On April 9 2015 the Canadian Council of Academies CCA, funded by Industry Canada states annoyance can be caused by wind turbine noise – a clear adverse health effect. I am a member of Victims of Wind (VOW) and I agree with this statement. But I believe the CCA should have gone much further. Annoyance at the levels experienced by wind turbine victims day after day and night after night creates a devastating impact. Living with a wind project non-stop is called chronic exposure.
Sadly, many claims made in the CCA report that there is a “limited lack of evidence” continue to cast doubt on the true suffering and harm demonstrated in community after community exposed to the harmful emissions from industrial scale wind turbines. It continues to create an erroneous impression that wind turbines are benign. They are not.
What we have is a cooperative partnership between industry and the government creating an outrageous delay in taking actual steps such as a moratorium to eliminate chronic exposure to this industrial sound source that has led to families worldwide falling victim to suffering and despair. Projects are too close and the suppression of the evidence is stunning.
In July 2012 Health Canada announced a wind turbine noise and health study after which Health Canada requisitioned a literature review on wind turbine noise from the CCA. Part of that literature included the Health Canada preliminary findings November 6 2014.
The Chair of the CCA review states:
Health Canada’s preliminary findings were made publicly available in November 2014. The Panel reviewed those findings but, as they were preliminary, it could not integrate this research into the evidence considered in Chapter 6. However, the Panel observed that the findings from this study were mainly concordant with its own findings.
The Health Canada wind turbine noise and health study has not yet been peer reviewed and published and the raw data has not been released for corroboration. Nevertheless, both government agencies came to the same conclusions of not enough evidence.
But literature reviews do not equal an investigation of peoples’ complaints.
Literature reviews of literature reviews and pronouncements by so-called industry experts have left out the essential component in research- the people who are the real experts. How can reviewers say that wind turbines do not cause my symptoms? Who among them has lived inside an industrial wind project for a month or a year? Why didn’t the CCA wait until Health Canada had completed its final report on the wind turbine noise and health study?
The CCA states:
The evidence suggests a lack of causality between exposure to wind turbine noise and hearing loss.
As a result of my chronic exposure to wind turbines near my home my hearing has become increasingly impaired. Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is now a permanent medical state for me and far worse at night when background noise is virtually non-existent. Having developed Tinnitus post wind turbines, my Audiologist said my Hyperacusis is an over sensitivity to certain frequency ranges of environmental sounds which I believe is caused by the frequencies radiated from the wind projects around me.
In a Q &A of Dr. Tee Guidotti, Chair of the CCA Expert Panel and founding member of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment CAPE responds:
Q: What do wind turbines sound like?
A: If you were to stand directly under one, you might hear a kind of thumping noise that varies in intensity as the rotor goes through its cycle. This sound is emitted at all frequencies, i.e. high and low pitch. If you were a bit further away, the higher-pitched sounds would be dampened by structures such as houses, trees and the ground, so you would only hear lower pitches.
At its peak, the noise is on the order of the background noise from wind, or similar to the traffic on a not-very-busy street. It goes down from there; within a kilometre, you probably would not hear it at all.
Has Dr. Guidotti lived inside a wind project? Where is the evidence from the people living with turbines to prove these claims? Where is the evidence that wind turbine noise is the equivalent of background rural nighttime noise or that of a quiet street?
The closest of many wind turbines to my home is 1400 metres. 550 metres is legislated by the Green Energy Act 2009 as a safe setback to protect human health. Dr Guidotti is not an expert on my health effects. None of the panelists are true experts in wind turbine noise emissions and serious harm until they have researched us.
I filed my first noise complaint on April 17 2012. Since then I have filed over 60 other complaints to the Ontario Ministry of Environment and the proponent Plateau Wind Inc. But I have received no mitigation or remedy. In fact I have been told consistently by the civil servants in the Ministry that there is no evidence of health risks and there is no indication that the turbines are operating out of compliance. I stopped complaining in September 2013 because like so many others, complaints go nowhere.
According to the CCA literature review:
No systematic review by independent parties of noise complaints across jurisdictions in Canada has been performed, likely because of the lack of consistency in reporting mechanisms for such complaints or health reports, the collection of complaint information, and whether complaints are even related to health
But they are wrong.
