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Resource Documents: Health (489 items)

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Unless indicated otherwise, documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are shared here 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. • The copyrights reside with the sources indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations.


Date added:  October 15, 2022
Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Pre-Sleep Cognitive Arousal and Sleep Misperception

Author:  Sharman, Rachel; et al.

Pre-Sleep Cognitive Arousal Is Negatively Associated with Sleep Misperception in Healthy Sleepers during Habitual Environmental Noise Exposure: An Actigraphy Study

Abstract – Specific noises (e.g., traffic or wind turbines) can disrupt sleep and potentially cause a mismatch between subjective sleep and objective sleep (i.e., “sleep misperception”). Some individuals are likely to be more vulnerable than others to noise-related sleep disturbances, potentially as a result of increased pre-sleep cognitive arousal. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationships between pre-sleep cognitive arousal and sleep misperception. Sixteen healthy sleepers participated in this naturalistic, observational study. Three nights of sleep were measured using actigraphy, and each 15-s epoch was classified as sleep or wake. Bedside noise was recorded, and each 15-s segment was classified as containing noise or no noise and matched to actigraphy. Participants completed measures of habitual pre-sleep cognitive and somatic arousal and noise sensitivity. Pre-sleep cognitive and somatic arousal levels were negatively associated with subjective–objective total sleep time discrepancy (p < 0.01). There was an association between sleep/wake and noise presence/absence in the first and last 90 min of sleep (p < 0.001). These results indicate that higher levels of habitual pre-sleep arousal are associated with a greater degree of sleep misperception, and even in healthy sleepers, objective sleep is vulnerable to habitual bedside noise.

Rachel L. Sharman, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.
Michael L. Perlis, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Célyne H. Bastien, École de Psychologie, Université Laval, and Centre de Recherche CERVO, Québec, Québec, Canada
Nicola L. Barclay, Jason G. Ellis, and Greg J. Elder, Northumbria Sleep Research, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.

Published: 24 February 2022. Clocks & Sleep 2022, 4(1), 88-99; doi:10.3390/clockssleep4010010

Download original document: “Pre-Sleep Cognitive Arousal Is Negatively Associated with Sleep Misperception in Healthy Sleepers during Habitual Environmental Noise Exposure: An Actigraphy Study

Pre-Sleep Cognitive Arousal Is Unrelated to Sleep Misperception in Healthy Sleepers When Unexpected Sounds Are Played during Non–Rapid Eye Movement Sleep: A Polysomnography Study

Abstract – Background: It is well-established that environmental noise can disrupt sleep, and cause a mismatch between subjective and objective sleep, which is known as “sleep misperception”. Naturalistic studies indicate that pre-sleep cognitive arousal and sleep misperception are associated in the context of noise. However, it is not known if this is the case when ecologically valid noises are specifically played during non–rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, which is susceptible to noise-related disruption. The present study evaluated if pre-sleep cognitive arousal was associated with sleep misperception in healthy normal sleepers, when unexpected ecologically valid common nocturnal noises were played during NREM sleep. Methods: Eighteen healthy sleepers (Mage = 23.37 years, SDage = 3.21 years) participated. Sleep was measured objectively on three consecutive nights using polysomnography, in a sleep laboratory environment, and subjectively, through participant estimates of total sleep time (TST). Night 1 was a baseline night where no noises were played. On Night 2, noises, which were chosen to be representative of habitual nocturnal noises heard in home environments, were played to participants via in-ear headphones after 5 min of objective sleep. Results: Unexpectedly, habitual pre-sleep cognitive arousal was not associated with subjective–objective TST discrepancy on Night 2. Conclusions: These results suggest that in healthy sleepers, when ecologically valid noises are played unexpectedly during NREM sleep in an unfamiliar sleep laboratory environment the subjective experience of sleep is not associated with pre-sleep cognitive arousal, or negatively impacted by noise exposure.

