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Resource Documents: Noise (561 items)

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Also see NWW press release on noise

Documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are provided to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate.


Date added:  March 24, 2016
Japan, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Measurement of infrasound generated by wind turbine generator

Author:  Sugimoto, Takanao; Koyama, Kenji; Kurihara, Yosuke; and Watanabe, Kajiro

Abstract: This paper describes the development of a new sensor which uses a condenser microphone and a new system containing it as an element. The back of the microphone is covered with a seal chamber, which expands the frequency characteristic of the microphone to the infrasonic region. In addition, a windscreen is fitted to the sensor to reduce or eliminate wind noise. We developed a measurement system with this new sensor, installed it at a wind farm, and measured infrasound. The measurement results confirmed that the measurement system worked normally and could measure infrasound generated by wind turbines. Moreover, it was confirmed that the equivalent continuous sound level is highly correlated with the average rotor speed of a wind turbine.

Figure 7 shows the measurement result of October 25, 2007 19:16 as a sample, and Fig. 8 shows the result calculated by Eq. (2) and the calibration result of a G frequency weighting sound pressure level.

Sugimoto-Fig7

Sugimoto-Fig8

Figure 10 shows the relationship of the equivalent continuous sound level for 80 seconds (calculated from 240 measurement results by using Eq. (3)) and the average rotor speed.

Sugimoto-Fig9

Society of Instrument and Control Engineers Annual Conference 2008
August 20-22, 2008, University of Electro-Communications, Chofu, Tokyo, Japan

Download original document: “Measurement of infrasound generated by wind turbine generator”

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Date added:  March 23, 2016
Health, Japan, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Exposure-response relationship of wind turbine noise with self-reported symptoms of sleep and health problems: A nationwide socioacoustic survey in Japan

Author:  Kageyama, Takayuki; Yano, Takashi; Kuwano, Sonoko; Sueoka, Shinichi; and Tachibana, Hideki

Abstract: The association of wind turbine noise (WTN) with sleep and physical/mental health has not been fully investigated. To investigate the relationship of WTN with the prevalence of self-reported symptoms of sleep and health problems, a socioacoustic survey of 1079 adult residents was conducted throughout Japan (2010-2012): 747 in 34 areas surrounding wind turbine plants and 332 in 16 control areas. During face-to-face interviews, the respondents were not informed of the purpose of the survey. Questions on symptoms such as sleeplessness and physical/mental complaints were asked without specifying reasons. Insomnia was defined as having one or any combination of the following that occurs three or more times a week and bothers a respondent: Difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, premature morning awakening, and feeling of light overnight sleep. Poor health was defined as having high scores for health complaints, as determined using the Total Health Index, exceeding the criteria proposed by the authors of the index. The noise descriptor for WTN was LAeq,n outdoor, estimated from the results of actual measurement at some locations in each site. Multiple logistic analysis was applied to the LAeq,n and insomnia or poor health. The odds ratio (OR) of insomnia was significantly higher when the noise exposure level exceeded 40 dB, whereas the self-reported sensitivity to noise and visual annoyance with wind turbines were also independently associated with insomnia. OR of poor health was not significant for noise exposure, but significant for noise sensitivity and visual annoyance. The above two moderators appear to indicate the features of respondents who are sensitive to stimuli or changes in their homeostasis.

Noise Health. 2016 Mar-Apr;18(81):53-61.
doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.178478

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Date added:  March 5, 2016
Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Professional Caution to Brown County Health Department

Author:  Rand, Robert

I respectfully provide this letter in support of the many adversely impacted neighbors of Shirley Wind, and investigators and researchers including Richard James, Steven Cooper, Paul Schomer and colleagues who participated in the 2012 cooperative noise study at Shirley.

I understand that following receipt of numerous carefully submitted documents and letters of evidence, on December 15, 2015, Health Officer Chua Xiong stated:

“Presently, there is insufficient scientific evidence-based research to support the relationship between wind turbines and health concerns.”

