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Wind Turbines Linked To “Sick Building Syndrome”



For Immediate Release

Picton, Ontario, November 16, 2010 High levels of low frequency noise (LFN) are produced and can be measured at wind turbine developments according to Richard James INCE, acoustics specialist from Michigan.

At the First International Symposium on Adverse Health Effects and Industrial Wind Turbines (October 29-31, 2010) Mr. James demonstrated the presence of LFN recorded from industrial wind turbines that have been located too close to homes in rural Ontario.

Although the wind industry does not acknowledge that industrial wind turbines generate LFN that affects humans, the National Research Council in 2007 stated: “Wind turbines generate a broad spectrum of noise including low frequency noise…which may be audible or inaudible”. In addition in 1999 The World Health Organization stated: “It is widely affirmed that exposure to audible low frequency noise can cause adverse health effects in humans”.

Therefore the question today is why did the Canadian Wind Energy Association request Ontario’s Minister of Environment to exclude the measurement of Low Frequency Noise at wind development sites? Comments submitted to the Ministry of Environment by Robert Hornung, President of the industrial lobby group the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) stated: “…CanWEA submits that the proposed requirement for infrasound or low frequency noise monitoring as a condition of the REA [Renewable Energy Approval] be removed.”

While low frequency noise is typically not heard, Dr. Alec Salt, PhD of Washington University in St Louis reported at the Symposium in Picton, Ontario that low frequency sounds that cannot be heard can indeed affect the ear and cause unpleasant symptoms. In fact industrial wind turbines appear to be affecting people around the world. Identical symptoms such as sleep deprivation, migraines, nosebleeds, vertigo, tinnitus, nausea, cardiac arrhythmia and high blood pressure are now reported globally by those in close proximity to wind developments.

In a news release today from Australia, Dr. Sarah Laurie, Medical Director of The Waubra Foundation states: “I have now interviewed over 40 people in rural Australia who have been affected by wind turbines, with the same symptoms.”

What happens to a home located too close to industrial wind turbines, according to Richard James, is virtually the same as sick building syndrome, which was well documented in the 1980's. According to Air & Waste Management Association in a 2008 article on Sick Building Syndrome 2008, “Very low frequency sounds can also cause vibrations that fall in the range of inaudible infrasound—under 20 hertz (Hz). The vibration resonates through building materials, typically causing headaches and dizziness.” LFN from industrial wind turbines penetrates buildings such as homes as well as barns where livestock stay. It permeates the structure with low frequency resonances that are felt though not necessarily heard and can only be measured with the correct equipment.

In Ontario the current minimum distance for wind turbines from homes in quiet rural areas is 550 metres. This distance is based on entirely computer generated noise modelling which is published by wind turbine manufacturers. According to Dr. Salt, that 550m distance legislated to protect health is “absolutely insane”.

Another physician who attended the symposium, Dr. Noel Kerin, Director and Corporate Secretary, Occupational and Environmental Medical Association of Canada (OEMAC) is shocked by these findings. “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.

Proceedings from the International Symposium on Adverse health Effects and Industrial Wind Turbines can be found at


Beth Harrington
647 588-8647

Click here to download the media release

Click here for the symposium proceedings