Wind turbines have no link with a disease caused by low frequency noise despite some anti-wind farm groups declaring so.
University of Sydney Professor Simon Chapman said claims vibroacoustic disease was caused by wind turbines was based on a “flimsy case report” of one boy whose only symptom was poor concentration at school.
Prof Chapman and colleague Alexis St George used web and database searches to examine how wind farms became linked with the disease.
“A total of 35 research papers was found on vibroacoustic disease,” he said. [See, e.g.: http://wndfo.net/vad]
“Of these, all but one had a first author from the same research group and none of the papers contained any reference to wind turbines.
“Wind turbines have the potential to make major contributions to renewable energy generation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and authorities should … examine the quality of evidence that claims they harm health.
“Vibroacoustic disease is not … recognised by almost anyone other than the tiny, self-citing research group from Portugal, and the echo chamber of anti-wind farm groups who are desperate to grab hold of any disease and claim it as theirs.”
Prof Chapman released a report in March that said only one in every 272 residents living within 5km of a wind farm ever made a complaint, but Waubra wind farm chief executive Sarah Laurie said at the time Prof Chapman’s data was flawed. [See: http://wndfo.net/nocebo]
Victorian Farmers Federation president Peter Tuohey said wind farms were a contentious issue and could be divisive for VFF members.
Some members had wind farms on their properties and didn’t have a problem with them but some other members who lived near turbines could complain of health effects.
“We haven’t got a policy on it,” Mr Tuohey said.
“There hasn’t been enough people trying to drive it through the VFF to say we don’t want wind farms, so I’d say that means the number of complaints are small.”
He said he would support an independent, comprehensive study into possible wind farm-related health effects.
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