The rotors of sickness… Wind energy proponents refuse to acknowledge proven wind turbine health hazards
A report on infrasound (low frequency sound below 20 Hz) by German public television ZDF here further reveals how infrasound from wind turbines causes widespread health issues, despite claims by “experts” that these illnesses are “in peoples’ heads” and not really real.
The dubious argument that “if you can’t hear it, then it can’t hurt you” is often used. It turns out that in the case of infrasound from wind turbines, this is not true at all.
Hat-tip: Agnes Doolan at Facebook.
The ghost of infrasound
The ZDF in its report called “Infrasound, the unheard noise” begins by presenting a case in Coventry, England, where a tour guide suddenly developed a phobia of entering the cellar of a church and how her tourists thought they had seen ghosts. The sickly and scary feelings, it turns out, were not ghosts but effects of infrasound.
While many things cause infrasound, most are very short term, lasting only a few minutes. However, for people living in the area of wind turbines, the sub-audible sound goes on for hours, or even days and weeks, without interruption and thus poses huge problems for people like Insa Bock (2:47), who together with her husband live 700 meters from “dozens of turbines” and suffer from health issues.
German Ministry of Environment refuses to acknowledge
Particularly troublesome, the ZDF reports, are the new, larger turbines which replace older, smaller turbines in what is called “repowering”. But when confronted with the health risk from infrasound, Germany’s Ministry of Environment (using totally irrelevant measurements) denied that there was a serious problem of any type (5:00) for residents nearby.
Cover-up by German Ministry of Environment
However, the ZDF shows that correctly performed measurements and their evaluation show the contrary.
For example, ground measurements by Germany’s Geological Office (BGR) shows infrasound from wind turbines are for real (8:00) and can be measured in the ground:
The German BGR illustrates to ZDF (11:00) how Germany’s pro-wind Ministry of Environment “smoothed out” the infrasound signal rather than acknowledging their existence.
Also the Ministry of Environment refused to come out to the Friesian area to perform new wind turbine noise measurements, claiming that the “wind direction and strength were not proper” (11:35).
More independent results confirm
So an outside consultant was hired to conduct more measurements of the wind park, which showed “clear sound waves”. The local resident told ZDF that she was physically able to perceive the vibrations in her bedroom – the dog as well (13:50).
The expert explained to the ZDF how he was able to measure a “a clear exposure” and “very strong vibrations” in the area of the house (14:25) and “very high levels of infrasound”.
Statistical smoothing tricks
The ZDF concludes that the measurements by the Ministry of Environment ignore the health damaging infrasound by smoothing them out, and so takes the position they don’t really exist (15:10).
Infrasound’s profound affect on the human inner ear
The ZDF report also interviewed Dr. Alec Salt of the Washington University, St Louis, a specialist for inner ear anatomy (16:15). Salt said that very low inaudible frequencies indeed have a profound effect on the human inner ear and signal pathways.
Wind industry attacking the results
Salt then adds that the wind industry have made their lives difficult and are actively trying to suppress the overwhelming science: “It’s all to do with bias and money, I’m afraid.”
UKE: infrasound impacts the stress area of the brain
The ZDF also reports on tests that subjected volunteers to infrasound in a laboratory at the University Clinic of Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) for a period of 4 weeks (18:05). The question: Does infrasound have an impact on sleep and mental capabilities of people?
Here the researchers found that infrasound has impacts on “parts of the brain involved in processing stress and conflicts”. What cannot be heard, but subconsciously sense, may initiate a stress and fear reaction in people the scientists hypothesize.
Confirmed by the US Army – 30 years ago!
The effects of infrasound on humans has already long been confirmed by the U.S. Army, says John B. Alexander (21:00). He also says there’s information that the Soviets and Chinese experimented with infrasound as a weapon in the 1980s. Overall the military abandoned the idea of infrasound as a weapon because different people reacted differently to it.
Infrasound damages heart tissue
The ZDF next cites Professor Christian-Friedrich Vahl, Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery (HTG) of the University Medical Center Mainz who says infrasound is an energy and that it has a physical effect (23:05). He led a team of researchers who conducted two different trials. Their findings in summary:
In both series of experiments, a clear reduction in cardiac muscle strength was observed when subjected to infrasound signals.”
Just days ago, NTZ reported on this here.
The ZDF also reports that Germany’s prestigious Robert-Koch-Institut hat bereits 2007 had found a potential health risk back in 2007.
10 – 30% of population have symptoms of infrasound
Overall the ZDF reports that exprts estimate between ten and thrirty perceont of the population sense symptoms from infrasound.
Though the data are in, Germany’s Ministry of Environment and wind energy proponents refuse to believe it and ignore the cries from those who are being seriously injured by it every day.
Germany’s wind energy risks turning into an industrial-scientific debacle that will have a huge health price to pay.
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