For at least four decades, there have been reports in scientific literature of people experiencing motion sickness-like symptoms attributed to low-frequency sound and infrasound. In the last several years, there have been an increasing number of such reports with respect to wind turbines; this corresponds to wind turbines becoming more prevalent. A study in Shirley, WI, has led to interesting findings that include: (1) To induce 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; (4) and 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.
J Acoust Soc Am. 2015 Mar;137(3):1356.
doi: 10.1121/1.4913775 .
Paul D. Schomer
Pranav K. Pamidighantam
James H. Boyle
Schomer and Associates, Champaign, Illinois
Erdreich Forensic Acoustics, Edison, New Jersey
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