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Proposed Case Definition: Adverse Health Effects and Industrial Wind Turbines  

Author:  | Health

People are reporting adverse health effects associated with the onset of industrial wind turbine operations. The symptoms described are consistent globally.

The complexities of adverse health effects and industrial wind turbines and the methodological problems associated with its study indicate the need for a comprehensive, systematic, and integrated study of populations and victims.

Epidemiological and clinical evaluation is required including sleep studies of victims.

The Society for Wind Vigilance proposes this case definition to assist clinicians in the assessment of patients presenting with a complex set of symptoms related to industrial wind turbine operations.

As more knowledge is gained, this case definition will be modified.

The case definition is proposed as

  • living within 2.0 km of an industrial wind turbine facility
  • new or exacerbated symptoms and/or signs developing almost immediately to 3 months after the start-up of the industrial wind turbines
  • amelioration of symptoms and/or signs when removed from the zone of an industrial wind turbine facility by at least 5.0 km
  • recurrence of signs/symptoms when re-exposed to industrial wind turbines at 2.0 km or less

Commonest signs and symptoms are

  • sleep disturbance
  • loss of quality of life
  • stress or psychological distress
  • inner ear symptoms
  • headaches
  • excessive tiredness

Less common are

  • palpitations
  • high blood pressures
  • migraines
  • cognitive problems
  • gastrointestinal problems

Course: adverse health effects may worsen over time

Treatment: no direct treatment available other than leaving the environs of an industrial wind turbine facility

Other treatment: supportive or palliative

Approved by
Robert McMurtry, MD, FRCS(C), FACS
Michael A. Nissenbaum, MD
Roy D. Jeffery, MD, FCFP(Can)
Christopher Hanning, BSc, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP, FRCA, MD
John Harrison, Ph.D.
Richard James, INCE
David L. White, EET, CMBB
Brett Horner BA, CMA
Beth Harrington, BMUS
Carmen Krogh, BSc(Pharm)


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 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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