LITTLE BRAS D’OR – The photograph of a tent in the backyard of a home drew gasps of concern during a meeting to discuss adverse health affects related to wind turbines.
Carmen Krogh, an Ontario-based retired pharmacist with more than 40 years of experience in the health field, spoke to a group of about 200 people gathered at the Bras d’Or Parish Hall.
The Hillside Boularderie and Area Concerned Citizens Group arranged to have Krogh give a presentation as wind developer Natural Forces Inc. is seeking environment approval to construct three wind turbines in the area.
Krogh said one Canadian community that has experienced problems in health related to large scale turbines is the Township of Melancthon in Ontario.
“It had a lot of turbines,” said Krogh. “But they’re interspersed among family homes and that’s like putting an industrial facility among all the different residents. And Melancton has had a lot of issues.”
Krogh said low-frequency noise associated with the turbines is considered an annoyance or irritant to humans, and if a person is exposed to chronic and long-term exposure it can cause psychological and physiological damage.
She said it’s her belief that industrial turbines should be located a minimum of two kilometres from nearby residences.
“This house was capturing low-frequency noise,” said Krogh. “That was demonstrated by a community-funded noise study. In Ontario, some people chipped in to do a noise study in some of the homes.”
Krogh said even with five turbines shut down at night, the residents could not sleep in the house because low-frequency noise travels far, it’s not attenuated and can be captured in a residence.
“The building vibrates and your body vibrates and five were shut down at night and eventually a person reached financial agreement with the industry developer, and now has a non-disclosure.”
During her presentation, Krogh said their are often people who try to blame sickness on negative attitudes or fear of wind turbines.
However, she said there are three peer-reviewed references that show turbines were welcomed in the community prior to the report of health effects.
“I had some people sleeping in garages, and some getting in their trucks at night or their cars and driving to a parking lot to try to get to sleep,” said Krogh. “I had people who have moved back with their parents at age, they’re in the late 40s, because if you can’t sleep it’s a really horrible thing to have happen.”
Hillside Boularderie resident Kevin Boudreau told the crowd he’s concerned about the wind development and it’s possible effect on his health.
“Years ago, I had an injury to my ear. I had an eardrum burnt out,” said Boudreau. “I have another hole in the other ear drum and my wife is electromagnetic sensitive and it appears that we’re going to be the closest home to this project.”
Boudreau said he’s been told by a planning official that his house will be 2,600 feet from the turbines.
“The developer says he’s going to give us 1,000 metres,” he said.
Another community resident at the meeting requested that municipal governments refuse to issue any permits to the wind developer until the results of a Health Canada study due out next year are released.
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