Does the noise from the whirling blades of turbines on wind farms create real illness problems, or is it just annoyance?
It seems there is a wide divergence of opinions on this among the experts.
On the one hand, there is a wide body of opinion in both Australia and overseas that the noise from the turbines, both above and below hearing level, is the cause of real illness among those exposed to it.
On the other hand, a public health expert, Professor Simon Chapman, in the latest edition of the Medical Journal of Australia, says that the symptoms of such illness arise from anger at the nearby turbines, creating an “annoyed state.”
He finds it “telling” that these adverse health effects are never raised by landholders who earn income from hosting the turbines.
He added: “There is no consistent evidence of any physiological or behavioural effect of acute exposure to infrasound in humans.”
Against this is the successful Court action by residents in the area of the Hallet 2 wind frm in South Australia that the turbines involved could not meet the South Australian guidelines.
As a consequence, AGL has shut down 16 of the 34 turbines in Hallet 2 between 7.00p.m. and 7.00 a.m.
And the anti-wind farm protagonists claim that over 20 families in Australia have already left their homes and farms because of ill health created by wind farms.
And they also quote from a court finding in Ontario, Canada, that “the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans.
“The evidence presented . . . . demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents.
“The debate has now evolved to one of degree.”
What, however, is too close?
Other published medical research claims that adverse symptoms have been reported in people out to a distance of at least 20 kms under certain weather and wind conditions.
The Upper Lachlan Council’s Develop Control Plan for wind farms requires that turbines not be located within two kilometres of a non-host residence.
But because the planning approval for wind farms lies with the State Department, not local Councils, this requirement has been generally ignored by development applications.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding