Library filed under Impact on People from Canada
Experts agree that LFN, at sufficient levels, may be a health concern for those who are sensitive to its effects. The effects of inaudible levels of LFN have not been sufficiently studied to date to rule out the possibility of health effects, but commentators have weighed in on each side of the debate. Setbacks and noise surveys are common requirements imposed on new wind farm developments, in part to minimize the risk of wind turbines causing health effects on local residents.
A new report suggests a wind farm in Pubnico Point isn't the health threat a local resident claims it is. Daniel d'Entremont lives next to the wind turbines, and, he says, it's like having a pebble in your shoe: It's not terribly uncomfortable at first, but over time it becomes unbearable. D'Entremont says his wife and and one of his children are losing their eyesight because of low-level vibrations from the turbines. But the report, prepared for the federal government, says any low-frequency vibrations are not significant enough to be a concern.
An Ashfield-Colborne Wawanosh Twp. resident believes council and the planning department are not doing enough research to address concerns about health issues caused by wind turbines. Ernie Marshall presented to council, at their Oct. 17 meeting, two reports outlining health issues related to wind turbines. He said his greatest concern is the noise level from the turbines which is much higher than the level stated by EPCOR and it is causing him a great deal of distress. “The noise is not so much what you can hear but what you can feel,” he said.
A father of six children in Pubnico Point, Nova Scotia said he and his family had to move from their home earlier this year because of health problems from nearby wind turbines. Daniel d’Entremont and his family moved out of their house in February 2006, and moved in with d’Entremont’s in-laws about half an hour away. He said there are 17 turbines near his property. The fisherman personally sent the accompanying pictures on this Web page to illustrate the proximity of the turbines to his home. He said the turbines were installed and running by February 2005. D’entremont said everyone in his family had trouble sleeping once the turbines began operating. He said he’d sleep four hours, and then a “hum” or “vibration” feeling inside of him would wake him up.
Concerns with noise and health affects continue to be raised as Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Twp. council prepares their wind turbine setback bylaw. Township residents once again packed the council chambers on Sept. 19 to discuss the proposed setback requirements for wind turbines. The requirements include 400 metres from a residential building, a 600 metre setback from urban settlements and a setback requirement for roadways of 1.25 times the height of the turbine. Although council is in favour of the proposed bylaw, they deferred its passing to allow for more research to be completed and input from the public or ministry to be made. “We are leaving the setback requirements the same,” said Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek. “In general, I think most people are pleased with the setback bylaw.” Mark Kernighan stated in a letter to council that they should not consider making the proposed changes anymore restrictive as it would be difficult for smaller farm lots to establish a wind farm.
Shoreline Beacon — The Windfarm Action Group (WAG) wants the public to challenge municipal, county and wind power officials to look deeper into the health issues associated with inaudible sound and light flicker before they’re erected. A large crowd gathered at Saugeen Shores Plex’s Rotary Hall on August 30 to hear members of WAG and its guests, sharing concerns regarding wind power projects in both the Shelburne area and Kingsbridge project near Goderich. “Is it ethical, moral or just to expose residents to unwanted sound,” said WAG member Kathy McCarrel. “We’re trying to get the wind power companies and MOE (Ministry of Environment) to realize that noise is an issue.” The evening began with a short documentary entitled ‘Life Under A Wind Turbine’, which detailed the experiences of a handful of residents in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania in the United States.
About fifty residents of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh packed the council chambers last night to voice concerns over the noise from wind turbines in the municipality.
The large house in Lower West Pubnico is now empty and abandoned, d'Entremont says, because inaudible sound from the 17-turbine wind farm made his family sick.
The large house in Lower West Pubnico is now empty and abandoned, d'Entremont says, because inaudible sound from the 17-turbine wind farm made his family sick. [for complete story - http://www.windwatch.org/news/3003)
The following links are to three audio interviews conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Company to investigate Mr. d'Entremont's claim that noise from the Pubnico Point wind plant has driven his family from its home. Editor's Note: You will need RealPlayer to listen.
The following links are to three audio interviews conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Company to investigate Mr. d'Entremont's claim that noise from the Pubnico Point wind plant has driven his family from its home. Editor's Note: Real Player is required to listen to these interviews.
Here is a picture of the d'Entremont home in Nova Scotia, where their ancestors have lived since the 1870s. Daniel and Carolyn d'Entremont, with their 6 children, had to abandon it on Feb. 21, 2006, because of "wind turbine syndrome," the cluster of symptoms being found around the world where people live near giant wind turbines. Dr. Nina Pierpont of Malone, N.Y., has interviewed them as part of her research into this problem. She testified before the New York State Legislature Energy Committee on March 7. Her testimony is available here. An excerpt of here testimony is provided below: Three doctors that I know of are studying the Wind Turbine Syndrome: myself, one in England, and one in Australia. We note the same sets of symptoms. The symptoms start when local turbines go into operation and resolve when the turbines are off or when the person is out of the area. The symptoms include: 1) Sleep problems: noise or physical sensations of pulsation or pressure make it hard to go to sleep and cause frequent awakening. 2) Headaches which are increased in frequency or severity. 3) Dizziness, unsteadiness, and nausea. 4) Exhaustion, anxiety, anger, irritability, and depression. 5) Problems with concentration and learning. 6) Tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Not everyone near turbines has these symptoms. This does not mean people are making them up; it means there are differences among people in susceptibility. These differences are known as risk factors. Defining risk factors and the proportion of people who get symptoms is the role of epidemiologic studies. These studies are under way. Chronic sleep disturbance is the most common symptom. Exhaustion, mood problems, and problems with concentration and learning are natural outcomes of poor sleep. Sensitivity to low frequency vibration is a risk factor. Contrary to assertions of the wind industry, some people feel disturbing amounts of vibration or pulsation from wind turbines, and can count in their bodies, especially their chests, the beats of the blades passing the towers, even when they can’t hear or see them. Sensitivity to low frequency vibration in the body or ears is highly variable in people, and hence poorly understood and the subject of much debate. Another risk factor is a preexisting migraine disorder. Migraine is not just a bad headache; it’s a complex neurologic phenomenon which affects the visual, hearing, and balance systems, and can even affect motor control and consciousness itself. Many people with migraine disorder have increased sensitivity to noise and to motion—they get carsick as youngsters, and seasick, and very sick on carnival rides. Migraine associated vertigo (which is the spinning type of dizziness, often with nausea) is a described medical entity. Migraine occurs in 12% of Americans. It is a common, familial, inherited condition.
Here is a picture of the d'Entremont home in Nova Scotia, where their ancestors have lived since the 1870s. Daniel and Carolyn d'Entremont, with their 5 children, had to abandon it on Feb. 21, 2006, because of "wind turbine syndrome," the cluster of symptoms being found around the world where people live near giant wind turbines.
Amaranth Township has scheduled the evening of March 3 and all day Saturday, March 4, as public meeting dates to review proposals for 23 wind-turbine sites.
Opinion on health hazards of wind powered electricity generating turbines of the commercial variety being proposed in PEC is moving from the anecdotal domain to a deeper understanding of causality. However, it should be stated that many conclusions are disputed. There is however a significant and growing trend towards caution.
So, before we proclaim victory against our profligate use of fossil fuels in the last 50 years, politicians and environmental groups might ponder the huge costs in dollars and environmental damage before 20-storey windmills festoon our coastlines, our sea lanes and our beautiful Quebec hills.
The development of commercial wind power that is currently fashionable is potentially misguided, ineffective and neither environmentally nor socially benign; but it is the right of citizens of rural areas to enjoy both clean and safe energy generation and an unspoiled countryside.