A common argument that people use when protesting against the development of wind farms near to communities is the loud noise created by the turbines. They even claim that noises below the range of human hearing, known as infrasound, can cause ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’ which leads to mental health problems, heart disease, and vertigo.
A study by the Association of Australian Acoustical Consultants found that the infrasound created by wind turbines is actually quieter than the infrasound created by a beating heart. The report explained that the “investigations conclude that infrasound levels adjacent to wind farms are below the threshold of perception and below currently accepted limits set for infrasound.”
They claim that the levels of infrasound they recorded from wind turbines were the same levels that are created by natural phenomena such as breathing, wind, and the sea, and also by aeroplanes and cars.
Related article: Wind Energy Spreading Beyond Europe
They wrote that “our environment has lots of infrasound already in it, the levels generated by wind farms from our point of view are quite low in comparison and they’re no higher than what is already out there in the natural environment.”
It is understandable that some people may have reservations about a new wind farm being built close to their homes, but it is wrong to blame the wind farm on an invented medical condition. In fact a study by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection found that there was no evidence for the existence of Wind Turbine Syndrome.
Related article: German Elections Seal Fate of Renewable Energy
In a similar way to how placebos can cure people who think they have taken medicine, Wind Turbine Syndrome seems to work purely on the mind. The study found that people never actually had any of the symptoms until after they had heard about the disease and its ailments.
Cleantechnica quoted Stephen Colbert, who, just after President Obama was re-elected, spoke about Wind Turbine Syndrome and said that “we should all just keep burning fossil fuels. That way the problem won’t be all in your head, it’ll be spread evenly throughout your lungs.”
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…