Article

They make me dizzy

When the sun comes up on the other side of the giant white blades, Anaya and Moody say it's as if their homes are under strobe lights. ...others across the country who live near turbines have complained of headaches, dizziness, nausea and other symptoms. They attribute the problems to the proximity of the large machines. It's not just the shadows that cause problems. They say the noise of the turbines causes sleep disruption, headaches, ringing in the ears and other issues, such as memory problems.

For a few hours every morning this time of year, Abel Anaya's and Will Moody's homes are under flashing sunlight.

That's because several towering wind turbines stand practically in their front yards, lazily turning in the sunrise.

When the sun comes up on the other side of the giant white blades, Anaya and Moody say it's as if their homes are under strobe lights.

Anaya closes all his curtains but still can see the shadows of the blades swiping across his living room, swinging his arm in circles to describe it.

He laughs as he describes how the shadows make watching morning TV difficult.

But both men say it doesn't really bother them. It doesn't make them feel sick or give them a headache. It's just a little annoying.

But others across the country who live near turbines have complained of headaches, dizziness, nausea and other symptoms. They attribute the problems to the proximity of the large machines.

It's not just the shadows that cause problems. They say the noise of the turbines causes sleep disruption, headaches, ringing in the ears and other issues, such as memory problems.

A pediatrician in New York who practices behavioral medicine, Nina Pierpont, has... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

For a few hours every morning this time of year, Abel Anaya's and Will Moody's homes are under flashing sunlight.

That's because several towering wind turbines stand practically in their front yards, lazily turning in the sunrise.

When the sun comes up on the other side of the giant white blades, Anaya and Moody say it's as if their homes are under strobe lights.

Anaya closes all his curtains but still can see the shadows of the blades swiping across his living room, swinging his arm in circles to describe it.

He laughs as he describes how the shadows make watching morning TV difficult.

But both men say it doesn't really bother them. It doesn't make them feel sick or give them a headache. It's just a little annoying.

But others across the country who live near turbines have complained of headaches, dizziness, nausea and other symptoms. They attribute the problems to the proximity of the large machines.

It's not just the shadows that cause problems. They say the noise of the turbines causes sleep disruption, headaches, ringing in the ears and other issues, such as memory problems.

A pediatrician in New York who practices behavioral medicine, Nina Pierpont, has researched what she calls Wind Turbine Syndrome.

She has found that some, but not all, of those who live near turbines experience similar symptoms.

Besides the shadow flicker, which can cause dizziness and motion sickness, many of the symptoms are attributed to the low humming that the turbines emit.

Both Moody and Thomas Bailey, the production manager for the Happy Jack Wind Farm, described the sound like a jet or train in the distance.

That's on a windy day. They are barely audible on quiet days, Moody said, adding that road noise is louder.

But the noise can cause migraines, as well as sleep deprivation, which on its own can cause many other problems, according to Pierpont's research.

Low-frequency sounds also be can sensed as pressure in the ears, Pierpont writes.

Plus, what Moody and Anaya describe as "annoying" might be more than simply bothersome to some people.

"What is commonly referred to as noise 'annoyance' is in fact a range of negative emotions ... including anger, disappointment, dissatisfaction, withdrawal, helplessness, depression, anxiety, distraction, agitation and exhaustion," Pierpont writes.

Her solution is for localities to require that turbines be placed at least a mile and a half away from homes, her Web site says.

When the Happy Jack Wind Farm was built, there were no regulations for turbine sites here, said Ken Lewis, director of the Cheyenne Planning Department and city engineer. The turbines stand just yards from homes.

Since then, regulations have been passed, but the turbines can still be placed closer than Pierpont's recommended mile and a half away.

Bailey said a lot of the complaints across the country probably come from the "NIMBY complex;" the "not in my backyard" mentality.

It's the idea, he said, that turbines and other changes are OK, but only if they're in someone else's backyard.

"I've spent more hours than I care to remember out here, and I have never had any ill feelings," he said from his office on the windy Friday afternoon in the midst of the turbines.

He added that he hasn't gotten any complaints from neighbors.

A researcher on the link between balance disorders, migraines and anxiety disorders at the University of Pittsburg, Carey Balaban, said it's too early to tell for sure if the turbines are causing the symptoms.

But, "I wouldn't rule anything out yet," he said.

It's possible that exposure to low-frequency noise can bring on the problems.

But people have a tendency to want to attribute their illnesses to something tangible, he said. And the turbines could be the target of that suggestibility.

"The bottom line in my mind is it's too early really to know," he said, adding that it is possible that the turbines are the culprits.

For now, Moody and Anaya say they're pretty happy living in the shadows of the giant machines.

"It actually adds some grace to the skyline," Moody said. "They're kind of like giant flowers."


Source: http://www.wyomingnews.com/...

NOV 22 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18044-they-make-me-dizzy
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