Rachel L. Sharman, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.
Célyne H. Bastien, École de Psychologie, Université Laval, and Centre de Recherche CERVO, Québec, Québec, Canada
Michael L. Perlis, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Mark A. Wetherell, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.
Nicola L. Barclay, Nayantara Santhi, Jason G. Ellis, and Greg J. Elder, Northumbria Sleep Research, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.

Published: 9 September 2022. Brain Sciemces 2022, 12(9), 1220; doi:10.3390/brainsci12091220

Download original document: “Pre-Sleep Cognitive Arousal Is Unrelated to Sleep Misperception in Healthy Sleepers When Unexpected Sounds Are Played during Non–Rapid Eye Movement Sleep: A Polysomnography Study

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Date added:  September 7, 2022
Economics, Emissions, Environment, Health, Noise, Property valuesPrint storyE-mail story

Wind power harms the environment, fuels bad energy policies and poor investments

Author:  Gitt, Brian

I love the *idea* of wind power. It sounds natural. Clean. Moral. But in reality, wind power harms the environment & people—especially low-income people. The myths about wind power are fueling bad energy policies & poor investments. The facts make it all look ridiculous.

2/ MYTH: wind power helps the environment.

Wind power requires excessive mining & land use. It industrializes coastline & kills wildlife.

Nuclear & natural gas power plants reduce CO₂ emissions more effectively.

U.S. Energy Information Administration: “Electric power sector CO2 emissions drop as generation mix shifts from coal to natural gas”

3/ Wind turbines are made from minerals, petrochemicals, & fossil fuels.

Building a single 2 MW windmill uses 187 tons of coal—the equivalent of 125 pickup trucks full of coal.

Vaclav Smil: “What I See When I See a Wind Turbine”

4/ Building a 100 MW wind farm requires 30,000 tons of iron ore, 50,000 tons of concrete & 900 tons of non-recyclable plastics for the blades—all mined, transported & produced with hydrocarbons.

5/ Wind farms need 360× more land to produce the same amount of energy as a nuclear power plant.

A 200 MW wind farm spans 13+ sq miles (36 sq km). A natural-gas power plant with the same generating capacity could fit onto a single city block.

Dave Merrill, Bloomberg: “The U.S. Will Need a Lot of Land for a Zero-Carbon Economy”

6/ Wind turbines threaten endangered whales & fisheries, & kill hundreds of thousands of birds every year.

Robert Bryce, Real Clear Energy: “The Sierra Club Loves Wind Turbines, Not Whales”

7/ Each wind turbine blade is over 165 feet (50 meters) long & is made from toxic materials that can’t be recycled & that are getting dumped in landfills.

Tens of thousands of these blades will eventually enter the waste stream.

Chris Martin, Bloomberg: “Wind Turbine Blades Can’t Be Recycled, So They’re Piling Up in Landfills”

8/ There are better ways of reducing climate risk.

The carbon footprint of an offshore wind farm is 3 times larger than the carbon footprint of a nuclear plant.

Building wind farms channels resources away from better ways of reducing climate risk like nuclear power.

9/ MYTH: Wind power helps people.

Households pay more for electricity where there are wind & solar mandates:

German households saw their energy bills increase by 34% between 2010-2020.

American households in CA pay 80% more, & 11% more in 28 other states with mandates.

10/ Lower-income people subsidize wind-power tax credits for the wealthy.

“We get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” —Warren Buffett

11/ The wind industry still needs subsidies even after billions in public handouts.

The US Treasury estimates the wind production tax credit will cost taxpayers ~$34 billion from 2020 to 2029. It’s by far the most expensive energy subsidy.

Chart created by @pwrhungry

12/ People who live near wind farms report sleep disturbances, headaches, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, blurry vision, irritability, & problems with concentration & memory.

Jeffery, Krogh, and Horner, Canadian Family Physician: “Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines”

13/ China takes up 7 spots among the world’s top 10 wind turbine manufacturers—where weak environmental regulations prevail & lower production costs are fueled by coal & cheap labor.

