November 16, 2007
Letters, Wisconsin

Effects of wind turbine noise a real cause for concern

We all agree: Renewable energy is needed. The disagreement comes when one side believes anything goes as long as it’s “renewable” or can make them money.

The other side thinks renewable is fine as long as it first doesn’t hurt the health and safety of those near it.

Educate yourself to the many areas of concern. At a Town of Chilton Board meeting Oct. 29, the hall was filled. Rick James with ECoustic Solutions in Michigan gave a challenging lesson in low-frequency sounds produced by turbines.

The crowd learned that a 5-decibel increase in noise was not a simple five-unit increase. It’s not adding 5 bushels of corn to 10 to make 15 bushels, Instead, a decibel is a logarithmic unit that describes a ratio. So a small number can describe a very big ratio in sound.

The crowd also learned that, at certain sound levels, internal organs can vibrate. The body responds by growing fibers to hold organs in place. Search papers from the recent International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise in Lyon, France, and you can find research presented into vibro-acoustic disease.

Low-frequency noise, the type produced by industrial wind turbines, produces collagen growth in arteries. Thickening of the sac surrounding the heart was found in individuals exposed to low-frequency noise. What will this do to developing fetuses? How will this affect us, our children and grandchildren, along with cattle, wildlife and other animals?

One turbine can affect each home and homeowner differently, depending on the home shape grid location. When sound waves from two turbines meet, a “thud” results. What will result when many sound waves collide?

There is much to learn and much reason for concern.

Anita Popp,


Appleton Post-Crescent

16 November 2007

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