An article in the Danish press reveals a scandal that is shaking the government (1). The Minister of the Environment has been pretending all along that his country’s regulations about noise emitted by wind turbines are the most restrictive in the world. Yet this month he explained that 4 to 11% of neighbors would be annoyed by the characteristic pulsing sound from wind turbines, of which up to a thousand more will be imposed on the saturated Danish countryside.
The European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) and the Waubra Foundation (Australia) denounce this disregard for human rights to health. Across the world, they warn, thousands of wind turbine neighbors can’t get enough sleep at night on account of noise and/or infrasound, and this includes many children. Inevitably, it leads to health problems, which are getting worse with length of exposure. “Has any country, in the European Union or anywhere, the right to sacrifice the health of part of its population? ” asks Mark Duchamp, Executive Director of EPAW.
What is more, world-renowned Danish acoustician professor Henrik Moeller, from the prestigious Aarlborg University, has once again come out criticizing his government on the issue. He had already done so a year ago, when he denounced important irregularities in the establishment of norms concerning the low-frequency noise levels of wind turbines (2).
This time around, he is accusing the Minister of the Environment of being shy of reality with his figures of 4 – 11%. According to the professor’s estimates, 22 to 42% of the neighbors will be significantly affected by wind turbines, day or night (1). The percentage is huge, and the scandal is becoming ever so more difficult to ignore, comments Mark Duchamp.
“This disregard for the health of the Danish people will have far-reaching consequences”, opines Mauri Johansson, MD, MHH, Specialist in community and occupational medicine in Denmark, “because many countries copy our regulations when it comes to frequencies emitted by wind turbines. Governments around the world will continue to allow these machines much too close to habitations, and the number of people affected in their health will keep growing, not only with the length of exposure as years go by, but with the number of wind turbines installed, which continues to grow rapidly.”
Dr Sarah Laurie, from Australia’s Waubra Foundation, notes this will be very costly to society as a whole. “Asbestos, tobacco, and now wind turbines: it’s the same process. Health authorities deny the problem, relying on mendacious studies commissioned by the industry; until one day at last the truth comes to light (it always does). In the meantime, considerable harm is being done, human rights are being violated, and the health of thousands is deteriorating, including children. Around the world, ailing neighbors are suing wind developers and hosts because of damage to their health. The problem can no longer be ignored, let alone denied. Independent full acoustic spectrum monitoring must be done (3).”
(1) – Article, translated by the authors into English just recently:
– Original article in Danish, of 9 oct. 2012 :
(2) – Article from one year back, revealing important irregularities:
(3) – Wind turbine acoustic pollution assessment requirements: http://waubrafoundation.com.au/Wind_Turbine_Acoustic_Pollution_Assessment_Requirements.pdf