Letters / ‘Wind farm refugees’

In light of the report on the health impacts of wind farms summary (Viking Energy health impact report welcomed; SN 01/8/13), I would like to add the following.

As pointed out in the report, Colby and Leventhall  ‘Wind and Turbine Sound and Health Effects – an Expert Panel Review December ’09’ (also quoted from in the Viking Energy Planning addendum) dismissed the idea of ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’.


However NHS Choices conclude: “The review panel was commissioned by an industry group and included a variety of academic perspectives but not an epidemiologist.  Someone with this specific skill set should be included where environmental health hazards are assessed.  The link between psychological distress and physical symptoms has not been explored by this report and there was a lack of high level evidence on which to base any solid conclusions.”

Interestingly the link between chronic exposure to low frequency noise and chronic physiological stress even when asleep – was clearly highlighted by Dr Leventhall, an acoustician (Leventhall, Benton and Pelmear May 2003).


It is strange that this same Dr Leventhall (part of the Dec ’09 Expert Panel Review) has changed his tune by dismissing Wind Turbine Syndrome – but then considering he was by now a paid consultant to wind developers – hardly surprising.

Professors Moller and Pedersen have confirmed that larger more powerful wind turbines emit more LF (low frequency) sound waves as a proportion of their sound emissions. These easily penetrate through walls, roofs and windows. (Low Frequency Noise from Large Turbines, Acoustical Society America 2011)

Acoustic survey work in the USA (Ambrose, Stephen and Rand 2011) and in Australia (S Cooper Review NSW 2012) has confirmed that low frequency noise AND pulsatile infrasound emitted by wind turbines have been measured inside the homes and workplaces of sick people and occur when they are experiencing the symptoms of Wind Turbine Syndrome.


Chronic sleep deprivation and physical and mental stress are exactly what residents living near wind farms are experiencing directly correlating with acute exposure to this sound energy.  (D. Shepherd 2011)

Symptoms have been reported historically up to four kilometres from the nearest turbine and more recently characteristic symptoms have been reported at distances up to ten kilometres away from the nearest turbine.  (Waubra Foundation 2012)

These health problems consistently worsen over time until the exposure ceases.  The doctors treating these families advise them to leave their homes in order to regain their health.  Some have nowhere to go, they cannot sell their property and become homeless ‘wind farm refugees’.  Others remain trapped unable to move.  (Letter to Australian PM from Dr S. Laurie Waubra Foundation 2012)

So while Aaron Priest and Drew Ratter are gloating over Dr Taylor’s report, I can assure them that this is just a taster – I haven’t even started.

Evelyn Morrison