What is Bisphenol A?
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical produced in large quantities for use primarily in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.
“Bisphenol A is the most toxic substance we know’ —Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
New EU Hazard Classes 2023
• Endocrine disruption for human health
• Very persistent, very bioaccumulative
• Endocrine disruption for the environment
• Very persistent, very mobile
Avoid release to the environment!
A different process takes place on the trailing edge leading to cracks running a significant part of the blade length.
Blade tip speed is in excess of 200 mph; larger turbines suffer worse vibration.
What materials are used?
Most blades are made with fibreglass-reinforced polyester or epoxy. Carbon fibre or aramid (Kevlar) is also used as reinforcement material. Nowadays, the possible use of wood compounds, such as wood-epoxy or wood-fibre-epoxy, is being investigated.
How is maintenance carried out?
There are two types of maintenance: preventative and corrective. The former consists of periodic inspections to determine the condition of the blades and identify any damage. These checks are made using different techniques – from the ground, with high-precision telephoto lenses, climbing the blades with ropes, cranes or lifting platforms and remotely, by using drones. Corrective maintenance meanwhile consists of the repair or reconstruction of the blades and nacelles to correct any damage that appears, both on the surface and within the structure.
How are the blades repaired?
Wind turbine blades can suffer cracks, damage caused by the impact of lightning and birds or openings in the leading or trailing edge, among other damage. The repair tasks are performed by workers at height, who hang from the blades with ropes or are lifted up to them on suspended platforms. At present, alternative repair and cleaning systems, such as drones, are being looked into to prevent operators from having to climb up to the turbines.
While manufacturers are frantically seeking the ‘re-cycleable’ turbine blade, today the majority end up in landfills where Bisphenol A is leached out into groundwater.
Nearly 120 wind turbines catch fire each year, according to research in 2014 – ten times the number reported by the industry. The figures, compiled by engineers at Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh, make fire the second-largest cause of accidents after blade failure. 4 Aug 2022
How Much Bisphenol A?
Method A: (German EPA Report, updated for 2023)
• The EU produces some 347,000 tons of Bisphenol A.
• 15% of this goes into wind turbine blade production as epoxy resin so 52,050 tons pa, of which 12.39 tons pa is calculated as emissions.
• 23% of the EU fleet of turbines is in the UK (WindEurope)
Method B: (Danish EPA Report based on manufacturer’s figures)
• 4,400 wind turbines in Denmark produce 0.66 tons of microplastics, so 11,000 in UK produce 1.650 tons pa of which 30 to 40 % is Bisphenol A
It really does not matter which method you believe:
• 1 kg of Bisphenol A makes 10 billion litres of water unusable.
• 7 kg of Bisphenol A would make LLyn Celyn unusable.
The Civil Aviation Authority suggests the turbulent zone from wind turbines is 5 x the diameter of the base. That can therefore be considered the direct fall out zone ito which microplastics are carried.
The leaching of Bisphenol A from microplastics is a well known process that is dependent on pH and temperature.
Leaching is known to be accelerated in acidic conditions. This is one of the reasons it is so dangerous by ingestion.
Peat is an acidic environment!
Health & Bisphenol A
In April 2023, EFSA published a re-evaluation of BPA’s safety, significantly reducing the tolerable daily intake (TDI) set in its previous assessment in 2015.
At the time, the TDI was made temporary as EFSA’s scientists identified a number of data gaps and uncertainties, which they committed to reassess when new data became available, in particular a two-year chronic study from the US National Toxicology Program research programme.
Based on all the new scientific evidence assessed, EFSA’s experts established a TDI of 0.2 nanograms (0.2 billionths of a gram) per kilogram of body weight per day, replacing the previous temporary level of 4 micrograms (4 millionths of a gram) per kilogram of body weight per day.
While there are many other sources Bisphenol A, there is no more potent unregulated delivery system to spread toxins into the environment.
For farmers – Routine blood testing, quarantine, and slaughter of livestock, if recovery is not possible. (West Coast of Jutland, Denmark, confirmed by Danish EPA)
“Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the endocrine system, which isresponsible for regulating hormones in the body. This disruption can lead to a wide range of adverse health effects, including developmental and reproductive issues, metabolic disorders, and even cancer” —EC Regulation 2023/707
Far from saving future generations, wind turbines could prevent them!
Download original document: “Bisphenol A Pollution from Wind Turbines”
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