Wind Turbine Syndrome?

I have heard a few clangers in my time, but now I have heard them all.  A book is about to be released by Dr Nina Pierpont from NY, USA, titled (you guessed it) Wind Turbine Syndrome.  Here is a quote from her website;

“Wind Turbine Syndrome is the clinical name I have given to the constellation of symptoms experienced by many (though not all) people who find themselves living near industrial wind turbines: sleep problems (insomnia), headaches, dizziness, unsteadiness, nausea, exhaustion, anxiety, anger, irritability, depression, memory loss, eye problems, problems with concentration and learning, tinnitus (ringing in the ears). As industrial windplants proliferate close to people’s homes and anywhere else people regularly congregate (schools, nursing homes, places of business, etc.), Wind Turbine Syndrome likely will become an industrial plague.”


Have a look at this report from an extremely credible source (not) on YouTube if you don’t believe me.


Hey, I could be proved wrong, and the good Doctor Nina may have stumbled upon something with her research, but I think I would rather live next to a wind turbine farm, rather than a coal, gas or nuclear power plant, wouldn’t you?  I have a feeling in my water that this research may be subsidised by some vested interest in keeping the fossil fuel industry alive and kicking.  Make up your own mind, I have already!

Comments

  1. says

    I don’t know Gavin – one of those experts was wearing a white coat – that’s pretty convincing.
    Suspect you are right – this sort of tactic smacks of an increasingly desperate fossil fuel industry. Can you imagine how many Americans are living under or close to high voltage power lines which pose much more of a credible health risk.
    Flicker effect from turbines – what a crock of shit!
    James

  2. says

    I had only just heard of this last Friday from a woman who was making false statements and worries about wind turbines. In my effort to debunk her radical claims (i.e. they run on oil, they use more energy than they make, they kill birds, etc.) I did some in depth research to answer all of her myths credibly. Well, I came across the syndrome issue and well, this doctor really didn’t use good research skills. The National Health Service, located in the UK, has a nice little article about it found here: http://www.nhs.uk/news/2009/08August/Pages/Arewindfarmsahealthrisk.aspx

    I guess anything is possible, especially people prone to things like seizures, but at this point, with only one study done in which the whole design was weak and lacking controls, I would call this a myth based on “junk science”.

  3. Anonymous says

    I get infuriated every time I hear these ridiculous claims and people objecting to wind farms. Solar and wind compliment eachother beautifully.
    You could well be right about vested interests stirring the pot against them. I’d say owners of coal powered generators or coal mines would be very concerned about the uptake of windpower.
    I think the simplest way to debunk these myths is to look at holland.
    They’ve been using windmills on a large scale for hundreds of years and I never heard a dutchman make the kind of claims detractors are now making.

  4. says

    I call that “Made Up Syndrome Syndrome”, or MUSS. It affects otherwise unremarkable and unknown doctors, who feel the need to get noticed and leave a mark on their profession before retiring. Or sell a bunch of books and consulting.

    Those are all everyday complaints that millions of people worldwide will identify with, whether they live near turbines or not.

    The sad thing is that the way modern news outlets work, this person is going to get their 15 minutes of fame.

  5. says

    “sleep problems (insomnia), headaches, dizziness, unsteadiness, nausea, exhaustion, anxiety, anger, irritability, depression, memory loss, eye problems, problems with concentration and learning, tinnitus (ringing in the ears).”

    I dunno. That sounds just like life in the average over-developed, industrial nation, with some road range thrown in gratis, to me.

  6. says

    Grist had something to say about the claims of “peer review” here: http://www.grist.org/tags/Nina+Pierpont/

    Though my favourite is from the article here:
    http://this.org/magazine/2009/07/17/wind-turbine-syndrome-strong-feelings/

    “But while WTS is short on solid science, some work has been done on the impact of wind turbine noise. One 2007 study out of Sweden found that out of 754 residents who lived an average of 780 metres from turbines, the only issue significantly correlated with turbine noise was annoyance (and that at only about 4 percent).”

    The only significant issue was annoyance!! Maybe the symptoms of WTS are actually a side-effect of suppressed annoyance and/or rage?

  7. says

    I have all of those symptoms, so where is my bloody wind turbine?

    If I’m going to suffer the side effects, I could at least reap the benefits.

    Stupid woman.

  8. says

    LOL — no doubt it’s due to the EMF generated *rolls eyes* Sorry randomplantings, the only danger near high voltage lines is accidental contact with them.

  9. Rucio says

    Geoff, In the Swedish study you quote a quote from, the average sound level at the respondents’ homes was 33.4 ± 3.0 dBA. It is no wonder the annoyance level, let alone more serious health effects, was so low. The proposed environmental guidelines in Ontario aim at 40 dBA, and the smallest setback must be 550 m, compared with the average 780 ± 233 m distance of the Swedish study. Furthermore, the Swedish study includes turbines down to 500 kW in size, which are much smaller than the 1.5-3 MW size being built today.

  10. says

    Wow! An “expert” in a white coat! Looks professional enough to be selling Clinique makeup to me!

    What a load of rubbish. They can build one of those things in my suburb any time.

    And yes, you have that in writing :-D

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