January 2, 2022
In an editorial in the current edition of Environmental Disease journal, Dr Alun Evans, prominent physician and cardiologist, says it is past time for governments to act to protect the health of those forced to live near wind turbines.
He compares the developers of wind turbines to the manufacturers and marketers of tobacco who, decades ago, claimed there were no health impacts from smoking cigarettes, even while the industry knew there was.
He cites a letter written the turbine manufacturers Vestas with a query as to why the turbines cannot be made more safe:
In 2011, a letter written by the CEO of the Danish wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, to the Danish Environment Minister, which was leaked and translated, asked why it was:
…that Vestas does not just make changes to the wind turbines so that they make less noise? The simple answer is that at the moment it is simply not possible to do so, and it requires time and resources because presently we are at the forefront of what is technically possible for our large wind turbines, and they are the most efficient of all.
It seems that, in common with the tobacco industry, the wind industry was well aware that its products were inimical to health. The introduction of larger turbines is also problematic because the larger the turbines, the more noise they produce.
Evans’ editorial refers to a paper published recently by a group of Ontario-based authors including Dr. Robert McMurtry, which states that the well known public health criteria developed by Dr Austin Bradford Hill ought to be applied to the study of wind turbine noise impacts. Instead, he says, governments continue to look for a simple cause and effect relationship.
Doing that means governments are abdicating their responsibility to citizens.
“We still have a long way to go to adequately protect people’s health from the impact of wind farm noise,” he concludes.