Wind turbine infrasound can harm health, new research paper says

‘What you can’t hear, can’t hurt you’ notion shown to be false

The wind power industry, Health Canada, and the Ontario government insist that infrasound cannot be heard, and therefore it cannot hurt you.

CanWEA went so far as to pay for a study done by MIT in 2014, that concluded infrasound near wind turbines does not exceed audibility thresholds* and is therefore not a health risk.

Turns out, they are wrong.

All of them.

A paper just published by a team of German researchers, believed to be the first of its kind, documented “changes of brain activity across several regions in response to prolonged, near-threshold IS [infrasound] …”

The peer-reviewed paper, Altered cortical and subcortical connectivity due to infrasound administered near the hearing threshold – Evidence from fMRI, was published by a team of researchers led by Markus Weichenberger of the Max Plank Institute for Human Development.

“For decades,’ the research team wrote, “it has been a widely held view that IS [infrasound] frequencies are too low to be processed by the auditory system. … Meanwhile, there seems to be a growing consensus that humans are indeed receptive to IS and that exposure to low-frequency sounds can give rise to high levels of annoyance and distress.”

The authors then stated that the idea that sound needs to be perceived in order to exert effects on humans “falls short when aiming at an objective risk assessment of IS.”

The team then set out to investigate whether IS “near the hearing threshold” can affect brain activitiy and what the effects of stimulation might be.

An excerpt:

” … our results also allow us to draw some preliminary conclusions on potential long-term health effects associated with (sub-)liminal IS stimulation. It has been reported in several studies that sustained exposure to noise can lead to an increase of catecholamine- and cortisol levels [114116]. In addition, changes of bodily functions, such as blood pressure, respiration rate, EEG patterns and heart rate have also been documented in the context of exposure to below- and near-threshold IS [117118]. We therefore suggest that several of the above mentioned autonomic reactions could in fact be mediated by the activation of brain areas such as the ACC and the amygdala. While increased local connectivity in ACC and rAmyg may only reflect an initial bodily stress response towards (sub-)liminal IS, we speculate that stimulation over longer periods of time could exert a profound effect on autonomic functions and may eventually lead to the formation of symptoms such as sleep disturbances, panic attacks or depression, especially when additional risk factors, such as an increased sensibility towards noise, or strong expectations about the harmfulness of IS are present.”

And, ” Transient upregulation of these brain areas in response to below- or near threshold IS may thus reflect an initial stress response of the body, eventually promoting symptom formation as stimulation occurs repeatedly and additional risk factor[s] come into play…”

Read the entire open-access paper here.

 

Comments

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

Wow….. !!!!!

Jd
Reply

Thought I was the only one.

Andre Lauzon
Reply

The truth will be known…….. politicians will scatter………..wind industry companies will declare insolvency…………..taxpayers will pay on and on……….

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

The fact that there are no studies done on IS… or that there is no attempt to study IS…. or even admitting that IS could even exist begs the question…… why???…
Why can’t I test for infrasound in my home when it’s windy out…. or not too windy….
Why can’t I test for infrasound in my home if my age is under 18 or over 79???
Why can’t I test for infrasound … period…. these are questions our government needs to answer….
We put them in power to do this to us!!???
Make people sick…
Kill wildlife….
Pollute ground water…
Devalue property…
Divide communities….
Destabilize our electrical grid….
Drive jobs away…
Create energy poverty….
Robbing future generations of their wealth….

Good Ole Katty Wynnde…. she’s for the people of Ontario all right… . working hard to make it….. fairer… for everyone….
At least when we’re all broke ….
We’ll all be inclusive….

Richard Mann
Reply

For an update on the Health Impacts of Wind Turbines, here is a talk by Carmen Krogh, speaking at University of Waterloo.
https://livestream.com/itmsstudio/events/7194480

DATE: Wednesday, March 29, 2017
TIME: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
LOCATION: DC 1302, University of Waterloo.

TITLE: Industrial wind turbines can harm humans
PRESENTER: Carmen M Krogh

ABSTRACT:
The topic of the risk of harm to human health associated with wind energy facilities is controversial and debated worldwide. On May 7, 2014, Carmen Krogh presented a seminar at the University of Waterloo which considered some of the research dating back to the early 1980’s. A snapshot of some of the current research available in 2014 was provided. The research is challenged in part by the complexities and numerous variables and knowledge gaps associated with this subject. This presentation will explore some of these research challenges and provide an update on the growing body of evidence regarding human health risk factors. Included will be the emerging research indicating risks to those working in this field.

BIO:
Carmen M Krogh is a full time volunteer and published researcher regarding health effects and industrial wind energy facilities and shares information with communities; individuals; federal, provincial and public health authorities, wind energy developers; the industry; and others. She is an author and a co-author of peer reviewed articles and conference papers presented at wind turbine scientific noise conferences. Ms Krogh is a retired pharmacist whose career includes: senior executive positions at a teaching hospital (Director of Pharmacy); a drug information researcher at another teaching hospital; a Director of a professional organization; and a Director (A) at Health Canada (PMRA). She is the former Director of Publications and Editor in Chief of the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS), the book used by physicians, nurses, and health professionals for prescribing information in Canada.

Richard Mann
Reply

Please find below my letter I wrote to Huron County Health Unit in December, 2016. I just received news last week that they are still working on “ethics approval” the health investigation. This all began more than one year ago, in March 2016, when citizens appeared before their Health Board and and investigation was started.

