August 18, 2014

Turbines are making me ill, too, says Teresa

By Paul Murray | Sunday Express | 17th August 2014

More people across Scotland have come forward complaining of “wind turbine syndrome” after the health fears were exposed by the Sunday Express.

Last week we revealed the Scottish Government has commissioned a survey into the impact of wind farms on communities, including any potential noise and health problems.

Former army captain Andrew Vivers, from Glamis, Angus, has been suffering from insomnia, tinnitus and dizzy spells since turbines were erected near his home, and he blames low-frequency noise, known as infrasound, for his deteriorating health. Now a number of others have echoed his story saying they feel as if they are being “tortured” out of their own homes.

Teresa Glen, 55, developed ear problems and migraines shortly after the Little Raith wind farm, near her home in Lochgelly, Fife, was switched on about a year and a half ago.

The grandmother developed tinnitus which feels like “constant screaming” in her head, and last year a specialist diagnosed “substantial damage” to her inner ear and significant hearing loss. Ms Glen, an artist, said: “The damage was akin to something a person who has worked in an industrial setting – like a factory – or on roadworks would be expected to have.

“But I haven’t worked in either. The only explanation I have for this are the turbines.”

Ms Glen said she also struggles to sleep at night, and she feels the presence of the wind farm constantly, yet Fife Council has turned down her request for a new home.

She added: ”I am not the only one feeling the impact. There are people here who have been examined for dental issues after they developed a strange pain going down their cheekbones to their jaw.

“I have the same and I know it’s nothing to do with teeth.

“Someone else here has epilepsy that has been under control but had a fit and fell down the stairs as a result.

“However, people are scared to speak out or they simply haven’t made the connection.”

Ms Glen’s son, James, who lives nearby, believes his own daughter, six-year-old Amy, may also have been affected by the wind farm.

He said: “We noticed she started to speak really loudly and also that her pronunciation was suffering.

“There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with her hearing, and after seeing a speech therapist she was fine – but the symptoms are coming back.”

The nearest turbines to Ms Glen’s home are less than a mile away, but the wind farm, owned by Manchester-based Kennedy Renewables, has applied for an extension which would bring them within 900 metres.

Official guidance says turbines should be no closer than 2km – around 1.5 miles – to homes, and with Little Raith’s capacity set to rise up to 29MW, the distance should be at least 2.5km.

Ms Glen said: “It is bearable when it is a calm day, but when the wind’s howling for two or three days without a break it is just torture.

“However nobody wants to know. I feel so alone with this.”

Meanwhile, in Dumfries and Galloway a pensioner who is struggling to sleep, said she has no energy, feels tired and listless most of the time, and has developed higher blood pressure.

The 71 year old, who asked not to be named, added: “I have lived here for a good many years and had no problems until the turbines went up.

“It would be easy to put it down to old age, but I have lived with a railway line at the bottom of the garden before and with a major road next to me and never have I gone through anything like this.

“Captured soldiers were apparently tortured by the constant dripping of a tap, and that’s how I feel in many ways. With the march of the turbines I think Scotland will end up a nation of nervous wrecks.”

Linda Holt, of lobby group Scotland Against Spin, said more and more people are contacting them because they feel their health is being affected.

Ms Hold added: “This problem will only increase as turbines grow in height and number, and creep closer to communities.

“Teresa is at the end of her tether. The turbines have literally invaded her home and her body, yet she is trapped because she lives in a council house and the council doesn’t want to know.

“The first duty of government is to protect its citizens. The Scottish Government is manifestly failing in its duty towards people like Teresa.

“Instead it defends the interests of a largely non-Scottish wind industry.”

But Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, the industry trade body, said: “We are not aware of nay peer-reviewed, robust scientific evidence linking wind turbines with ill health.

“Moreover, developments will only get through the planning system if they meet strict international standards on noise.

“Once projects are up and running they are monitored to ensure that they are complying with their planning permission.”

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