Prof Alec Salt — Wind Turbines Can be Hazadous to Human Health

Alec N. Salt, Ph.D., Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory, Washington University in St. Louis

Large wind turbines generate very low frequency sounds and infrasound (below 20 Hz) when the wind driving them is turbulent. The amount of infrasound depends on many factors, including the turbine manufacturer, wind speed, power output, local topography, and the presence of nearby turbines (increasing when the wake from one turbine enters the blades of another). The infrasound cannot be heard and is unrelated to the loudness of the sound that you hear.

To clarify, maximum stimulation of the ear with infrasound will occur inside your home, because the audible sound of the turbines is blocked by the walls of the house, but infrasound readily passes through tiny openings. Similarly, sleeping with one ear on a pillow will block audible sound to that ear but will not block the infrasound. In either case, the infrasound will be strongly stimulating the ear even though you will not be able to hear it.

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