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Media Headlines Ignore Findings

Background:

The draft report of the joint MassDEP and MDPH “study” was released in January 2012. The Expert Panel did no independent research but did a literature review.

In careful prose the panel said:

“It is acknowledged that noise from wind turbines can be annoying to some and associated with some reported health effects (e.g., sleep disturbance) (p. 29)

“Given the effects of sleep deprivation on health and well-being, including problems with mood and cognition, it is possible that cognitive and mood complaints and other medical or psychological issues associated with sleep loss can stem from living in immediate proximity to wind turbines, if the turbines disrupt sleep.” (p. 32-33)

Media headlines announcing the release of the panel’s findings carelessly ignored the highly nuanced report language. Headline writers at times contradicted what their reporters wrote.

Headlines also ran counter to Governor Patrick’s statement:

… further study is needed to look at health impacts from “annoyance” for residents who live near turbines.”

Note that “ANNOYANCE” is a medical and policy term defining an impact on people that can range from mild irritation to extreme physiological and psychological disturbance.

Media Headlines:

SOURCE

HEADLINE

Boston Globe

Report: Wind turbines don’t cause health problems

Berkshire Eagle

Panel: Wind turbines not hazard to health

Boston Magazine

No Adverse Health Effects
from Wind Turbines, Report Concludes

Boston Magazine

Wind Farm Opponents are Hypochondriacs: A state panel debunks Cape Cod residents’ claims of ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome.’

Brockton Enterprise

Mass. Panel: No major health impacts from wind turbines

Cape Cod Times

State: Wind turbines not harmful

CommonWealth Magazine

Study: Wind turbines pose no health issue
State report debunks “wind turbine syndrome”

Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise

DEP panel: Wind turbines pose no health risk

Newburyport Daily News

State finds no ill health effects for residents

Old Colony Memorial & Wicked Local Plymouth

Experts say wind turbines aren’t health hazard

Quincy Patriot Ledger

Mass Panel: No major health impacts from wind turbines

Springfield Republican (MassLive)

Wind Turbines pose no serious health risks to

residents, Massachusetts panel says

Springfield Republican (MassLive)

Mass. Panel: No health risk from wind turbines

Pseudo Study Spawns Zombie Claims

 

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