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Éoliennes, Sons et Infrasons: Effets de l’Éolien Industriel Sur La Santé des Hommes [Wind turbines, noise, and infrasound: effects of industrial wind energy on human health] 

Author:  | France, Health, Noise

Marjolaine Villey-Migraine, Docteur en sciences de l’information et de la communication, Université Paris II-Panthéon-Assas, Spécialiste de l’Information Scientifique et Technique (IST)

Décembre 2004

Made available by Vent de Colère

English excerpts (translated by National Wind Watch):

The Welsh Select Affairs Committee states on the subject of wind turbines, “In the case of existing wind energy facilities, we determine that there are cases of people who suffer nearly continuous noise when the wind turbines are operating, at levels that do not constitute a nuisance forbidden by law or exceeding regulated conditions, but that are clearly disturbing and disagreeable, and that can have psychological effects.”

We site the problems reported by English doctors following consultations with neighbors of wind turbines (clinical observations):

– Auditory and nervous fatigue
– Cardiac stress and arrhythmia
– Problems of anxiety and depression
– Effects on the quality and quantity of sleep …

Impact of infrasound on the human organism

The subject is very complex for many reasons:

– Research includes a large variety of approaches: physical sciences as well as experimental medicine – very separate disciplines, without a united view of the problem.

– Detection is difficult. It is in effect sometimes difficult to separate the activity of infrasound from that of audible sound and other elements of human pollution.

– The psychological character of some symptoms is difficult to understand in a rigorous manner.

– It affects some people but not others.

– It has different effects depending on exposure time, frequency (Hz), amplitude (dB), and distance from the source.

In a general way, it has been proven that infrasound that is able to be produced in a total silence has negative effects on human health. I cite symptoms:

– Central nervous system: fatigue, insomnia, sleep and rest problems

– Psyche: productivity problems, loss of concentration, nervousness, oppressed feeling, aggression, stress, anxiety, and global emotional and cognitive changes.

– Neurobiological system: incidents affecting balance, respiratory and cardiac rhythms, nausea – these problems would exist in cases of prolonged exposure. …

Exposures to 6-16 Hz at 10 dB are correlated with problems with alertness and sleep. At less than 20 dB, subjects exposed to infrasound suffer discomfort and experience pressure on the eardrums. …

Effects on human health of infrasound emitted by industrial wind turbines

There are meanwhile more and more clinical observations made by practicing physicians and that have been published by the national and medical press. They describe the following symptoms: visual problems, anguish, irritability, nausea, diarrhea, sleep and rest problems, humming in the ears, and depression. …

In Denmark, where wind turbines were introduced 30 years ago, the government responded to public demand by halting the installation of new wind turbines on land, particularly because of risks to health. …

In conclusion, wind turbines must not be sited less than 5 km (3.1 miles) from all habitation, because of the risks produced by infrasound.

Download original document: “Éoliennes, Sons et Infrasons

This material is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial educational 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. Queries e-mail.

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