14/ Goldwind (2nd largest wind manufacturer in the world) has factories in China’s Xinjiang province, where hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs are working in slave labor conditions.

Jacob Fromer and Cissy Zhou, South China Morning Post: “As US moves to renewable energy, wind turbines from Xinjiang may get caught in political tempest”

15/ MYTH – We can build enough wind farms to meet our energy needs.

People hate living near wind farms.

The farms are loud & large (each is 400-700 ft tall (122-213 m).

They destroy views & hurt property values.

Robert Bryce, Center of the American Experiment: “Not in Our Backyard: Rural America is fighting back against large-scale renewable energy projects”

16/ Public backlash against wind farms is growing in the US & Europe.

Local governments have rejected over 317 US wind projects since 2015.

Renewable Energy Rejection Database, American Experiment: “US Governmental Entities That Moved to Reject or Restrict Wind Projects”

17/ Offshore wind farms sidestep some community conflicts but have other problems.

Building offshore farms is 3× more expensive than onshore.

They threaten endangered whales, fisheries, ocean views & industrialize the coastline.

18/ Wind turbines generate electricity only ~30% of the time because the wind doesn’t always blow.

Every megawatt of wind needs a megawatt of fossil fuel power (usually natural gas) as a backup.

19/ MYTH – Better tech will solve problems with wind power.

The Betz limit in physics caps the maximum efficiency for a wind turbine. At most, only 60% of the kinetic energy from wind can be used to spin the turbine & generate electricity.

20/ Not all tech innovation makes things cheaper.

Offshore wind is getting more expensive. The cost has been increasing by 15% whenever capacity doubles.

Renewable Energy Foundation: “Wind Power Economics – Rhetoric and Reality”

21/ Some people think we’ll be able to store surplus wind energy in batteries. But the world’s largest battery factory (Tesla’s Gigafactory) would need 1,000 years to make enough batteries for 2 days’ worth of US electricity demand. And batteries cost 200× more than natural gas.

22/ Wind farms break down often & don’t last long.

Equipment failures & declining performance make the cost of operating a 16+ yr old wind turbine prohibitive.

Onshore turbines lose 37% output & offshore turbines lose 50% output at 16 yrs.

Gordon Hughes, Renewable Energy Foundation: “Costs, Performance and Investment Returns for Wind Power”

23/ Myths about wind power are driving bad investments & policy decisions.

Dollars spent on them cause harm & suffering to the poorest among us–a high cost for false moral comfort.

Let’s build an energy system that maximizes human flourishing & minimizes environmental harm.

24/ What We Need To Do:

End subsidies & incentives for wind & solar.

Retire the dirtiest coal power plants.

Build new efficient natural gas power plants (and hydro and geothermal where possible).

Reform regulations & build nuclear power plants.

Invest in energy R&D.

Brian Gitt
Feb 15, 2022, Twitter (@BrianGitt)

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Date added:  February 11, 2022
Health, Netherlands, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Geluid van industriële windturbines: De relatie met gezondheid [Industrial wind turbine noise: the association with human health]

[English abstract] Climate targets will provide the Netherlands with more and higher industrial wind turbines that produce various ‘side effects’, including noise pollution and annoyance. Especially low-frequency noise and infrasonic vibrations can be detected more than 10 km away. In neighbouring residential areas, long-term exposure, especially at night, leads to sleep disturbances, with secondary symptoms, that may be associated with, for example, delay in cognitive development of children. More research is needed.

