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Proposed theory to explain some adverse physiological effects of the infrasonic emissions at some wind farm sites

Summary
For at least four decades there have been reports in scientific literature of people being made ill by low-frequency sound and infrasound. In the last several years there has been an increasing number of such reports with respect to wind turbines, which corresponds, obviously, to their becoming more prevalent. A study in Shirley, Wisconsin [1], has led to interesting findings that include: (1) for major effects, it appears that the source must be at a very low frequency, about 0.8 Hz and below with maximum effects at about 0.2 Hz; (2) the largest, newest wind turbines are moving down in frequency into this range; (3) the symptoms of motion sickness and wind turbine acoustic emissions “sickness” are very similar; and (4) it appears that the same organs in the inner ear, the otoliths, may be central to both conditions. Given that the same organs may produce the same symptoms, one explanation is that the wind turbine acoustic emissions may, in fact, induce motion sickness in those prone to this affliction. Finally, It is shown that the probability that sensitivity to motion sickness and sensitivity to wind turbine acoustic emissions are unrelated is less than 2 in 1,000,000.

Presented at the 5th International Conference on Wind Turbine Noise, Denver, 28-30 August 2013

Paul D. Schomer
James Boyle
Pranav Pamidighantam

Schomer and Associates, Champaign, Illinois

John Erdreich
Erdreich Forensic Acoustics, Edison, New Jersey

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