by Mariana Alves-Pereira
Second International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise — Lyon, France (2007)
Introduction. This team has systematically studied the effects of infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN, <500 Hz) in human and animal models since 1980. Recently, yet another source of ILFN has appeared: wind turbines (WT).
Like many other ILFN-generating devices, WT can greatly benefit humankind if, and only if, responsible measures are taken for their implementation. Vibroacoustic disease (VAD) is the pathology that is acquired with repeated exposures to ILFN environments (occupational, residential or recreational).
This has been demonstrated in numerous scientific articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals over the past 27 years.
Goal. To evaluate if ILFN levels obtained in a home near WT are conducive to VAD.
Case 1: documented in 2004, in-home ILFN levels generated by a port grain terminal (GT), 2 adults and a 10-year-old child diagnosed with VAD.
Case 2: isolated farm in agricultural area, four 2MW WT that began operation in Nov 2006, located between 300 m and 700 m from the residential building, 3 adults and 2 children (8 and 12-years-old). ILFN levels of Case 2 were compared to those in Case 1.
In both, ILFN was assessed in 1/3 octave bands, without A-weighting, (i.e. in dB Linear). In Case 1, the lower limiting frequency was 6.3 Hz, while in Case 2, it was 1 Hz. Results. ILFN levels within the 6.3-31.5 Hz range in the home of Case 2 were higher than those obtained in the home of Case 1. Above, 31.5 Hz, levels varied but were comparable. Discussion. ILFN levels contaminating the home of Case 2 are sufficient to cause VAD. This family has already received standard diagnostic tests to monitor clinical evolution of VAD. Safe distances between WT and residences have not yet been scientifically established, despite statements by other authors claiming to possess this knowledge.
Acceptance, as fact, of statements or assertions not supported by valid scientific data, defeats all principles on which true scientific endeavor is founded. Widespread statements claiming no harm is caused by in-home ILFN produced by WT rotating blades are fallacies that cannot, in good conscience, continue to be perpetuated. Inhome ILFN generated by WT blades can lead to severe health problems, specifically, VAD. Real and efficient zoning for WT must be scientifically determined, and quickly adopted, in order to competently and responsibly protect Public Health.