Rebuttal to wind turbine noise and sleep disturbance paper published

“A careful reading of this paper shows that the conclusions are not supported by the data provided …”

A paper by Jalali et al was published in the journal Environmental Research last year, concluding that psychological factors contributed to distress and changes in sleep pattern, not the actual wind turbine noise emissions. Many people already living close to wind turbines were disappointed (not to say, astonished) by its conclusions, particularly those who trusted the research team and allowed them into their homes in the hopes of a meaningful and accurate research study.

Engineer and Ontario resident William Palmer did a detailed analysis of the Jalali paper; his comments have just been published by Environmental Research.

It remains a continuing disappointment that ideology (wind power is good and trumps all other concerns) seems to underlie research into the growing public health/environmental health issue associated with industrial-scale wind turbines and the noise emissions they produce. It is also disappointing that researchers continue to look for “psychological” factors instead of taking a public health approach to doing real-world investigation into a real-world health effect.

We say, BELIEVE the complaints from people. Then look for the cause of the problems.

The link to Mr Palmer’s comment is here.

Short-Communication: Revisiting conclusions of the report titled, “The impact of psychological factors on self-reported sleep disturbance among people living in the vicinity of wind turbines”.

by Leila Jalali, Mohammad-Reza Nezhad-Ahmadi, Mahmood Gohari, Philip Bigelow, & Stephen McColl, published in environmental research, volume 148, July 2016, 401–410

Abstract

The research report concluded, “It appears that self-reported sleep reported of participants may be associated to the indirect effects of visual and attitudinal cue and concern about property devaluation rather than distance to the nearest WT’s or noise as itself.”

Careful reading of the report shows that the conclusions presented are not supported by the data provided in the report.

 

Comments

Mike Jankowski
Reply

Shame on those who authored the paper. What they claimed is not the case with my family and I – and the very wind array they conducted this study around is in the environ of our home. We were not part of it, yet it is referred to as applicable to our situation.

Heartfelt thanks to Bill Palmer who is a genuine, caring, knowledgeable and conscientious human being.

martina hayward
Reply

Anyone who thinks the illnesses we suffer are “psychological” in nature, should be physically FORCED to sleep in homes exposed to infrasound for a minimum of 30 nights. The vertigo, diarrhea, bloating, migraines, nose bleeds, heart palpitations, anxiety, insomnia has been relentless torture. Stop being SO IGNORANT. That is a luxury and a choice the author has chosen. IWTs are murderous, poisonous, corrupt, inefficient, non recyclable towers of mass destruction. PERIOD.

Richard Mann
Reply

Please find below my letter to Huron County Health Unit in December, 2016.
I just received news today that they are still seeing “ethics approval” the health investigation.

————-

December 5, 2016

Erica Clark, PhD
Epidemiologist, Huron County Health Unit
77722B London Rd., RR #5
Clinton, ON N0M 1L0

Dear Erica Clark,

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me on Nov 29th.

I wanted to follow up with a summary of how I became involved in this issue, the direction and current status of my research, and my position on the issue of study of, and response to, the human health effects caused by exposure to Industrial wind turbines.

1: How I became involved.

I first became aware of this issue in May of 2013 after reading a paper by Carmen Krogh dealing with adverse health effects caused by Industrial Wind Turbines (link).

I came to believe that what was needed was a way to actually test consenting humans by exposing them to infrasound in a lab setting and to scientifically document the effects of this exposure.

2: Direction and current status of my research.

I started my research by working to develop the best infrasound recording method possible. In partnership with Professor John Vanderkooy, we developed a method of measuring infrasound from a single turbine, thereby isolating our results from the “clutter” of other turbines, wind noise, and other “pollutants”.

We published our work and our paper was accepted for presentation at Wind Turbine Noise 2015, INCE/EUROPE, in Glasgow, Scotland in April 2015 (link).

The next step was to design and build a method of producing infrasound in a lab setting. To be a useful research tool this infrasound needed to be identical to that produced by IWT’s.

This required the mathematical and computational research necessary to generate Sound Wave output to an exact duplicate of input data, namely actual turbine recordings previously captured.