There is a reporting mechanism called the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA). For the purposes of the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (Canada) REDA, “radiation is energy in the form of Electromagnetic waves or Acoustical waves”. Wind turbines produce both kinds of waves. Waves such as pulsing sound pressure waves, low frequency waves and infrasound are known emissions from wind turbines.
The REDA is a Federal law that predates the Green Energy Act and has authority over wind turbines according to Health Canada which states:
Health Canada has expertise in measuring noise and assessing the health impacts of noise because of its role in administering the Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA). As defined under REDA, noise is a form of radiation.
The role of the REDA is to help Health Canada legally enforce incident reporting through the mechanisms prescribed therein. For example, if the manufacturer or importer/operator of a wind turbine becomes aware of complaints of impairment of health they must “forthwith notify the Minister” of Health Canada who can then have these concerns investigated. This is the reporting mechanism which should have been complied with for a decade but appears to have been ignored by wind turbine operators and manufacturers.
Health Canada must require compliance with this law. We urge the Government of Canada to take action by enforcing their own federal law - the Radiation Emitting Devices Act created to protect Canadians from emissions radiated from wind turbines.
All federal candidates running for office in rural Canada this year be advised:
· We did not consent to chronic exposure from emissions radiating from industrial wind turbines.
· If you want our vote you must earn it.
· What is your position on the wind industry in breach of a Federal law?
No more endless reviews of reviews .No more people at risk .No more projects approved.
No more health effects without remedy.
Enforce the REDA
Virginia Stewart Love
Member Victims of Wind - VOW
Grey Highlands ON
Please have a look at Shellie Correira's petition to try and help save her family and her son Joey from being seriously adversely impacted by wind turbines to be built near her home in Canada. (link at the bottom and once you have signed at change.org it is easy to unsubscribe)
Shellie has publicised the issues of children and adverse impacts from wind turbines, including children with special needs who are one of the most vulnerable groups in our community. Subjecting children to excessive levels of infrasound and low frequency noise is tantamount to child abuse by the state, and that is precisely what is occurring whilst powerful politicians like Kathleen Wynne who could put a stop to this immediately turn their backs, avert their eyes and shut their ears to what is going on.
As a parent, protection of our children's current and future health and wellbeing is of paramount importance, and I know that the inability of families to protect their most vulnerable - being their children and their elderly, is a source of immense distress to rural families around the world.
If you are able to sign her petition and circulate it widely to others you are in contact with and on social media, I would be very grateful.
The link to the petition is here: https://www.change.org/p/kathleen-wynne-olp-protect-my-son-and-all-children-at-risk-from-wind-turbine-emissions-3?recruiter=38217997&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive
VOW (Victims of Wind) - OPEN LETTER 04.2015
Statement on Government Funded Reviews of IWT Impacts on Health
VOW is a confidential support network for people who have been adversely affected by loud, cyclical noise, low frequency vibration, infrasound and dirty electricity emissions coming from industrial wind turbine facilities.
Victims of Wind are tired of tolerating years of literature reviews that are being used as a benchmark by the government to allow harm-imposing wind turbine facilities to operate.
Ongoing, time-consuming desk top reviews, reviews of earlier reviews and delays waiting for results are forcing more and more families to fall victim to the despair caused by new projects being sited too close to their homes.
We are dismayed that regardless of early admissions that there are people impacted, the projects continue to operate while new reviews are initiated. There is abundant evidence accumulated to warrant a moratorium and for projects to cease operation while government “research” is underway. But that is not happening.
We are therefore of the opinion that these efforts are about supporting and aiding in the success of the government’s renewable energy policy and not at all about genuine investigation of the adverse health complaints, severe enough to result in impaired health and abandonment of homes.
We are dismayed by the choice of some study team and panel experts, some who have historically supported wind energy implementation, some who are members of wind energy lobby groups in Canada and have received funding from the provincial and the Canadian Government. Lobby representatives have no obstruction to being granted meetings with federal officials while requests for help from those who have been harmed have gone unanswered for years.
We feel that government funded study teams and industry experts are being relied upon to inform the public on this issue when they are clearly not expressing what is actually happening on the ground. The routine trivializing of the impacts the emissions are having only serve to confuse the general population. The true experts are those living in the projects that are being harmed and driven from their homes but reviewers and study groups have not spoken with or included them despite their knowledge of them.
