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Resource Documents by Salt, Alec

Salt, Alec; and Lichtenhan, Jeffery
How Does Wind Turbine Noise Affect People? 
Introduction Recent articles in Acoustics Today have reviewed a number of difficult issues concerning wind turbine noise and how it can affect people living nearby (Leventhall 2013, Schomer 2013; Timmerman 2013). Here we present potential mechanisms by which effects could occur. The essence of the current debate is that on one hand you have the well-funded wind industry 1. advocating that infrasound be ignored because the measured levels are below the threshold of human hearing, allowing noise levels to be . . . Complete article »

Salt, Alec; Lichtenhan, Jeffery; Gill, Ruth; and Hartsock, Jared
Large endolymphatic potentials from low-frequency and infrasonic tones in the guinea pig 
Abstract Responses of the ear to low-frequency and infrasonic sounds have not been extensively studied. Understanding how the ear responds to low frequencies is increasingly important as environmental infrasounds are becoming more pervasive from sources such as wind turbines. This study shows endolymphatic potentials in the third cochlear turn from acoustic infrasound (5 Hz) are larger than from tones in the audible range (e.g., 50 and 500 Hz), in some cases with peak-to-peak amplitude greater than 20 mV. These large potentials were suppressed . . . Complete article »

Salt, Alec; and Lichtenhan, Jeffery
Responses of the Inner Ear to Infrasound 
Abstract: Unweighted sound measurements show that wind turbines generate high levels of infrasound. It has been wrongly assumed that if subjects cannot hear the infrasound component of the noise then they cannot be affected by it. On the contrary, the mammalian ear is highly sensitive to infrasound stimulation at levels below those that are heard. Most aspects of responses to infrasound are far from well established. Measurements made within the endolymphatic system of the cochlea show responses that become larger, . . . Complete article »

Salt, Alec; and Lichtenhan, Jeffery
Letter to Victoria Dept. of Health re: physiologic effects of inaudible sound 
This letter is to express our deepest disappointment with the lack of objectivity in the recent report from the Victoria Department of Health “Wind Farms, Sound and Health: Technical Information”. There are a number of false statements in your report. One severe example is “… the available evidence does not support claims that inaudible sounds can have direct physiological effects”. Below we have provide citations to six publications from our group where we showed how the ear responds to low frequency . . . Complete article »

Salt, Alec; and Kaltenbach, James
Infrasound From Wind Turbines Could Affect Humans 
Abstract Wind turbines generate low-frequency sounds that affect the ear. The ear is superficially similar to a microphone, converting mechanical sound waves into electrical signals, but does this by complex physiologic processes. Serious misconceptions about low-frequency sound and the ear have resulted from a failure to consider in detail how the ear works. Although the cells that provide hearing are insensitive to infrasound, other sensory cells in the ear are much more sensitive, which can be demonstrated by electrical recordings. . . . Complete article »

Salt, Alec; and Lichtenhan, Jeffery
Perception-based protection from low-frequency sounds may not be enough 
Abstract. Hearing and perception in the mammalian ear are mediated by the inner hair cells (IHC). IHCs are fluid-coupled to mechanical vibrations and have been characterized as velocity-sensitive, making them quite insensitive to low-frequency sounds. But the ear also contains more numerous outer hair cells (OHC), which are not fluid coupled and are characterized as displacement sensitive. The OHCs are more sensitive than IHCs to low frequencies and respond to very low-frequency sounds at levels below those that are perceived. . . . Complete article »

Salt, Alec
Why pro-wind studies often use a 10 km radius 
Last week I was reading of an Australian study, by a Professor Gary Wittert, which had shown sleeping pill usage for those living near wind turbines was no greater than the general population . The study compared those living within 10 km of turbines with those living more than 10 km away. There have been similar studies with property values using a 5 mile or 10 km radius that showed property values are not affected by wind turbines. Had you . . . Complete article »

Salt, Alec
Wind Turbines Are Hazardous to Human Health 
From Dr. Salt’s web site: Complete article »

Salt, Alec
Infrasound: Your ears “hear” it but they don’t tell your brain 
Presentation by Alec N. Salt, PhD, Department of Otolaryngology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, at the Symposium on Adverse Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines, Picton, Ontario, October 29-31, 2010. [Download a PDF of the presentation slides from the link at end of this article.] Wind turbines generate infrasound. Wind turbine infrasound is at levels that cannot be heard. Widely cited interpretations: “If you cannot hear a sound … it does not affect you.” – Leventhall G. . . . Complete article »

Salt, Alec; and Hullar, Timothy
Responses of the ear to low frequency sounds, infrasound and wind turbines 
Abstract Infrasonic sounds are generated internally in the body (by respiration, heartbeat, coughing, etc) and by external sources, such as air conditioning systems, inside vehicles, some industrial processes and, now becoming increasingly prevalent, wind turbines. It is widely assumed that infrasound presented at an amplitude below what is audible has no influence on the ear. In this review, we consider possible ways that low frequency sounds, at levels that may or may not be heard, could influence the function of . . . Complete article »

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