. The symptoms began when local turbines began to turn, and they are relieved when the victims leave the area.

Symptoms include:

Headache
Sleep Disturbance
Nausea
Ringing or buzzing in the ears (tinnitus)
Pressure in  Ears
Dizziness, Vertigo
Visual Blurring
Racing Heartbeat (tachycardia)
Irritability
Problems with Concentration and Memory
Panic episodes with sensations of internal pulsation or quivering which arise while awake or asleep

Dr. Nina Pierpont of New York has called it "wind turbine syndrome" and determined that its primary cause is the effect of low-frequency wind turbine noise on the organs of the inner ear. Dr. Pierpont's work has led her to recommend that large wind turbines not be sited closer than 2 kilometers (1-1/4 miles) from a home.

Shadow flicker -- where the sun behind turbine blades creates a strobing effect on the ground -- may also be intrusive and harmful. Many people are also concerned about stray voltage, or ground current, caused by the hundreds of thousands of feet of buried electric cable in a typical wind power facility.

Finally, an increase in noise is itself disruptive and can cause sleep loss and stress, especially in rural areas where there is an expectation of quiet. The World Health Organization notes that "Measurable effects of noise on sleep begin at LAeq levels of about 30 dB. ... When noise is continuous, the equivalent sound pressure level should not exceed 30 dB(A) indoors, if negative effects on sleep are to be avoided. For noise with a large proportion of low-frequency sound a still lower guideline value is recommended."

Acousticians Rick James and George Kamperman have extensively studied wind turbine noise and have recommended siting guidelines. In brief, they recommend a limit at the property line of 35 dBA or 5 dBA above the preconstruction ambient level, whichever is lower, and a limit of 50 dBC or 20 dBC above the preconstruction ambient dBA level, whichever is lower, for low-frequency noise.
GEORGE KAMPERMAN, VETERAN NOISE ENGINEER

"There is a must-see-and-hear 9 minute DVD by Larry Wunsch at his home in Byron, Wisconsin.  Turn up the volume on your computer and listen either through earphones with good uniform base response, or listen from a full frequency range sound system."

"You may be shocked by what you hear."

"Somehow we need to convince government... that wind turbines must be kept away from people’s homes."

SOURCE: kselected.com
"IT IS CLEAR THAT MANY PEOPLE, IN ALL PARTS OF THE COUNTRY HAVE BEEN DRAMATICALLY IMPACTED BY THE NOISE OF WIND FARMS NEAR THEIR HOMES"

"Many people living near wind farms, in all parts of the country, report that noise from the 250- to 400-
foot tall turbines is much more disruptive than they had been led to believe by project planners."

"In the most extreme cases, families are forced to move from their homes to escape the effects of the
ongoing noise disturbances. These are not necessarily people living extremely close to turbines; such
unlivable situations have occurred from 1000 feet to over a half-mile from the closest turbines."

"Most of those who are sharing their stories do so not because of some underlying dislike of wind energy;
indeed, many were supporters of local wind projects who simply believed the reassuring promises of
wind companies."

"It’s important to realize that not every wind farm becomes a horror story, and
that the vast majority of severe noise issues occur at under a half mile, with significant noise
disruption hardly ever occurring beyond three-quarters of a mile."

(THE ACOUSTIC ECOLOGY INSTITUTE)
CLICK BELOW FOR COMPLETE REVIEW

The Acoustic Ecology Institute
Wind Farm Noise:
2009 Review
"it is clear that many people, in all parts of the country, have been dramatically impacted by the noise of wind farms near their homes"
Noise Impact Assessment Report
Waubra Wind Farm
Mr & Mrs N Dean
Report No 1537 - Rev 1 - July 2010
by Robert Thorne, PhD, MS, FRSH, MIOA, MAAS

Summary:
Mr and Mrs Noel Dean requested a Report providing an assessment of the potential for adverse effects due to activity from the Waubra wind farm while living in their residences and while working on their farms. Dr. Robert Thorne undertook the study. His full report can be accessed via the link at the bottom of this page. Below is a summary of Dr. Thorne's findings and conclusions.

My research to date for this investigation indicates “ordinary” wind has a laminar or smooth infrasound and low-frequency flow pattern when analysed over short periods of time. Wind farm activity appears to create a “pulsing” infrasound and low-frequency pattern. These patterns are illustrated in sonograms in this Report. My hypothesis at this stage is that wind farm sound has an adverse effect on individuals due to this pulsing nature, as well as audible noise due to the wind turbines. These effects may be cumulative. Research into this hypothesis is described further in this Report.

It is concluded, from the information presented, that Mr Dean has been and is currently adversely affected by the presence and activity of the Waubra wind farm. The effects stated by Mr Dean as affecting his health and statutory declarations from his family and residents in the vicinity of the
wind farm attest to adverse health effects. Adverse health effects such as sleep disturbance, anxiety, stress and headaches are, in my view, a health nuisance and are objectionable and unreasonable.


