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Blood pressure rises  

Credit:  BY DAVID BUTLER, Goulburn Post, www.goulburnpost.com.au 2 February 2011 ~~

Collector residents have issued the latest in a stream of objections towards a proposed 80- turbine wind farm to be built across the ridgeline between Gunning and Collector.

South Australian GP Dr Sarah Laurie has joined community activist group Friends of Collector in its fight to stop the wind farm being built, with new claims that wind farms can cause higher blood pressure in nearby residents.

“People living up to 5km away from turbines have increased blood pressure as a result of infrasound, but not all are affected by it – we don’t know why,” Dr Laurie said.

“I am concerned that there have not been enough independent studies into it and I am concerned about chronic long-term exposure to children. There are some really serious questions arising from it,” she said.

Although the proposed wind farm has not yet been granted planning approval by the state government, some local residents are becoming more organised in their opposition to the project, forming the new community group ‘Friends of Collector’.

Local resident and chairman of Friends of Collector Tony Hodgson called for the development to be scrapped.

“We are not opposed to renewable energy – just wind farms because of their impacts,” Mr Hodgson said.

“We call on (wind farm proponent) Transfield to scrap its wind farm project and build a major solar farm here just as has just been announced…for Bungendore only 20km away.”

“We are also greatly concerned about the negative health effects, including documented elevated blood pressure effects in residents up to 5km away, and health effects of chronic sleep deprivation,” he said.

Transfield Services project manager Nick Valentine told the Post that there was no evidence that wind farms cause any adverse health effects, and cited a recent report from the National Health and Medical Research ouncil (NHMRC).

The public statement said that although a range of symptoms had been reported, there was “no published scientific evidence to support adverse effects of wind turbines on health.”

However the NHMRC statement also said that evidence into the health effects of wind farms was limited, and recommended that supervising authorities take a “precautionary approach” to building wind farms.

Source:  BY DAVID BUTLER, Goulburn Post, www.goulburnpost.com.au 2 February 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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