McMurtry, Krogh rebut wind industry-funded commentators on diagnostic tool

Carmen Krogh: no conflict of interest
Carmen Krogh: no conflict of interest, while doctors criticizing work done to help patients affected by wind turbine noise are paid by the wind power industry

Four years ago, Dr Robert McMurtry (former Dean of Medicine and Western University, companion of the Order of Canada) and independent health researcher (retired pharmacist and health care executive) Carmen Krogh published a “case definition” and diagnostic criteria as a diagnostic tool to help family physicians and others caring for patients who may have been exposed to wind turbine noise emissions. The paper was first published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, in 2014.
The diagnostic criteria, McMurtry and Krogh explain, were “intended to be used by licensed medical practitioners trained in diagnostic procedures. The case definition requires application of professional medical judgment and diligence including the conduct of a thorough history, physical examination and investigation to rule out alternative explanations” for the patient’s symptoms.
Dr. Robert McCunney and Dr David Colby, with two other authors, published a critique of the case definition which was published in 2015. Among other comments, the doctors alleged that Dr McMurtry and Carmen Krogh failed to give any “indication of potential conflicts of interest” in their original article.

McCunney and Colby fail to disclose wind industry payments

In the article published yesterday, McMurtry and Krogh responded that as health care professionals both were quite aware of the need to disclose any conflict of interest … there simply wasn’t any. Moreover, they wrote in rebuttal, “the obligation to state potential conflicts of interest would also extend to the authors McCunney et al. Any statement should include Drs McCunney, Mundt and Colby relationships with the wind industry including, but not limited to, payments received from the wind industry to serve as experts and/or prepare reports. ”
“The declaration by McCunney et al. is incomplete,” McMurtry and Krogh conclude, “as it omits disclosure of payments received for other services …”

Mathematical exercise could mislead

Other aspects of the McCunney group critique are discussed and refuted, and McMurtry and Krogh make the particular point that the “display of combinatorics” by McCunney and colleagues was an exercise in math that had the potential to “mislead readers as it fails to use the case definition as it is presented and intended.”
Read the full article in Noise & Health, here .

What's your reaction?


  • Richard Mann
    Posted December 16, 2016 8:04 pm 0Likes

    Here is a “time line” showing the history of Wind Turbine Noise problems, going back as far as 1979. Each entry provides documentation:
    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”

  • Richard Mann
    Posted December 16, 2016 11:51 pm 0Likes

    I wrote the Huron County Health Board on December 5th. The letter is public, on my webpage (http://www.cs.uwaterloo/~mannr) and pasted below.
    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.
    Richard Mann
    Associate Professor
    School of Computer Science
    Faculty of Mathematics
    University of Waterloo

    • Sommer
      Posted December 31, 2016 11:19 am 0Likes

      If people would carefully read the article written by Dr. Robert McMurtry and Carmen Krogh in 2014 and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, as well as the comments to this article-
      -they would see the relevance to the ethical crisis we face now in Ontario. Let’s make 2017 the turning point where compassion for people being harmed is fully acknowledged and these peoples’ lives and homes are respected and protected.

  • Barbara
    Posted December 17, 2016 4:59 pm 0Likes

    If you look at the “papers” used in IWT noise studies, it appears that “circular citations” have been used. In other words “copying” from one another.
    The general public does not know how to detect/recognize this issue.

    • ScepticalGord
      Posted December 17, 2016 6:27 pm 0Likes

      The “general public” is dumber than the proverbial bag of hammers.
      The internet has been plying phony news stories for years, whether it’s old, outdated information or new click bait like: “we’re so so sorry Meryl Streep has left us” (oh no, she died?), which when followed up reveals “Meryl Streep has left us to go shopping …” .
      Yup, the Public Sheep bleat right along to the BS, until they find out Donald Trump may have used some “untruths” during the election campaign. Now the whining millennials, who praised Justin Trudeau’s “savvy” use of social media to eliminate the Big Bad Stephen Harper, now cry foul over Trump’s canny use of twitter to reach disenfranchised Americans.
      Go ahead, ask me if I think the “general public” gets what they deserve …

  • Segue C
    Posted December 18, 2016 8:08 pm 0Likes

    Big thank you to Richard Mann for his determined promulgation of the tellingly long chronology of wind turbine noise related health problems and now his own history and concern for public welfare which seems so lacking in our ruling class.
    Who among us would not, after all the time we have spent debunking various aspects of greed energy, fully expect “circular citations” from windbaggers?
    Perhaps we should stop running in circles and realize we are not dealing with real science where one ugly fact can kill a beautiful theory; we are dealing with a death-cult ideology.

  • Sommer
    Posted December 19, 2016 9:44 am 0Likes

    Your comment has made my day, Segue C. !
    The people who speak with an urgent plea for the people who are being harmed and who demand that the turbines harming them be turned off now are the voices of active compassion.

  • Tracy
    Posted December 23, 2016 11:54 pm 0Likes


  • Tracy
    Posted December 23, 2016 11:56 pm 0Likes


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