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Why existing Wind turbine “Health Studies” are skewed and pathetically inadequate

The Massachusettes Dept. of Environmental Protection/Dept. of Public Health commissioned a study on the effects of wind turbines on humans.

Wind Turbine Health Impact Study:

Report of Independent Expert Panel January 2012

Prepared for: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection /Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Several things to note about this “independent” unbiased 163 page report.

They go to great lengths to mention the qualifications of the board members who evaluated the research.  All sorts of PHD’s flying around the room.  And we know that they know their “stuff” because right off the bat, they give this unbiased view of wind turbines.

“Many countries have turned to wind power as a clean energy source because it relies on the wind, which is indefinitely renewable; it is generated “locally,” thereby providing a measure of energy independence; and it produces no carbon dioxide emissions when operating.”  

No mention of course, that wind turbines need a constant backup source of energy, usually in the form of a conventional power plant, or that the production of these hundred-ton industrial machines creates one ton of hazardous and toxic waste PER turbine blade (according to a report from VESTA wind turbine manufacturer).   Instead, let’s continue the myth of how “clean” they are.

Did this esteemed panel of experts hoist themselves out of their chairs and actually go speak to people who live near wind turbines? Of course not.

Did they go live in one of those homes for at least a week to make note of the effects of the turbines?  Don’t be ridiculous.

Did they do any health assessments on victims of wind turbines?  No.

Did they review the medical records of the neighbours of wind turbines?  No again.

Did they spend a MINIMUM of 24 hours within 1km of an operating 600 foot turbine?   Nope.

In this entire 163 page report, nowhere does it state that they spoke directly to anyone who lives or has lived near a wind turbine and had their lives profoundly impacted by an IWT.

“In conducting their evaluation, the Panel conducted an extensive literature review of the scientific literature as well as other reports, popular media, and the public comments received by the MassDEP.”

So they relied almost entirely on pre-existing data and literature AND popular media!!  Now that’s what I call an extensive, independent review!!!

Did they consider ALL other data presented to them, in an unbiased and fair manner?  Let’s see…..

“In all cases, data quality was considered; at times, some studies were rejected because of lack of rigor or the interpretations were inconsistent with the scientific evidence.”

So in other words, if the data presented to them, did not fall under previously accepted scientific conclusions, then it was tossed.  How thorough!

They mention that the study would ONLY involve research done on the effects on humans (but then throw in studies showing that lab rats exhibit no long-term adverse effects).

“Limited evidence from rodent (rat) laboratory studies identifies short-lived biochemical alterations in cardiac and brain cells” 

Did they install little rat-sized wind turbines in the rat cages?  Or did they erect a normal 400 to 600 foot tall turbine in the lab?  Exactly how did they obtain their “limited evidence”?   That is never explained.  Nor do they explain how long the “short-lived biochemical alterations” last.  Until they turned off the little rat-sized turbines?  And what caused those changes in the first place and in what way would those same changes affect humans?  None of these questions are dealt with.

And so lab rats that show some biochemical changes are noted, but bats that fall dead from exploding lungs and hemorrhaging organs (an undisputed documented fact), whenever they’re in the area of wind turbines, is not even given a mention.  What makes the effects on rats in relation to human effects any different from the effects on bats in relation to humans?

They cite the work done by Dr. Nina Pierpont, who has spent years studying and working directly with people living near wind turbines and experiencing ill health effects.  She has documented hundreds of cases  and written several articles and publications highlighting her findings.  This illustrious group of PHD’s conclude however, that she proves no causal link between those ill health effects and living near wind turbines.  They also seem to take offense at the fact that Dr. Pierpont, in order to study the effects of wind turbines, sought out the victims thusly:

“The most critical problem with respect to inferring causality from Pierpont’s findings lies in how the families were identified for participation.  To be included in the study, among other criteria, at least one family member had to have severe symptoms and reside near a wind turbine.”

Wowww.   Can you imagine?   Conduct research on the effects of wind turbines by ACTUALLY speaking to people who LIVE near a turbine  and are experiencing symptoms.  I’m speechless…

Being the enlightened academics that they are, they go on to base THEIR extensive research findings, not by speaking directly to wind victims, but rather on things like this:

  • “There is limited evidence”
  • “There is insufficient evidence”
  • “There is insufficient evidence that the noise from wind turbines is directly causing health problems”
  • “None of the limited epidemiological evidence reviewed suggests an association between noise from wind turbines and pain and stiffness, diabetes, high blood pressure, tinnitus, hearing impairment, cardiovascular disease, and headache/migraine.”
  • “There is limited scientific evidence of an association between annoyance from prolonged shadow flicker and potential transitory cognitive and physical health effects.”

Of course there’s limited evidence.  Because no one, not once, in any of the government funded studies that we’ve found, has EVER gone out and spoken directly to people living near industrial wind installations, or done health evaluations, looked at medical records, etc.  They ALL rely on “previous studies”, which pretty much followed the same in-depth procedures that these people did.