This would finally allow others at the university, with appropriate medical training and ethics approval, to scientifically test and document the effects of infrasound produced by IWT’s on consenting humans.

I received university funding for this research from both the Department of Computer Science and the Office of Research in October 2015 which has allowed me to proceed.

My research over the next six months led to the building of prototype #1, a proof of concept device which was able to produce infrasound in a lab setting in the range produced by IWT’s, within a small test chamber.

The system consists of 3 main components: a controllable pressure source, a modulation device that is responsive to input commands, and measurement, analysis, and recording technology.

Prototype #2 is a fourfold scaled up chamber version of the proof of concept device and successfully produces infrasound in response to input commands. Prototype #2 is currently being used to refine design, data collection, and analysis.

Work is currently well along on version #3, a full scale chamber, capable of accommodating a human subject. This will finally allow others at the university with appropriate ethics approval and medical training to test the effect of infrasound on consenting human subjects.

3: My current position

I have kept up to date on the most recent scientific evidence on harm in humans and animals relative to IWT’s

There have also been many surveys and studies regarding human health effects related to Industrial Wind Turbine exposure. Sadly many of them have actually increased suffering by concluding that the subjects were imagining their symptoms, and by varying degrees, labeling them with the “It’s all in your head” designation.

It is also of note that while many people did agree to participate in these surveys and studies in the hope that their concerns would be heard, they were certainly captive participants by being forced to live in proximity to the turbines.

This leads me to my use of the word “ethics” and my beliefs regarding the study and information gathering of a captive group of humans who are currently living in proximity to potential health effects.

I remember during my first year of engineering we were told about an oath and ring ceremony that professional engineers take prior to receiving their accreditation.

These practices vary within different disciplines but two examples come readily to mind:

The National Society of Professional Engineers (USA) states “Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall: Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public”.

Professional Engineers Ontario states: “A practitioner shall, regard the practitioner’s duty to the public welfare as paramount”

I believe as scientists and researchers, while we were not actually required to pledge to such an oath, we certainly have a basic moral obligation when we choose to interact with people who are suffering.

At a minimum, this should be to clearly point out both the risks and benefits of interacting with us and to provide referrals to resources and other help related to their suffering. This should be the core principle of any such undertaking and certainly a legally mandated one by any board of health.

Thank you again for taking the time to talk with me and if I can be of any help going forward please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Richard Mann
Associate Professor
School of Computer Science
Faculty of Mathematics
University of Waterloo

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

The survey instrument has gone for ethics approval, and the committee had a few suggestion for changes, is our understanding–just a slight delay. You would be aware of this, as the University of Waterloo’s ethics committee is the one chosen to do the review.

Sommer
Reply

These are the words of Dr. William Hallstein, regarding the Falmouth turbines which are clustered around residents homes:

“The human nervous system is the most sensitive instrument available to date for evaluating the impact of the Falmouth wind turbines on residents who live close to them. The ONLY experts in the discussion are the people who are sensing the sound, vibrations, pressure waves, etc. emitted by the turbines. There is no one more “expert “than these people. No so-called expert has either equipment or information more accurate and sensitive than the affected residents’ nervous systems. NO instruments more sensitive than people have been invented!”

Richard Mann
Reply

Re: Waterloo Ethics.

Dear WCO. You write “you would be aware of this, as the University of Waterloo’s ethics committee is the one chosen to do the review.”

Are the submissions (and responses) of Waterloo ethics listed anywhere? I have not been able to find out. I obtained my information from Erica Clark directly, and from other people who have asked Erica Clark and reported to me.

Now my question: When will Huron County Health Unit actually meet with the impacted residents? They have been waiting since the March 2016, when the legally mandated health investigation was initiated.

Richard

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

Definitions

The following definitions summarize the crimes that Canada’s Program considers, as found in the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, as well as other similar Canadian legislation.

Crimes Against Humanity
Includes crimes such as murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, torture, sexual violence, persecution and any other inhumane act or omission committed against civilians, in a widespread or systematic manner, whether or not the country is in a state of war, and regardless if the act is in violation of the territorial law in force at the time. The acts may have been committed by state officials or private individuals, and against their own nationals or nationals of other states.

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