Wind turbines could trigger dangerous epileptic fits and seizures according to two leading university professors today.
Already criticised as a blot on the landscape and a threat to wildlife, giant commercial windmills could pose a serious risk to health, say experts who have been studying turbines and their effects.
They claim that the more blades a turbine has and the faster it turns, the more likely it is to trigger a seizure for people who suffer from photosensitivity.
Prof Arnold Wilkins from the psychology department of the University of Essex and Prof Graham Harding, an expert on photosensitive epilepsy from the University of Aston, urge that the “flicker” of turbine blades is considered when planning permission is granted to build the structures.
Large blade turbines, that can be up to 100 metres tall, usually rotate at between 30 and 60 revolutions a minute but smaller models rotate faster and have more blades. They can operate at between 30 and 300 revolutions a minute, making their flicker within the range at which seizures are likely.
The scientists calculated that anyone at risk would need to stay at least four kilometres away from a turbine to avoid triggering an attack.
29 April 2008
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