Jan A.P.M. de Laat, clinical physicist/audiologist, Audiologisch Centrum (KNO), LUMC, Leiden
Wilco Alteveer, civil engineer, Utrecht
A.J.J. (Ronald) Maas, non-practising vestibulologist, Louw Feenstra, ENT specialist and philosopher, afd. Keel-, neus- en oorheelkunde, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam
Sylvia van Manen, general practitioner and mental health care physician, Haspel Foundation, ’s-Hertogenbosch

Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 2021;165:D5999

Download original document: “Geluid van industriële windturbines: De relatie met gezondheid

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Date added:  January 3, 2022
Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Wind turbines and adverse health effects: Applying Bradford Hill’s criteria for causation by Anne Dumbrille, Robert McMurtry, and Carmen Krogh – ‘Big Noises: Tobacco and Wind’

Author:  Evans, Alun

In the absence of a direct means of assessing causality by experiment, Dumbrille, McMurtry, and Krogh [1] have resorted to the nine criteria devised [2] by the English Statistician, Austin Bradford Hill, to assign causality. They have applied them to the putative adverse health effects associated with wind farm noise and have found all nine to be upheld.

Bradford Hill’s outstanding contribution to Public Health, with Richard Doll, was assembling a cohort of 40,000 British Doctors to study the epidemic of lung cancer that emerged in the first half of the 20th century. They showed [3] extremely strong associations between the number of cigarettes smoked and the development of lung cancer and other diseases. These associations were well known to the Tobacco Industry, which had suppressed the scientific evidence for years [4], but eventually, the companies were made to apologize to the public [5]. For how long have the adverse health effects of wind turbine noise been known?

In 1967, a UNESCO publication discussed [6], “the dangers of sounds we cannot hear,” defining Infrasound as <30 Hz. By 1973, the Russians had defined safe upper limits for Infrasound (<20 Hz) in various settings [7]. In the 1980s, Kelley et al. investigated a single turbine in America where around 12% of families within 3 km were impacted by noise emissions [8]. The passage of the rotors past the turbine's supports caused low-frequency pressure pulsations to be directed into the complainants' dwellings. The situation was aggravated by a complex sound propagation process controlled by terrain and atmospheric focusing. The impulsiveness of the emitted low-frequency acoustic radiation was identified as a major problem. Various recommendations were made concerning noise reduction and as to how the low-frequency noise should be measured [9]. In the UK in 1990, The Batho (Noise Review Working Party) Report devoted [10] a single, important, page to low-frequency noise, observing that it could have a serious effect on the lives of those affected by it: “The noise may be inaudible to the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) and its measurement often requires sophisticated monitoring techniques.” It was stated that the normal A-weighted scale was not appropriate for its measurement, and the problem was a real one, recommending in bold, “that full support should be given to the current program of research.” In the UK in 2001, a Report on Low-Frequency Noise by Stanger was prepared for the UK's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [11]. It drew on the Batho Report but went much further. Two years later, when the British Prime Minister launched [12] his country's “Our Energy Future,” largely based on wind energy, there was no mention whatsoever of low-frequency noise. What had happened? Although all potential sources of renewable energy were being considered in the early 1980s, by the mid-1990s, wind energy was deemed paramount by the UK's Government [13]. In 1996, the Department of Trade and Industry, whose remit was to create the optimal environment for business success, with no brief for environmental protection, established The Working Group (WG) on Noise from Wind Turbines [14]. The WG brief was to identify noise levels thought to offer a reasonable degree of protection, without unreasonably restricting development. Of its 14 members, six were directly, and two indirectly, connected with the wind industry, three were civil servants and three EHOs, with no medical or planning input whatsoever. The impact of Low-Frequency Noise was discounted, so A-weighted noise measurements were recommended, and only turbines to a hub height of 32 m were considered [14]. The WG's chief concern was to promote wind energy, irrespective of its impacts on rural communities. This resulted in the highest night-time noise limits permitted anywhere. A proposed review 2 years after 1996 never took place. In 2011, a letter written by the CEO of the Danish wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, to the Danish Environment Minister, which was leaked and translated, asked why it was ... [15]

that Vestas does not just make changes to the wind turbines so that they make less noise? The simple answer is that at the moment it is simply not possible to do so, and it requires time and resources because presently we are at the forefront of what is technically possible for our large wind turbines, and they are the most efficient of all.

