Abstract of paper to be presented at the Wind Turbine Noise Conference 2007 , Lyon, France, September 20-21, 2007:
Introduction. This team has been systematically studying the effects of infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN, <500 Hz) in both human and animal models since 1980. Recently, yet another source of ILFN has appeared: wind turbines (WT). Like many other ILFN-generating devices, WT can greatly benefit humankind if, and only if, responsible and intelligent measures are taken for their implementation. Vibroacoustic disease (VAD) is the pathology that is acquired with repeated exposures to ILFN environments (occupational, residential or recreational). This can be considered a scientific fact because there are 27 years of valid and robust scientific data supporting this assertion.
Goal. To evaluate if ILFN levels obtained in a home near WT are conducive to VAD.
Methodology. Case 1: documented in 2004, in-home ILFN levels generated by a port grain terminal, 2 adults and a 10-year-old child diagnosed with VAD. Case 2: isolated farm in agricultural area, four 2MW WT that began operation in Nov 2006, located between 300 m [984 feet] and 700 m [2297 feet] from the residential building, 3 adults and 2 children (8 and 12-years-old). ILFN levels of Case 2 were compared to those in Case 1. In both, ILFN was assessed in 1/3 octave bands, without A-weighting, (i.e. in dB Linear). In Case 1, the lower limiting frequency was 6.3 Hz, while in Case 2, it was 1 Hz.
Results. ILFN levels in the home of Case 2 were higher than those obtained in the home of Case 1.
Discussion. ILFN levels contaminating the home of Case 2 are amply sufficient to cause VAD. This family has already received standard diagnostic tests to monitor clinical evolution of VAD. Safe distances from residences have not yet been scientifically established, despite statements by other authors claiming to possess this knowledge. Acceptance, as fact, of statements or assertions not supported by any type of valid scientific data, defeats all principles on which true scientific endeavor is founded. Thus, widespread statements claiming no harm is caused by in-home ILFN produced by WT are fallacies that cannot, in good conscience, continue to be perpetuated. In-home ILFN generated by WT can lead to severe health problems, specifically, VAD. Therefore, real and efficient zoning for WT must be scientifically determined, and quickly adopted, in order to competently and responsibly protect Public Health.
Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira
ERISA-Lusofona University, Lisbon, Portugal
Nuno A. A. Castelo Branco, M.D.
Center for Human Performance, Alverca, Portugal