Documentary from Germany on wind turbines and infrasound: what you can’t hear can harm you

November 18, 2018
A documentary aired on ZDF, the national public television broadcaster in Germany, featuring multiple interviews with scientists on the topic of wind turbine noise emissions, specifically infrasound.
See the transcript here–open in Google for a translation.)
Here are some excerpts from the report.
Interviews (in German) include conversations with a geoscientist, cardiovascular surgeon, and an expert in noise measurement.


The natural sources of infrasound include, for example, earthquakes and sea surf. Technical sources are – to name just a few – combined heat and power plants, airplanes and also wind turbines. In recent years, doctors and scientists have increasingly dealt with infrasound from wind turbines. Because with the energy turnaround and the expansion of wind power, the load from these sources increases.
People who live near wind turbines often complain of sleep disorders, dizziness, headaches, and difficulty concentrating. Not infrequently dismissed as crazy, they usually have nothing left but to leave the area. Because in the common opinion frequencies below 20 Hertz are not audible and therefore can not cause any health damage.

Perception below the hearing threshold

But is it really like that? Professor Christian-Friedrich Vahl, Director of the Clinic for Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz feels reminded in such an argument to the early radiologists who experimented with X-rays, but “because they did not see that, only much later realized that they cause cancer. ”
Medical and scientific evidence is increasing that not only some animals, but also humans are able to perceive infrasound below the hearing threshold. No wonder actually, because “infrasound is an energy,” explains Prof. Vahl, “And every energy has physical effects, whether you hear it or not.”. For two years, he and his team have been addressing the question of how infrasound affects the power of the heart muscle. They have already completed two series of experiments investigating the acute effects of infrasound on human cardiac muscle, and the results are available: “In both series of tests, a clear reduction in cardiac muscle strength has been observed with infrasound signals,” says the cardiac surgeon , Something that you do not consciously perceive, So you can still get sick. Or at least have an effect.

Effects on the brain

Investigations by scientists of the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)also show effects of infrasound on the brain. They found that infrasound presented below the individual threshold of hearing activates certain regions of the brain. Interestingly, regions that are involved in the processing of stress and conflict. Why this is so is still unclear, but Professor Simone Kühn of the UKE has a hypothesis: “We have speculated that if you hear something consciously and know there is something, you can perhaps better hide it. […] But with things that are so semi-perceptible, you may not have the directive to say, that’s what I’m ignoring now. “Unconsciously perceived things may put you in stress, at least when it’s not. A follow-up study by the UKE is now looking into the question
Worldwide attempts by the military to use infrasound as a non-lethal weapon are another indication that this low-frequency noise can have a negative effect on humans.
Experts estimate that between ten and thirty percent of the population can feel the symptoms of infrasound.

Different measuring methods

Nevertheless, to this day there is no standard for the frequency range below 20 hertz, which would represent the noise level of wind turbines unadorned. On the contrary, on the part of the authorities, a measurement standard is used that partially filters out the infrasound emissions of wind turbines. Frequencies below 8 hertz are completely ignored. By averaging (third-octave analysis) so-called “tonal peaks” are largely smoothed out, which means that certain high rashes are not visible in the result.
The German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) already showed in 2004 how the emissions from wind turbines in the infrasound sector really look like and how far they reach them. The BGR is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty ( CTBT). Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty) to control. For this purpose, the Federal Institute operates several measuring stations, of which two stations register infrasound. To avoid disturbing the measurement, the BGR determined the distance the wind turbine measuring instruments must have and concluded: ”
As a rule, a distance of about 20 kilometers between the station and the wind farm should be maintained to ensure an undisturbed registration and detection of transients acoustic signals. ”
A distance from which the neighbors of wind farms can only dream.
What's your reaction?


  • Sommer
    Posted November 18, 2018 10:49 pm 0Likes

    Dr. Mariana Alves-Pereira has stated publicly that knowing what she knows about infrasound, she would not live within 20 km of a wind turbine.
    The damage to the neurological system can lead to adult onset seizures. She also reports on damage to the cardiovascular system. This harm is cumulative and she says it is irreversible.
    Who in their right mind, knowing this potential harm, would want to be living as close as people in rural Ontario are being forced to live to turbines?
    These turbines need to be turned off now.

  • Mark Twichell
    Posted November 19, 2018 9:20 am 0Likes

    Setbacks are politically motivated. The voting public will continue to enable the collusion between permitting agencies and the wind industry until it is educated to issues of harm, expense, and technical ineffectiveness. Harm and expense are increasingly recognized, yet can be rationalized by climate fear. The last straw will be recognition of no meaningful CO2 reduction.

  • Sommer
    Posted November 19, 2018 1:55 pm 0Likes

    I agree Mark. This PC government has to take seriously the role they must play in re- educating the people of Ontario. Currently the way MSM is bombarding the public with misinformation on a daily basis is unacceptable. Even students are still using curriculum that is filled with misinformation.
    CBC could have its license taken away for lying.They even propagate lies through comedy. Who has the courage to do this?

  • Tracy
    Posted November 20, 2018 11:48 am 0Likes

    Is Wind Concerns Ontario recommending to Doug Ford’s Government that wind turbines in Ontario should be shut down because of the harm they are causing to the people?

    • Wind Concerns Ontario
      Posted November 21, 2018 10:56 am 0Likes

      If you are visiting this website, we hope you would scroll through the postings. Wind Concerns Ontario spends a great deal of time preparing backgrounders, information packages and submissions to government, which are all available for you to read. Moreover, we are taking advantage of opportunities to meet with government and MPPs to inform them of the situation in Ontario, and to propose options for action. Recently, Wind Concerns Ontario was invited to make a presentation to the Standing Committee on Social Policy at Queen’s Park on the need for changes to the Green Energy Act. This too is publicly available, as a document on our website, and a transcript on the Queen’s Park website.

  • Sommer
    Posted November 20, 2018 12:34 pm 0Likes

    Good question Tracy. We need answer.
    People in Ontario are experiencing cardiac instability from the turbines that were sited too close to their homes? Minister Elliot have been informed of this development. Residents have gone to their doctors and their doctors have done the necessary tests to prove that they did not have typical causative factors. They are willing to show their relevant medical evidence to Minister Christine Elliot NOW, so that she can order that the turbines be turned off in order to protect these people and all rural residents from the cardiovascular harm caused by infrasound radiation. This cumulative harm evidence goes beyond a ‘study’. It is evidence that would stand up in court to prove that our government agents are guilty of neglecting to protect people from environmental harm.
    When acoustic waves bombard peoples’ homes and harm them even while they sleep in their beds, these peoples’ human rights have been/are being violated.
    Anyone who is in a position of power or advocacy and could have prevented/could prevent this harm will be held accountable. They are legally liable.
    People who remain silent about this gross injustice are complicit.

  • Sommer
    Posted November 21, 2018 10:43 am 0Likes

    Infrasound radiation is something your body won’t let you escape. You may deny that it is harmful, but your brain and your heart do not develop tolerance to these trespassing acoustic waves..
    The harm is cumulative and it is occurring while people are trying to sleep in their beds.

  • Richard Mann
    Posted November 22, 2018 10:44 pm 0Likes

    On October 28, 2018 I wrote to Christine Elliot, MPP, Minister of Health and Long Term Care, requesting an urgent meeting to address known health harm from Industrial Wind Turbines.
    I have not heard back.
    The letter and details of my research and advocacy on this issue are on my web page,
    Richard Mann
    Associate Professor
    School of Computer Science
    Faculty of Mathematics
    University of Waterloo

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