Affected citizens are being directed to follow government complaint protocols only to leave them piling up year after year unresolved.
Thousands of complaints have accumulated at the provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. These complaints are not being reviewed by anyone, including study teams, and files are being closed without resolution.
We are disheartened by the use of derogatory public comments pertaining to the victims being made by politicians, influential environmentalists, government employees, association leaders and people in positions of power.
These comments are humiliating and degrading to the victims, causing deep-felt insult and social embarrassment to people who are already coping with ill health and chaos.
The harm to victims must stop. Victims have lost trust in all level of government as they struggle 24 hours a day to cope dealing with the impacts of chronic exposure living within these facilities.
Victims are fed up with relentlessly having to defend themselves as government/industry allies try to diminish and discredit their experiences.
There is an urgent need for transparency on this issue, for the government to open the channel to listen directly to the victims and to quit suppressing this tragedy by endless public denial.
Victims of wind deserve that action be taken.
We deserve protection from inhumane treatment of our families, our pets and livestock.
We are insistent that the Government of Canada start taking action by enforcing the federal Radiation Emitting Devices Act (REDA) an emissions reporting mechanism that has been in place for over a decade.
What we want is integrity from government leaders, from Health Canada who promote that good health and wellbeing of all Canadians is priority.
The victims did not consent to being exposed to the emissions of industrial wind turbines.
No more people should be put at risk. No more projects should be approved and those projects where there are reports of adverse health effects should cease operating immediately so affected families can return to living in a safe and healthy environment in their own home.
Coordinator of VOW – Victims of Wind
A summary of peer reviewed articles their abstracts and citations
regarding adverse health effects and industrial wind turbines Industrial Wind Turbines and Health: Wind Turbines Can Harm Humans if too Close to Residents
Contrary to what the wind industry and our government would like the public to believe there are many up to date peer reviewed and published articles on adverse health effects related to industrial scale wind energy projects that are situated too close to our homes.
The following are just a few of the articles that are available. It is important that our government representatives recognize the years of work and research that professionals in the health and engineering field have been doing related to industrial wind energy issues.
To continue to ignore these dedicated researchers and experts speaks to the ongoing negligence and lack of care and due diligence for the people of rural Ontario and of the world who are suffering.
Industrial Wind Turbines and Health:
Wind Turbines Can Harm Humans if too close to Residents
63 peer reviewed articles and conference papers, abstracts and other
citations, regarding impairment of health in general and relating to industrial wind turbines
Compiled by Carmen Krogh, BScPharm
April 2015# 63PEER REVIEWED
Ambrose, Stephen E.; Rand, Robert W.; and Krogh, Carmen M. E.
Wind Turbine Acoustic Investigation: Infrasound and Low-Frequency Noise
A Case Study DOI: 10.1177/0270467612455734
Bulletin of Science Technology & Society published online 17 August 2012
Wind turbines produce sound that is capable of disturbing local residents and is reported to cause
annoyance, sleep disturbance, and other health-related impacts. An acoustical study was conducted to
investigate the presence of infrasonic and low-frequency noise emissions from wind turbines located
in Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA. During the study, the investigating acousticians experienced
adverse health effects consistent with those reported by some Falmouth residents. The authors
conclude that wind turbine acoustic energy was found to be greater than or uniquely distinguishable
from the ambient background levels and capable of exceeding human detection thresholds. The
authors emphasize the need for epidemiological and laboratory research by health professionals and
acousticians concerned with public health and well-being to develop effective and precautionary
setback distances for industrial wind turbines that protect residents from wind turbine sound.For all items with abstracts and links to full documents. Download pdf file here
Index of titles
63 - Wind Turbine Acoustic Investigation: Infrasound and Low-Frequency Noise
62 - Association between Wind Turbines and Human Distress.
61 - Impact of wind turbine sound on annoyance, self-reported sleep disturbance and psychological distress
60 - ICBEN review of research on the biological effects of noise 2011-2014
59 - Sleep disturbances and suicide risk: A review of the literature.
