If President Trump said that industrial wind turbines cause cancer, that is unfortunate, because it downplays the real negative impacts that do come with living next to or within an industrial wind installation (“Iowa Sen. Grassley: Trump wind turbine comments ‘idiotic,’ ” Star Tribune.com, April 3).
Rural residents the world over have complained of headache, vertigo, dizziness, sleeplessness, chest tightness and tinnitus from the negative impacts of turbines being sited too close to their homes. In contracts wind companies try to get nonparticipating neighbors to sign if they live within half a mile of any turbine, the companies freely admit that turbines can “cast shadows or flicker” onto the neighboring properties; “impact view or visual effects,” and “cause or emit noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake, and electromagnetic and frequency interference.”
All [such] wind turbines are closer than half a mile to neighbors. Residents will have the negative impacts whether or not they sign the contract. The contract is offered in order to pay them dollars a day to put up with the impacts. It signs away their right to sue.
Even though turbines may not cause cancer (as far as we know), they do cause physical problems to some of the population with a feeling that is akin to motion sickness. Even infrasound or “air turbulence and wake” made by the blades passing the tower is being studied by Prof. Christian-Friedrich Vahl of the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at the University Medical Center Mainz in Germany. He and his research team have shown how this can hurt the muscles in the heart.
It is not well-known in urban areas, but industrial wind is being fought in rural areas of the Midwest and all around the globe. Wind turbines are being sited too close to homes. We have asked for setbacks of half a mile from property lines. The companies could negotiate waivers with supportive residents and landowners. This sort of setback would not be a problem if they had anywhere near the support they claim to have in these communities.
Janna Swanson, Clay County, Iowa
The writer, a farmer, is president of the Coalition for Rural Property Rights, a board member for National Wind Watch, and a member of the Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance.
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