———————

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

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

Again…. absolutely dumbfounded that the Lieberals would put the good hard working… tax paying… folks of Ontario in such peril….. all for party donations…. no health studies… no cost analysis…. not even a glimpse to see how other countries have financially ruined their economies…. just so senseless…. wreckless…. irresponsible…. arrogant……

Notinduttondunwich
Reply

Eco terrorism…..

Stephana Johnston
Reply

The greatest lies in this whole mountain of words, releases, comments, posts, research are the lies of omission.
We only hear or read those points favoured by the speaker or writer. Almost always research has been truncated and people like Dr. Neil Kelly, Dr. Nina Pierpont, Dr. Alex Salt and all those who carried on their research have not been given credit for their ground breaking research.
Let’s try harder to stop the LIES of OMISSION!

Barbara
Reply

True, lies of omission have played a big role in this whole Ontario situation!

Sommer
Reply

Despite efforts to bring these reports to the attention of all who are responsible for the harm being done, the various ministries consistently respond with their formatted dismissal of the validity of the work of Dr. Neil Kelly, Dr. Nina Pierpont and Dr. Alex Salt. The only response from the Premier’s office is the almost immediate robotic canned, thank you message saying that the Premier values our comments….absolutely insulting!
The Huron County Health Unit website still does not have information on it that would help people to understand the symptoms they’ve been experiencing since the turbines were turned on. Many people still do not know that entire list of symptoms is published on the Waubra Foundation website.

Sommer
Reply

Take a look at how Minister Glen Murray shamefully dismissed a Huron County resident who has exhaustively reported noise, both audible and inaudible to all who are responsible…a list of more than 50 names at this point. She has been doing this diligently for almost two years!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJCxTEVJu30&feature=youtu.be
This minister obviously is incapable of performing his duty to protect.

Sommer

Copies of all letters sent to Minister Glen Murray have been saved as evidence. There were many more than one a month!

Wind Concerns Ontario
Reply

It would be prejudicial for Huron County Health Unit to put up material on wind turbine noise and health effects while they are carrying out a public health investigation. The best they can do–and to the most effect–is what they are doing.

Richard Mann

WCO writes: “It would be prejudicial for Huron County Health Unit to put up material on wind turbine noise and health effects while they are carrying out a public health investigation. The best they can do–and to the most effect–is what they are doing.”

Is there a deadline by which Huron County Health Unit must provide a report to the citizens on their legally mandated Health Investigation? The investigation was started more than a year ago, in March 2016.

Wind Concerns Ontario

As you know, the process had to undergo a few changes subsequent to comment by an ethic review board. This is all well and good and necessary for a robust investigation, that aligns with present-day ethical standards.

Richard Mann
Reply

Here is a “time line” showing the history of Wind Turbine Noise problems, going back as far as 1979. Each entry provides documentation:
http://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/timeline/latest/embed/index.html?source=0Ak2bgr7C0nhPdGR3S1lEekU3T3p4ZDhUNDdRV2Y2ZkE&font=Bevan-PotanoSans&maptype=toner&lang=en&height=650

1979 “First complaints received from a dozen families within a 3km radius of turbine”.
1981 “Wind turbine operation creates enormous sound pressure waves”
1982 “Closed windows and doors do not protect occupants from LFN”
1982 “NASA research on human impacts provided to wind industry”
1985 “Hypothesis for infrasound-induced motion sickness”
1987 “Wind industry told that dB(A) unsuitable to measure LFN emissions from wind turbines”

2004 “Wind industry knows noise models inadequate” (from Vestas)

2011 “Vestas knew that low frequency noise from larger turbines needed greater setbacks”

Barbara
Reply

Sustainable Energy for All/ SE4All

A unique partnership: United Nations & The World Bank

Advisory Board includes:

Ban Ki-moon, Co-chair.

Margaret Chan, Director-General, WHO/World Health Organization.

And others who’s names you may recognize.

http://www.se4all.org/about-us/advisory-board

Barbara
Reply

Board | Carbon War Room

Includes a member who owns the The Kingbridge Centre, Ontario.

http://www.carbonwarroom.com/about-us/who-we-are/board

The Rocky Mountain Institute and the Carbon War Room have U.S. tax-exempt status. Their U.S. tax-exempt records are available online.

Richard Mann
Reply

Dear WCO. You write: “As you know, the process had to undergo a few changes subsequent to comment by an ethic review board. This is all well and good and necessary for a robust investigation, that aligns with present-day ethical standards.”

I do not know what is happening or why. What I do know is that a legally binding health Investigation has been initiated and then delayed for more than a year.

I asked for access to the Ethics documents at both Huron County and Waterloo. I was told that “Tri Agency” (Federal government research funding agency) prevents public disclosure.

I do not accept these excuses. The public needs to see all documentation involved in this investigation.

Sommer
Reply

The question that needs to be asked is, once the criteria for assessment has been met and publicly declared, how long do the people who submitted the information that led to the decision to investigate have to be kept waiting?
Is there a legal timeframe for the HCHU to take action?

Barbara
Reply

UNEP & UNEA

‘Multistakeholder Dialogue in preparation of UNEA 2’

http://staging.unep.org/civil-society/MGSParticipationUNEA/MultiStakeholderDialogueforUNEA/tabid/1061072/Default.aspx

UNEA/United Nations Environment Assembly, Ottawa, March 23, 2016

Use Link to the PDF: Five pages.

No.3. Key Messages from Canadian Major Groups and Stakeholders Regional Consultation on Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the 2030 Development Agenda (23 March 2016, Ottawa).

Page 3: “Connecting climate change and its impacts on health can make the issue more immediate and personal, helping to drive actions to combat climate change.”

Page 5: List of Participants

Includes: Health Canada.

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