58 - The Noise from Wind Turbines: Potential Adverse Impacts on Children's Well-Being
57 - Infrasound from wind turbines: An overlooked health hazard
56 - Wind turbine syndrome: fact or fiction? Review Article
55 - Wind Turbine Noise
54 - Wind Turbines Make Waves: Why Some Residents Near Wind Turbines Become Ill
53 - Editorial: Wind turbine noise
52 - Literature Reviews on Wind Turbines and Health : Are They Enough?
51 - Wind Turbine Infra and Low-Frequency Sound: Warnings Signs That Were Not Heard
50 - Industrial wind turbines and adverse health effects
49 - Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines (Commentary)
48 - Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines (Letter to the Editor)
47 - Industrial Wind Turbine Development and Loss of Social Justice?
46 - WindVOiCe, a Self-Reporting Survey: Adverse Health Effects, Industrial Wind Turbines, and the Need for Vigilance Monitoring
45 - Diagnostic criteria for adverse health effects in the environs of wind turbines
44 - Toward a Case Definition of Adverse Health Effects in the Environs of Industrial Wind Turbines: Facilitating a Clinical Diagnosis
43 - Low-frequency sound affects active micromechanics in the human inner ear.
42 - Effects of insufficient sleep on circadian rhythmicity and expression amplitude of the human blood transcriptome
41 - Low-frequency noise from large wind turbines
40 - Cardiovascular effects of environmental noise exposure
39 - Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health
38 - Infrasound, human health, and adaptation: an integrative overview of recondite hazards in a complex environment Nat Hazards
37 - Properly Interpreting the Epidemiologic Evidence About the Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines on Nearby Residents
36 - Wind-Turbine Noise What Audiologists Should Know
35 - Occupational Health and Industrial Wind Turbines: A Case Study
34 - Responses of the ear to low frequency sounds, infrasound and wind turbines
33 - Infrasound From Wind Turbines Could Affect Humans
32 - A theory to explain some physiological effects of the infrasonic emissions at some wind farm sites
31 - Wind Turbines A Different Breed of Noise?
30 - Public Health Ethics, Legitimacy, and the Challenges of Industrial Wind Turbines: The Case of Ontario
29 - Do Quiet Areas Afford Greater Health-Related Quality of Life than Noisy Areas?
28 - Noise: Windfarms (2012)
27 - Mitigating the Acoustic Impacts of Modern Technologies: Acoustic, Health, and Psychosocial Factors Informing Wind Farm Placement
26 - Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health related quality of life
25 - Quiet as an Environmental Value: A Contrast between Two Legislative Approaches
24 - The Problems With ''Noise Numbers'' for Wind Farm Noise Assessment
23 - The Results of an Acoustical Testing Program Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm
22 - Autism and the effect of introducing a new noise source into quiet rural communities: risk factor from industrial wind power generation
21 - How Does Wind Turbine Noise Affect People?
20 - A Cooperative Measurement Survey and Analysis of Low Frequency and Infrasound at the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County, Wisconsin
19 - Health Canada and Wind Turbines: Too little too late?
18 - Correlation between people perception of noise from large wind turbines and measured noise levels
17 - Relevance and applicability of the Soundscape concept to physiological or behavioural effects caused by noise at very low frequencies which may not be audible
16 - Wind Turbine Facilities’ Perception: A Case Study from Canada
15 - Audit report: literature reviews on wind turbine noise and health
14 - Noise and Children’s Risk Factors including Industrial Wind Energy Facilities
13 - Trading off human health: Wind turbine noise and government policy
12 - Wind turbines can harm humans: a case study
11 - Wind turbine noise perception, pathways and effects: a case study
10 - Annoyance can represent a serious degradation of health: wind turbine noise a case study
9 - Special Noise Character in Noise from Wind Farms
8 - Investigating the impacts of wind turbine noise on quality of life in the Australian context: A case study approach
7 - Responses of the Inner Ear to Infrasound
6 - Perception-based protection from low-frequency sounds may not be enough
5 - Can wind turbine sound that is below the threshold of hearing be heard?
4 - Wind turbine noise and health-related quality of life of nearby residents: a cross sectional study in New Zealand
3 - Numerical simulation of infrasound perception, with reference to prior reported laboratory effects
2 - The Relevance of the Precautionary Principle to wind farm noise planning
1 - Propagation thresholds and measurement of infrasound to establish separation distances from wind farm turbines to residences