It seems that, in common with the tobacco industry, the wind industry was well aware that its products were inimical to health. The introduction of larger turbines is also problematic because the larger the turbines, the more noise they produce [16].

Over half a century ago, Hill wrote [17] that Public Health should be “ever striving for improved environmental quality with the accompanying reduction in disease morbidity and mortality.” We still have a long way to go to adequately protect people’s health from the impact of wind farm noise, as the authors’ findings have so amply demonstrated.

References

1. Dumbrille A, McMurtry RY, Krogh CM. Wind turbines and adverse health effects: Applying Bradford Hill’s criteria for causation. Environ Dis 2021;6:65-87.

2. Hill AB. The environment and disease: Association or causation? J R Soc Med 1965;589:295-300.

3. Stampfer M. New insights from the British Doctors Study: Risks for persistent smoking are substantially larger than previously suspected. Br Med J 2004;328:1507.

4. Brandt AM. Inventing conflicts of interest: A history of tobacco industry tactics. Am J Public Health 2012;102:63-71.

5. NBC News. Big tobacco finally tells the truth in court-ordered campaign; November 27, 2017. Available from: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/big-tobacco-finally-tells-truth-court-ordered-ad-campaign-n823136. [Last accessed on 2021 Nov 25].

6. Lehmann G. Noise and health. Paris, France: UNESCO Courier; 1967. p. 26-31.

7. Stepanov V. Biological effects of low frequency acoustic oscillations and their hygienic regulation. Moscow: State Research Center of Russia; 1967. p. 15. Available from: //docs.wind-watch.org/Stepanov-et-al-2003-infrasound.pdf. [Last accessed on 2021 Nov 26].

8. Kelley ND, McKenna HE, Hemphill RR, Etter CI, Garrelts RI, Linn NC. Acoustic noise associated with the MOD-1 wind turbine: Its source, impact, and control. Golden, Colorado, USA: Solar Energy Research Institute, a Division of Midwest Research Institute; 1985.

9. Kelley ND. A Proposed metric for assessing the potential of community annoyance from wind turbine low-frequency noise emissions. Colorado, USA: Presented at the Windpower’87 Conference and Exposition, San Francisco. Solar Energy Research Institute, a Division of Midwest Research Institute; 1987. Available from: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/legosti/old/3261.pdf.

10. Department of the Environment. Report of the Noise Review Working Party (Batho). London: HMSO; 1990. p. 27..

11. Stanger. Report: Low frequency noise: Technical research support for DEFRA Noise Programme; 2001.

12. Department of Trade and Industry. Our energy future – Creating a low carbon economy. London: HMSO; 2003.

13. Wilson JC. A history of the UK Renewable Energy Programme, 1974-88: Some social, political, and economic aspects. PhD Thesis. Glasgow, Scotland (Published privately): University of Glasgow; 2010.

14. Working Group on Noise from Wind Farms. The assessment and rating of noise from windfarms. ETSU-R-97 final report, Department of Trade and Industry.

15. Letter written by the CEO of the Danish wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, to the Danish Environment Minister; 2011. Available from: https://www.wind-watch.org/documents/letter-from-vestas-worried-about-regulation-of-low-frequency-noise/.

16. Møller H, Pedersen CS. Low-frequency noise from large wind turbines. J Acoust Soc Am 2011;129:3727-44.

17. Hill AB. Information on levels of environmental noise requisite to protect public health and welfare with an adequate margin of safety. Washington DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; 1974.

Alun Evans, Centre for Public Health, The Queen’s University of Belfast, Institute of Clinical Science B, Belfast, United Kingdom

Environmental Disease 2021, Vol. 6, Iss. 4, Pages 109-110. DOI: 10.4103/ed.ed_24_21

Download original document: “Wind turbines and adverse health effects

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