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Resource Documents: VAD (13 items)


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:  August 8, 2007
Health, Noise, PortugalPrint storyE-mail story

In-Home Wind Turbine Noise Is Conducive to Vibroacoustic Disease

Author:  Alves-Pereira, Mariana; and Castelo Branco, Nuno

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


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Date added:  July 16, 2007
Health, Noise, Poland, PortugalPrint storyE-mail story

Low frequency noise legislation

Author:  Alves-Pereira, Mariana; Motylewski, Jersy; Kotlicka, Elzbieta; and Castelo Branco, Nuno

Paper accepted for Inter-noise 2007, 28-31 August, Istanbul, Turkey

Abstract: Legislation regarding low frequency noise (LFN, <500 Hz including infrasound), when existent, is highly deficient. Not only is it expressed in dBA, actually defeating the purpose of evaluating LFN, but no concrete measures are prescribed if excessive LFN is identified. The status quo notion that acoustical phenomena are only harmful when perceived by humans cannot be sustained given current scientific facts. The purpose of this report is to demonstrate just how inadequate legislation is regarding LFN control, and how ubiquitous LFN is in locations common to the general public. Methods. Noise assessments were conducted in homes, clubs, public transportation and common automobiles, in 1/3 octave bands and with a lower limiting frequency of 6.3 Hz, measured in dBLin. Overall average noise levels are reported in both dBA and dBLin. Results. Comparative frequency analysis among acoustic environments that possess the same dBA levels show that it is not scientifically valid to presume the existence of comparable acoustic environments merely based on a dBA level, i.e., equal dBA levels does not mean equal acoustic environments. Neither the dBA nor the dBLin parameter adequately reflect the presence of LFN components. Discussion. LFN is ubiquitous in modern society, and yet it is not adequately legislated. Noise-related studies do not take LFN in account and thus yield results that are deemed controversial, contradictory, and inconclusive. No effort is made to control LFN in the homes, nor in other locations of common use to the general public. The implications of ignoring LFN as an agent of disease for the public health is detrimental to us all as a human society, and a nightmare for future generations.

Download original document: “Low frequency noise legislation

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Date added:  July 16, 2007
Health, Noise, PortugalPrint storyE-mail story

Public health and noise exposure

Author:  Alves-Pereira, Mariana; and Castelo Branco, Nuno

Paper accepted for Inter-noise 2007, 28-31 August, Istanbul, Turkey

Abstract: Noise exposure is known to cause hearing loss and a variety of disturbances, such as annoyance, hypertension and loss of sleep. It is generally accepted that these situations are caused by the acoustical events processed by the auditory system. However, there are acoustical events that are not necessarily processed by the auditory system, but that nevertheless cause harm. Infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN, <500Hz) are acoustical phenomena that can impact the human body causing irreversible organic damage to the organism, but that do not cause classical hearing impairment. Acoustical environments are normally composed of all types of acoustical events: those that are processed by the auditory system, and those that are not. It is generally assumed that acoustical phenomena not captured by the human auditory system are not harmful. This is reflected by current noise assessment procedures that merely require the quantification of the acoustical phenomena that are audible to human hearing (hence the dBA unit). Thus, studies investigating the effects of noise exposure on public health that do not take into account the entire spectrum of acoustical energy are misleading and may, in fact, be scientifically unsound. Two cases of in-home ILFN are described [one of them near 4 wind turbines].

Download original document: “Public health and noise exposure

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Date added:  June 10, 2007
Health, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Vibroacoustic Disease

Author:  Castelo Branco, Nuno; and Alves-Pereira, Mariana

Noise & Health 2004; 6(23): 3-20

Vibroacoustic disease (VAD) is a whole-body, systemic pathology, characterized by the abnormal proliferation of extra-cellular matrices, and caused by excessive exposure to low frequency noise (LFN). VAD has been observed in LFN-exposed professionals, such as aircraft technicians, commercial and military pilots and cabin crewmembers, ship machinists, restaurant workers, and disk-jockeys. VAD has also been observed in several populations exposed to environmental LFN. This report summarizes what is known to date on VAD, LFN-induced pathology, and related issues.

In 1987, the first autopsy of a deceased VAD patient was performed. The extent of LFN-induced damage was overwhelming, and the information obtained is, still today, guiding many of the associated and ongoing research projects. In 1992, LFN-exposed animal models began to be studied to gain a deeper knowledge of how tissues respond to this acoustic stressor.

In both human and animal models, LFN exposure causes thickening of cardiovascular structures. Indeed, pericardial thickening with no inflammatory process, and in the absence of diastolic dysfunction, is the hallmark of VAD. Depressions, increased irritability and aggressiveness, a tendency for isolation, and decreased cognitive skills are all part of the clinical picture of VAD. LFN is a demonstrated genotoxic agent, inducing an increased frequency of sister chromatid exchanges in both human and animal models. The occurrence of malignancies among LFN-exposed humans, and of metaplastic and dysplastic appearances in LFN-exposed animals, clearly corroborates the mutagenic outcome of LFN exposure.

The inadequacy of currently established legislation regarding noise assessments is a powerful hindrance to scientific advancement. VAD can never be fully recognized as an occupational and environmental pathology unless the agent of disease – LFN – is acknowledged and properly evaluated. The worldwide suffering of LFN-exposed individuals is staggering and it is unethical to maintain this status quo.

Go to original article: “Vibroacoustic Disease

See these authors’ 2007 press release announcing their finding that wind turbines cause vibroacoustic disease.

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