A community’s distress over communal symptoms
Credit: Virginia Stewart Love, March 22, 2014 ~~
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Dr. Steve Hambleton, President
Australian Medical Association
Dear Dr. Hambleton,
It is with great distress that I write to you today regarding the release of the AMA’s Position Statement on Wind Farms and Health.
I am a 61 year old woman who has been living in the presence of a wind generating development since February 2012. I can assure you that prior to the start up of the IWTs I had exceptional health, since then my life has been an endless ordeal of sleepless nights, nausea, headaches, ringing and pressure in my ear, heart palpitations or racing heart, a vibrating feeling in my body that sometimes lasts for hours, and recently bleeding from my nose. When I am away from my home for any length of time these symptoms are not present.
My grandchildren now ages 5 and 3 began having nose bleeds on occasion when they come to visit. My little granddaughter has held her ears in pain and has vomited in the car while driving past the turbines on the way to our house. This happens nowhere else. My grandchildren have no “heightened anxiety or negative perceptions regarding wind turbine developments” at all.
Eight households in my area representing a total of 26 people have filed complaints to the Ministry of the Environment and or the Medical Officer of Health for Grey County. To date nothing has been done to mitigate or alleviate the cause of our complaints.
In September of 2012, I made a presentation to the Grey/Bruce Medical Officer of Health and the Board on behalf of the families suffering. (Please see attachment.) As a result the Board requested that Dr. Hazel Lynn conduct a review of the Literature. On February 22, 2013 she and Dr. Arra reported to the board that there was in fact an association between wind turbine noise and human distress. Further they noted that “no published peer reviewed study showed no association” [link]. One has to ask how in depth your review was if you were unable to find any evidence at all to support that ‘wind farms’ cause adverse health effects.
Another study that you missed was “Acoustic Noise Associated with the MOD-1 Wind Turbine: Its Source, Impact, and Control” conducted by Dr. Neil D. Kelley et al 1985 [link]. “Complaints of noise emanating from the operating MOD-l were confined to about a dozen families living within a 3-km radius of the turbine, about half of whom were annoyed frequently. the complaints centered on the following perceptions:
- The annoyance was described as an intermittent “thumping” sound accompanied by vibrations.
- A “feeling” or “presence” was described, felt rather than heard, accompanied by sensations of uneasiness and personal disturbance.
- The “sounds” were louder and or more annoying inside affected homes
- Some rattling of loose objects occurred.
The field measurements and model results allowed us to conclude the following:
- The annoyance was real and not imagined
- The source of the annoyance was aerodynamic and involved the passage of the turbine blades …
- The coherent characteristics of the radiated acoustic impulses were responsible for the annoyance of the complaining residents.
- The responsible acoustic impulses were being propagated through the air and, in some instances, being focused on the complainants’ homes as a consequence of ground reflection and refraction by the atmosphere.”
The word annoyance “represents a degradation of health in accordance with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) deﬁnition of health, meaning total physical and mental well-being, as well as the absence of disease.” —climatide.wgbh.org
You speak of regulations being guided by evidence, but are you aware that Wind Associations and turbine manufacturers as well as developers are opposed to having requirements for measuring LFN and Infrasound in the guidlines? They spend a great deal of time and money lobbing governments and Medical Associations vilifying the people who are impacted and those who advocate for the victims. Could it be because they have something to hide?
We are not activists nor “scare mongers” – we are simply people who are trying to live our lives in peace with dignity and like any one else who seeks medical care for an illness, some resolution to the problems.
How grateful I am that my physician acknowledges my symptoms and has done whatever he can to assist me. Sadly the best advice I have been given is to remove myself from the toxic environment my home has become.
How sad that your organization has fallen so far from the ethical standards of a medical association where its practitioners swear to practice medicine honestly, that human life should be respected and that all are worthy of life.
Virginia Stewart Love
Grey Highlands, Ontario, Canada
March 22, 2014
cc: Professor Geoffrey Dobb, AMA Vice President
More letters: www.wind-watch.org/news/tag/ama/
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