[1] The Waubra wind energy facility is located near Ballarat, in western Victoria, Australia. It is the largest operating wind facility in the southern hemisphere consisting of 128-1.5 megawatt turbines for a total installed capacity of 192 megawatts. The turbines were first turned on in February 2009; the facility was fully operational by July 2009.

[2] Noel Dean and his family moved away from their farm in the spring of 2009 when the headaches and other symptoms worsened.

Special thanks to Dr. Thorne and Mr. Dean for providing us with the Dean report and permitting us to share it with our readers. 

Download File(s):

PSC Commissioner Lauren Azar suggested a setback of 2200 feet from homes unless a developer can prove  a turbine could be sited closer to a residence and still meet noise and shadow flicker standards.

She said the setback distance was based on information from PSC staff which indicated a 2200ft setback would be needed to meet the 45dbA noise standard suggested by the siting council.

However, Chairman Azar also noted that the World Health Organization recommends 40 dbA as a nighttime noise standard, and indicated that was the noise limit she preferred.

Residents under contract with developers could waive all standards and have turbines placed as close as 1.1 times the turbine height to their homes.

The PSC will continue discussing the draft rules Monday
Please go to
http://www.psc.wi.gov/
insert docket 1-AC-231 at the bottom of the page
to view around 100 new additions to the docket
in response to Commissioner Meyer's request for comments

TWO ACOUSTICIANS SUCCUMB TO
WIND TURBINE SYNDROME (MAINE)

SOURCE windconcernsontario.wordpress.com

April 23 2011

From:  Robert W. Rand, Rand Acoustics
To:  Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD
Date:  4-20-11

I just got back from a several-day wind turbine noise survey with my long-time colleague, Steve Ambrose—like me, a Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering.

I’m writing to let you know that we both experienced adverse medical effects in the vicinity of the turbine under survey (one industrial wind turbine) under strong wind conditions aloft. Nausea, loss of appetite, vertigo, dizziness, inability to concentrate, an overwhelming desire to get outside, and anxiety.

The distance was approximately 1700 feet.

We obtained relief, repeatedly, by going several miles away.

I will be looking very carefully at the data and recordings acquired at this site to correlate with the experience. Short story is—and I reserve the right to revise any comments here as I learn more—it matches the Pedersen Waye 2004 curve, where the annoyance ramps up quickly above 32 dBA.

That curve hides the real story, however. The A-weighted level doesn’t track the experience at all. I know! Steve and I sat for hours on Monday, comparing what we were feeling and what our meters were displaying. The dBA doesn’t work at all. So we have a complete disconnect between medical impact and regulatory framework.

Don’t count on dBC either.

I think that this impact could be related to how the ear is pumped by the repetitive pressure in a quiet rural background, or indoors. In Hull, Massachusetts, the background is high (Ldn60) and the two industrial turbines there don’t raise appeals to stop the noise, or even any complaints to speak of, at the same or closer distances than I was at this last week.

I hypothesize that if the ear is working at a low background level, different things happen in the auditory and vestibular system than when the ear is working at higher sound levels. (Wish I had more training in neurobiology!)

Many have been affected by wind turbine noise here in Maine and elsewhere, and we have listened to a number tell of their symptoms and problems with wind turbines. We have determined the potential for community noise impact of wind turbines in rural areas and published our findings.

However, the symptoms we experienced on this trip were unexpected for us. We have been surveying other wind turbine sites over the last 15 months and have not experienced these effects. (We each have over thirty years of experience in general and industrial acoustics, and have evaluated just about every kind of noise source—and noise level—imaginable.) I repeat, this is the first time I have experienced these symptoms simply by being near a noise source.

However, I see this as a gift. We are experienced acousticians who work from the neighbor’s perspective. Now we know personally, viscerally, what people have been telling us! We must now include ourselves in the percentage of the population that can experience significant and debilitating adverse health effects from the acoustic energy emitted by wind turbines.

Large industrial wind turbines must be considered seriously as capable of creating an adverse health effect within a certain distance with a dose-response or threshold relationship that varies with the individual.

IT IS ADMIRABLE TO WANT TO SAVE OUR ENVIRONMENT.
BUT WE DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO SACRIFICE HEALTH, SAFEETY, QUALITY OF LIFE AND PROPERTY VALUES TO ACCOMPLISH THAT GOAL.  WE ARE NOT FIGHTING THE EFFORT TO SAVE OUR ENVIRONMENT, WE ARE FIGHTING TO BE PART OF A BETTER SOLUTION.
WORKING TO EDUCATE COMMUNITIES ON THE TRUTHS AND
REALITIES
OF
WIND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT