Is it the Turbines?

This summary helps you better understand whether or not it is the turbines that are making people sick.

People are affected differently

  • Some people develop new symptoms and others find that pre-existing medical conditions which have previously been well controlled become unstable or difficult to manage.
  • Some people develop symptoms immediately when they are exposed to operating wind turbines or other sources of low frequency noise and vibration, especially if they have a history of migraines, inner ear pathology, or motion sickness, such as seasickness or carsickness.
  • Others in the same household may not develop symptoms until months or even years afterwards.
  • And some people may not develop symptoms at all.

The value of personal health journals & acoustic data

The best way for residents to try and determine whether or not there is any direct correlation between their symptoms and sources of infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN) is to keep detailed personal health journals, and compare what happens when they are exposed to ILFN to what happens when they are not exposed. Full spectrum acoustic measurements together with detailed symptom diaries can also yield very useful information.

These problems are not new

Knowledge of these symptoms and their connections with physiological stress is not new to acoustics. British acoustician Professor Geoffrey Leventhall was the lead author in a literature review for the UK government in 2003, which summarised some of the relevant research available at the time. That document contains research listing many of the symptoms and sensations which were reported to medical practitioners such as Dr Amanda Harry, Dr David Iser and Dr Nina Pierpont, (see also peer reviews of Dr Pierpont’s research into Wind Turbine Syndrome) well before the Waubra Foundation was formed in 2010.

Longstanding knowledge of direct causation

There is also a body of acoustic research with respect to ILFN and vibration emissions generated by wind turbines and other sources of ILFN and their effects on people going back to the 1980s, commissioned by the US Government Department of Energy and conducted by scientists from NASA and other research organisations, particularly Neil Kelley and Harvey Hubbard

Recent “nocebo nonsense” vs longstanding acoustic research

It is therefore clear that these reported symptoms and sensations are not caused by publicity about them, as has been asserted frequently by the wind industry and its advocates in public health, who have called it variably “the nocebo effect” or a “communicated disease”.

Rather, the wind industry and its acousticians are well aware of the symptoms and their cause, which was shown by Kelley et al to be directly related to infrasound and low frequency noise in laboratory experiments generating the noise and testing the effects on volunteers. Kelley et al’s laboratory research was presented at a Windpower conference in 1987, jointly organised by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the US Government’s Department of Energy.