Cheers to Ariel Wittenberg for attending and then writing about the Mass. Wind Working Group meeting (“Windwise attends developer’s talk on handling opposition,” Oct. 18). The placement of industrial wind turbines in residential neighborhoods has become such an important local issue that certainly has generated much debate, centering on the main question, “Does the operation of wind turbines cause health problems?”
After 2½ years under Wind 1 in Falmouth, I can tell you the truthful information that I have acquired from a little research, and a lot of personal experience. During the operation of a wind turbine, a complex sound (actually a pressure wave) is emitted during the downswing motion of each blade. Much of this sound is in the low frequency range (think of a single “pluck” of the lowest note on a bass guitar. Look up the dangers of low frequency noise to the human body). With three rotating blades, a continuous pulsating sound is formed. (a “pluck” every 1½ seconds). Over and over and over. Pound. Pound. Pound!
This continuous, low-frequency “pounding,” (not the DEP regulated “audible” noise) is the problem. This pounding “noise” is what makes us sick and distressed, keeps us up at night, gives us headaches, and increases our heart rate and blood pressure, to name a few symptoms. These effects from a turbine are not “psychosomatic” or “anecdotal stories” and certainly are not “nocebo reactions.” These are real physiological ailments that one cannot “get used to.” This “low-frequency pounding” is the issue that needs to be studied, measured and recorded – from both scientific and medical perspectives.
The time and the opportunity to do this testing is now: A recently abandoned home in Falmouth (husband and wife were driven out by wind turbine health effects) has been offered as a turbine testing location. Engineers, acousticians, government entities (Mass. Clean Energy Center) as well as wind developers (who wish to be good neighbors) have been given this opportunity to “set up shop” and get to the truth on these turbines. Hopefully, someone or some organization will step up and do the right thing. With the current push for even more land-based wind energy, and with so many homes, and even schools, already as close as they are to turbines in some communities, there is much at stake.