Disbelieving that someone charged with protecting public health and welfare could issue such a dismissive statement following receipt of overwhelming direct evidence from neighbors and researchers who investigated Shirley, I waited for a couple of months in the chance that she might withdraw her statement. That hadn’t happened.

I am personally aware of the adverse health impacts having experienced them myself at Shirley. I had previously sent a detailed letter to Health Officer Xiong on September 30, 2015 providing an extensive summary of the health effects both observed and experienced directly during noise investigations at Shirley.

Health Officer Xiong apparently elected to completely disregard the information and professional experience obtained at personal health cost at Shirley and compiled and sent to her. She has apparently elected to disregard the enforcement powers authorized to her department, power which if exercised, could reduce or eliminate health harm. That tells me something is seriously wrong and neighbors are being endangered.

Under the INCE Rules Of Practice, I must notify appropriate authority if my professional judgment is being overruled under circumstances where the public safety, health, property or welfare are endangered. There is no question, and can be no question, that neighbors in the vicinity of the Shirley Wind Facility have reported serious adverse impacts when in proximity to the operating turbines which are alleviated when at sufficient distance.

Therefore I must provide to the Board this formal professional caution.

PROFESSIONAL CAUTION

I respectfully submit this professional caution as an interested party and Member of the Acoustical Society of America and the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, in response to the recent statement by Health Officer Xiong related to wind turbines and adverse health effects in the vicinity of the Shirley Wind Facility.

As a Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE), I am pledged to hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. I take these words and this responsibility seriously, as anyone who has worked with me will tell you.

Based on the findings and personal experiences of motion sickness at Shirley correlated to power output, I concur with the Board determination of Health Hazard. As an INCE Member I can find no credible rationale for permitting continued community exposure to the potential for motion sickness evidenced by the research and actual neighbor reports when wind turbines are operated at partial power or higher.

I hereby notify the Board that my professional judgment has been overruled by Brown County Health Officer Xiong with her statement of December 15, 2015.

On behalf of the neighbors and my colleagues who have worked hard to inform all parties, and in vigorous defense of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering members, principles, and ethical practices to protect public safety, health and welfare, I object in the most strenuous terms to the statement by Health Officer Xiong.

I must warn the Board that the choice of inaction appears certain to worsen, not lessen, the health impacts being reported in the vicinity of the Shirley Wind Facility in Brown County.

In my line of work, there is no excuse for harming neighbors; most certainly no excuse available to a health officer who should be held to an even higher standard of conduct.

Download original document: “Robert Rand letter and formal caution to Brown County Health Department”

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Date added:  February 27, 2016
Health, Human rights, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Speech for the Falmouth Rally, 27th February, 2016

Author:  Laurie, Sarah

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to your rally.

I first wish to pay tribute to the long suffering residents of Falmouth USA, who lived or are still living near the wind turbines owned by the town. These people have made an incredible contribution to our knowledge of wind turbine acoustics, wind turbine adverse health impacts, and have shown true human courage and compassion for others in a similar situation – both in their own country and further afield. We owe them, their acoustics and health professionals, and their supporters, a great debt of gratitude.

Their lived experiences, which are now very much in the public domain, in part because of their determination to fight for their legal and human rights, are a window on the incredible suffering which excessive intrusive wind turbine noise can cause. These people are just like you and me but have had to suffer intolerably and disgracefully because of gross government regulatory failure and corporate bastardry, deceit and greed.

They are simply trying to live their lives, free from the devastating adverse health effects resulting from what can only be described as an invasion of their home, resulting in acoustic trespass and noise nuisance, from pulsing infrasound and low frequency noise. These frequencies have been known to be harmful for over thirty years since the seminal research work by Dr Neil Kelley and his team from NASA and other research organisations.

Wind turbines are of course not the only source of this damaging sound energy, but once someone is sensitised, their body and brain don’t care what the source of the pulsing sound is – it is going to react anyway, at ever decreasing doses, until or unless they can remove themselves from that exposure. The only two options are turn off the noise OR move away.

It is not humanly possible to go for long without good quality sleep and remain unharmed and as you all probably know, sleep deprivation from repeated sleep disturbance is the commonest problem reported by most residents living near industrial wind power facilities. This inevitably results in exhaustion, and consequently serious and predictable adverse physical and mental health effects.

The Centers for Disease Control in America has recently stated the obvious – that insufficient sleep is a public health problem. Their website states the following:

“Sleep is increasingly recognized as important to public health, with sleep insufficiency linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational errors.1 Unintentionally falling asleep, nodding off while driving, and having difficulty performing daily tasks because of sleepiness all may contribute to these hazardous outcomes. Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.”

So why are the most commonly reported symptoms of wind turbine neighbours, ignored by the American Health Authorities? Where are the public health physicians?

Why has there not yet been even one detailed case study of one person, anywhere in the world, examining the full spectrum of acoustic exposures overnight, together with concurrent sleep study EEG and continuous heart rate monitoring?

The Waubra Foundation has been calling for this precise research for the last five years.

As you all no doubt know, US Acousticians Rob Rand and Steve Ambrose conducted the wonderful initial acoustic investigation in Falmouth, USA funded by the generosity of Bruce McPherson, which provided vitally important clues about the causes of the symptoms. This study is still of global importance, and is something which Falmouth residents should be very proud of.

Other acoustic investigators have followed, and made other significant contributions.

But where are the medical and public health investigators? They seem to be in hiding; either ignoring important research evidence in the case of Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council “expert panel” with members who had documented conflicts of interest, or in the case of Health Canada, deliberately choosing study designs which do not directly investigate the problems in the best possible way. For example any doctor knows that you do not make clinical judgements about someone’s blood pressure with a single once off measurement, yet that is what this Health Canada team did – with no concurrent measurement of the acoustic exposure at the time. You must repeat the measurement. This is junk science, and Health Canada know it, and are trying to hide it by dribbling the study results out slowly and in small “bites”, restricting access to the raw data and other results, making it very difficult for others to critically evaluate their results.

I applaud Falmouth Psychiatrist Dr William Hallstein for his professional integrity, courage, and honesty – advocating so strongly for his patients, to whom he owes a professional and ethical duty of care, which he clearly takes seriously. Others need to follow his example.

I also applaud Dr Nina Pierpont for her research, and her courage and integrity, and her work with Falmouth residents, helping them expose their stories to the public.

But where are their colleagues? Why the silence?

The silence of too many professionals, or indeed even active collusion with noise polluters to hide or ignore the evidence of serious harm, has allowed this serious abuse of the legal and human rights of residents in Falmouth, and indeed all over the world, to occur, and to continue.

But why are the public servants responsible for environmental health, planning and noise pollution regulation, seemingly so complicit with the harmful abuse of the rights of citizens?

Is it ignorance or incompetence?

Is it pure corruption?

Is it regulatory capture?

Is it ideological zealotry – an attitude that leads to the concept that people who are noise impacted from wind turbine noise are somehow acceptable “collateral damage”.

Is it fear of being ridiculed or ostracized by colleagues?

I am very glad that you are showing such open and public support for the impacted Falmouth residents today, and I join with you in demanding immediate change before any more damage is done to vulnerable citizens.

There must be full spectrum acoustic measurements inside and outside people’s homes, with the complete cooperation of the wind turbine operators so that on off testing can be performed to determine the true contribution of the wind turbines to the soundscape, and so the symptom triggers can be properly identified.

If the turbines are disturbing sleep, they must be turned off at night.

If health is being adversely impacted, there needs to be a resolution – two alternatives being property buy outs with compensation for nuisance, or wind turbines being deconstructed and removed. There are precedents for both.

Planning regulations and siting decisions must in future taken notice of empirical acoustic and health data and ensure there is sufficient buffer zone in order to protect people.

Its time people’s health, and their human rights are properly protected – in particular the right to attain the best possible physical and mental health.

That fundamental human right to the best possible health specified in most United Nations Human Rights instruments, is not possible if people cannot sleep.

Sarah Laurie, CEO Waubra Foundation

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