Castelo Branco et al. Low Frequency Noise-Induced Pathology Contributions Provided by the Portuguese Wind Turbine Case

EuroNoise 2015, 31 May – 3 June, Maastricht

Nuno A. A. Castelo Branco, M.D., Mariana Alves-Pereira, Ph.D., Augusto Martinho Pimenta, M.D., José Reis Ferreira, M.D.


In November 2006, 4 Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT) were installed in the vicinity of a residential dwelling in Portugal. In March 2007, this team was contacted by the family requesting assistance in dealing with their Infrasound & Low Frequency Noise (ILFN) problem that they claimed was being generated by the IWT.

The family began legal proceedings for the removal of the IWT, and in September 2007, this team’s first report was presented at the 2nd International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise. In June 2010, a follow-up report of this case was presented at the 14th International Meeting on Low Frequency Noise and Vibration and its Control, wherein ILFN-induced pathology was confirmed through histology in this family’s thoroughbred horses.

The goal of this report is to provide second follow-up to this case, five years later.

1. Introduction

(Please see disclaimer notice provided at the end of this report.) Over the past 35 years, this team of scientists has studied the biological response to Infrasound & Low Frequency Noise (ILFN) exposure in both human populations [1-4] and laboratory animal models [5-7]. Initially prompted by the signs and symptoms observed among a population of aeronautical technicians [3], by the mid-1990’s, study populations included commercial airline pilots and flight attendants [8,9].

In 2001, the team began receiving complaints from families regarding ILFN in their homes [10], and subsequently the inquiry was widened to include residential exposures [11]. By 2007, this team had already accumulated a vast body of knowledge regarding the biological effects of ILFN exposure, including a clinical protocol for establishing the extent of ILFN-induced pathology [1,2,12]. It is within this context that private citizens worldwide have requested our assistance with their ILFN-related issues.

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