BUT TAKE HEART!!!   They did conclude ONE possible ill health effect of being too close to a wind turbine!!!

“There is sufficient evidence that falling ice is physically harmful and measures should be taken to ensure that the public is not likely to encounter such ice.”  

OMG.  REALLY???  You needed a PHD and 3 meetings to conclude that falling ice can be physically harmful?  I’m gobsmacked at your brilliance.  And that’s the ONLY thing they will concede as being harmful in this extensive 163 page report.

It certainly gives me great confidence knowing that even though they acknowledge that there is limited or insufficient evidence in the previously published studies that they considered, it never once occurred to them to get out of that air-conditioned room where they probably dined on catered steak dinners, to go out and speak to the people who are suffering daily at the hands of Industrial Wind Turbine installations.

This same kind of sloppy, lazy research just keeps getting rehashed over and over and over again.  It’s appalling.  And unfortunately people who look to the government for proper studies to be done, think that what they’re being told is based on thorough independent research, when in fact, it’s not thorough and it’s not independent.  Not if all they’re doing is referring to previous studies.

You wonder what kind of money these ‘independent PHD’ed researchers’ were paid for this kind of pathetic report.   Any amount of money was too much.

Link to complete study

Donna Quixote — April 3, 2012

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14 Comments on “Why existing Wind turbine “Health Studies” are skewed and pathetically inadequate”

  1. debbie April 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    What did you do in terms of your own research or did you also read info and come to the wrong decision? Instead of eradicting a potential source or cleaner energy, can you come up with solutions and improvements to the wind turbines?

    • Donna Quixote April 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

      Actually Debbie, unlike the authors of this study, we have spoken personally to several people who live near industrial wind turbines. The majority of articles on this site, of course, we have not spoken to the people involved with them.

      We are all for clean energy and efficient uses of our resources, etc. We are mainly for conservation and stopping the waste of what our earth has to offer.

      The sad thing is that wind energy is not green and is not clean (in terms of how much pollution is created to build one of these things)

      Unfortunately, people fall for the “green” label far too easily. Just because wind turbines are erroneously labelled ‘green’ does not make them so as can be seen from the over 350 articles on the subject that we have posted on this site.
      If they can cause a bat’s lungs and organs to explode (an absolutely indisputable fact) from the infrasound waves that turbines emit, just imagine what they do to the human body.
      Rather than forging ahead with installing these ever-increasing monstrosities (some are now 1000 feet tall), and completely ignoring the cries from around the world of health effects, we should have an immediate moratorium placed on any further installations and put the money towards finding something that is truly green.

    • 1957chev September 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

      Burning clean natural gas, nuclear, and hydro. Wind is a scam.

  2. justturnright May 26, 2012 at 7:04 am #

    The date on this says April 3rd, but I missed it.
    Wow, DQ…

    The fact that this study is so incredibly myopic, and doesn’t try to highlight any dissentling opinions, is no surprise to me. I was raised in Massachussets, and that state is an echo chamber.

    I’m with you: conserve when you can, where you can, if you can. But when a solution does the OPPOSITE of its stated intent, just slapping a label on it and calling it “good” doesn’t make it so.

    • Donna Quixote May 26, 2012 at 8:39 am #

      Yeah, it’s a good enough example that I thought it was worthy of a reposting. I’m anxiously awaiting the day that a true government study, involving people who live near these things is released. Until then, it’s just the same data reprinted under a different title, over and over again.

  3. johana May 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Are you sure you want a “true GOVERNMENT study”?

    • Donna Quixote May 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

      Well, okay. I’ll rephrase that. A true unbiased, impartial, non-wind-company-linked, non-government-agenda’d, study. Thanks Johana.

  4. (genie81) September 1, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    Why is it that experts in the fields of acoustics and health have shown wind turbines do cause issues. Even Myth Busters with their experiment on brown tone showed that was incorrect but did show the crew standing away from the speakers experienced chest pressure and ears too and one with nausea when the speakers were at 5,7,9 megahertz. Nothing for Adam standing right beside the speakers. A simple experiment showing what happens when you cannot hear the noise but sure can feel it. Repeated lies being upheld by those in power. Just like here in Oz so called research which is not unbiased and independent where a sociologist tells everyone we are NIMBYs, or have the ‘nocebo’ effect or are mental. This is a so-called professor Simon Chapman. He seems to spend all day reading articles on wind turbines without actually interviewing, visiting and accepting peer-reviewed evidence that these mechanical monsters are ruining peoples’ land and lives.

  5. 1957chev September 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    Reblogged this on Mothers Against Wind Turbines and commented:
    We KNOW there are health effects….we just need the wind industry to be forced to acknowledge it, but they don’t want to be responsible!

  6. cornwallwindwatch September 8, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch and commented:
    We know this too. It is a disgrace that this is continued to be brushed under the carpet.

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