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Study links wind turbines to illness, previously brushed aside by Ontario Liberals

Jonathan Sher — QMI Agency — November 1, 2012

LONDON, ON — They live in the shadow of wind farms, and their stories of turbine-induced illness have been brushed aside by the wind industry, Ontario regulators and the province’s Liberal government.

But now, researchers have published the first ever peer-reviewed study linking wind turbines and ill health — giving opponents of wind turbines their heaviest arsenal in a fight that could shape the landscape of rural Ontario and perhaps political fortunes in the next election.

“I view it as a huge step forward. It definitely gives credibility to our case,” said Esther Wrightman, who’s led a crusade against 70 wind turbines west of Strathroy.

The study, published in the periodical Noise and Health, found that a random sample of residents living within 1.4 km of wind turbines in two Maine communities suffered more from impaired mental health and sleep deprivation than those who lived at least 3.3 km away.

That was their finding, even though most of the closer residents had welcomed the turbines because they came with a financial benefit.  The epidemiologist who created the study is a Guelph, Ont., resident who worked eight years for Health Canada.

Jeffery Aramini says he’s not eager to cross swords with public health officials — Aramini’s company does business with the provincial and federal governments, helping them, for example, to monitor certain diseases based on pharmacy records.

But while public health officials in Ontario generally do well by the provinces’s residents, when it comes to wind turbines, those officials have had a major blind spot, he said.

While the peer-review study this month is the first, there’s a growing number of people reporting illness near wind farms, Aramini said.   “The reality is that some people are getting sick,” he said. “As a public health person, I can’t wrap my head around (government’s inaction).”

(To continue reading, click here)

To read full health study, click here…New US/UK/Ontario Epidemiological Health Study confirms negative effects of noise from Industrial Wind Turbines

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