Environmental Noise, Sleep Deprivation & Torture. September 2014

 Waubra Foundation Definitive Document

1. Wind turbines and other sources of environmental noise such as gas fired power stations, coal mines and field compressors used in CSG extraction produce environmental noise at night

2. Excessive night time environmental noise disturbs sleep

3. Repetitive sleep disturbance leads to chronic sleep deprivation

4. Sleep deprivation predictably damages physical and mental health

5. Because sleep is a “basic life necessity” and essential for health, sleep deprivation is explicitly acknowledged as a method of torture.

6. Torture from sleep deprivation is occurring regularly at industrial noise polluting facilities such as wind energy developments, coal mines, gas fired power stations and in CSG fields too close to human habitation, including those deemed to be “compliant” with current planning and noise pollution regulations by government planning and noise pollution authorities. These regulations therefore operate as a “licence to damage” health, not protect it. Furthermore the regulation of noise pollution is inadequate, lacking in transparency and accountability to those adversely impacted.

7. As a result, government sanctioned torture is occurring, of which noise polluters are well aware. The torture is widely known about, particularly with respect to wind turbine noise, but is ignored by almost all politicians, political parties, and responsible public servants.

8. This is a breach of the UN Convention against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment (of which Australia is a signatory) and the Victorian Charter of Rights and Responsibilities . There is no justification for torture, not even war, or “following orders”. The UN convention states each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are criminal offences. Public officials who knowingly, and therefore intentionally, allow torture to occur or to continue, could therefore be held liable. Rural residents living in very quiet background noise environments, and individuals with underlying health conditions making them more susceptible to lower frequency environmental noise, are particularly being discriminated against.

References:

http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/kelley-et-al-methodology-for-assessment-wind-turbine-noise-generation-1982/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/library/community-noise-impact-surveys/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/hansen-zajamsek-hansen-noise-monitoring-waterloo-wind-farm/ http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/huson-l-expert-evidence-at-vcat-cherry-tree-hearing/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/who-guidelines-for-community-noise-2/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/health-effects-environmental-noise-other-than-hearing-loss/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/2013/report-tara-gas-field-health-survey-released/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/ten-families-forced-from-homes-nr-uranquinty-gas-fired-power-station-due-noise/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/bulga-milbrodale-v-min-for-planning-warkworth-mining-court-judgement/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/cullen-bullen-mine-refused-due-noise/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/mental-health-aspects-coal-seam-gas-mining/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/nsw-health-environmental-health-concerns-coalpac-cullen-bullen-mine-proposal/ http://waubrafoundation.org.au/2009/uranquinty-families-bought-out-and-silenced-with-non-disclosure-clauses-by-origin-energy/ http://waubrafoundation.org.au/2014/victorian-epa-issue-noise-abatement-notice-origins-gas-plant-port-campbell/ http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/david-mortimers-statement-cherry-tree-hearing-at-vcat-jan-2013/ http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/linke-m-witness-statement-vcat-cherry-tree-hearing/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/who-night-noise-guidelines-for-europe/
Pp
22 – 26, “Leave No Marks” by the Physicians for Human Rights http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/physicians-for-human-rights-leave-no-marks/
Victorian Charter of Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, accessible from the Human Rights Commission website: http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/index.php/the-charter
See article 2 of the UN Convention against Torture http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/un-convention-against-torture/
See article 4 of the UN Convention against Torture http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/un-convention-against-torture/ http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/linke-m-witness-statement-vcat-cherry-tree-hearing/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/who-night-noise-guidelines-for-europe/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/sadeh-consequences-sleep-loss-or-sleep-disruption-children/ http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/sleep-duration-predicts-cardiovascular-outcomes/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/munzel-t-et-al-cardiovascular-effects-environmental-noise-exposure/
Pp 22 – 26, “Leave No Marks” by the Physicians for Human Rights http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/physicians-for-human-rights-leave-no-marks/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/un-convention-against-torture/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/thorne-r-victorian-wind-farm-review-updated-june-2014/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/cooper-s-pacific-hydro-cape-bridgewater-acoustic-testing-preliminary-results/
http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/hansen-zajamsek-hansen-noise-monitoring-waterloo-wind-farm/
Victorian Charter of Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, accessible from the Human Rights Commission website: http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/index.php/the-charter
See article 2 of the UN Convention against Torture http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/un-convention-against-torture/
See article 4 of the UN Convention against Torture http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/un-convention-against-torture/
 See article 1 of the UN Convention against Torture http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/un-convention-against-torture/
British Acoustician and expert witness for wind developers Professor Geoffrey Leventhall has acknowledged the contribution made by Dr Nina Pierpont in identifying the particular risk factors for developing what he calls “noise annoyance” symptoms, which Dr Pierpont refers to as “wind turbine syndrome” http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/leventhall-g-comments-nhmrc-june-2011-wind-turbine-syndrome-symptoms-same-as-noise-annoyance/
Others who have confirmed the risk factors identified by Dr Nina Pierpont include Dr Steven Rauch, Harvard Professor specialising in disorders of the inner ear http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/halperin-big-wind-needs-address-wind-turbine-syndrome-new-republic/ , and Dr Hakan Enbom, Swedish Otoneurologist http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/enbom-h-infrasound-from-wind-turbines-can-trigger-migraine-and-related-symptoms/ 
Other conditions resulting in increased sensitivity to low frequency noise include autism spectrum disorders http://waubrafoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/World-Autism-Day-wind-turbines-children-NA-PAW-2–4-13.pdf
Gage et al 2003 Cortical sound processing in children with autism disorder: an MEG investigation http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~cnllab/Gage_etal_2003a.pdf
Article 1 of the UN Convention against Torture specifically refers to discrimination http://waubrafoundation.org.au/resources/un-convention-against-torture/

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