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Mass High Tech Notes Recent Research Findings

June 14, 2013

 In her TechFlash  blog post, Patricia Resende, Managing Editor of MHT and Boston Business Journal, acknowledges new research findings that “Wind energy may be harmful to your health”  (6/13/2013).

According to a recent report, industrial wind turbines can be harmful to people’s health. Well, at least for those who live near the turbines. The report says that neighbors of the wind turbines are at risk of a number of health ailments including stress and sleep disorders.

These findings are items that Wind Wise ~ Massachusetts pointed out in “Wind Turbines Adversely Affect Health, New Studies Show” (6/12/13). Two recent publications, one in the May 2013 issue of Canadian Family Physician and one in the March issue of  The Journal of Laryngology and Otology, highlight the health effects connected to living near wind turbines.
Resende admits that complaints of wind turbine neighbors did not convince her that turbines were anything other than clean energy alternatives.  “I, for one, thought it was a simple case of Not In My Back Yard. (NIMBY)”
But, that’s not the case, according to Wind Wise Spokesperson Lilli-Ann Green. “These two papers are adding to the increasing number of peer reviewed medical studies that make it quite clear that the wind turbines are seriously affecting the health of individuals and families,” she said.
While Resende points to the recent growth of the wind industry, officials in Falmouth and Fairhaven have confirmed that wind turbines in those communities violate Massachusetts noise regulations.
These recent articles give credence to the hundreds of complaints Massachusetts residents have lodged about noise, sleep disruption and stress:
Jeffery, Roy D., Carmen Krogh, and Brett Horner. Adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines. Canadian Family Physician. May 2013. 59.5: 473-5.
This is a peer-reviewed guidance alerting Canadian physicians to symptoms their rural patients may be presenting if they live near wind turbines.

Farboud, Amir, R. Crunkhorn, A. Trinidade. Wind turbine syndrome: fact or fiction?”  The Journal of Laryngology & OtologyMar 2013. 127.3:222-6. doi:10.1017/S0022215112002964

This review article evaluates previous studies of low frequency noise and infrasound published in the last 10 years. The authors find “There is evidence that infrasound has a physiological effect on the ear.” and “There is some evidence of symptoms in patients exposed to wind turbine noise. The effects of infrasound require further investigation.”


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