LFNs – a serious issue for wind power?

Scares over technology aren’t restricted to unsound fears of EMFs emanating from electric lines or automated natural gas meters. Now wind farms are being blamed for making families and children sick because of low-frequency sound waves, harmonics, to the point some famililes in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, abandoned their homes near wind turbines. It prompted a study…

PSC authorized wind farm study complete

Split opinions about a new study on wind farms and their health effects. It concerns a wind farm project in southeastern Brown County. The study authorized by the Public Service Commission centers on the Shirley wind farm in the town of Glenmore. It was conducted by Clean Wisconsin, a clean energy advocacy group, and four independent firms. The groups monitored the wind farm for four days in early December.

“What the study found was that there weren’t any audible sounds coming from the wind turbines in any of the houses investigated,” explained Clean Wisconsin staff scientist Tyson Cook in a phone interview with FOX 11 Thursday. “In fact, it was only at the closest house they were able to pick up any sound from the wind turbines; they were able to identify with their most sensitive equipment.” Two of the three people who live in that house reported nausea. This prompted the four independent firms to recommend more studies need to be done, as it could affect the future of the industry…

“There’s a lot of sensationalism on this issue in general, and just trying to keep everybody sticking to the facts of the science behind the issue has been a real challenge in this particular case,” said Cook. Some of the statements they put out have been kind of directly contradicted by the investigators,” said State representative Andre Jacque. Jacque says the study clearly shows the connection between the wind turbines and people’s health. “I mean, this is a tremendous validation for those residents,” said Jacque. “There’s an urgent priority to conduct further testing and that we shouldn’t be sitting any more wind farms until we have those results.”

The study by Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy group promoting clean energy, can be read here. Their conclusion recommended additional research, saying:

The four investigating firms are of the opinion that enough evidence and hypotheses have been given herein to classify LFN [low frequency noise] and infrasound as a serious issue, possibly affecting the future of the industry. It should be addressed beyond the present practice of showing that wind turbine levels are magnitudes below the threshold of hearing at low frequencies.

4 responses to “LFNs – a serious issue for wind power?

  1. The word “Study” appears in this article. First rule of thumb — If they did a study, chances are there wasn’t much to report.

    It is pretty easy to get people to think that they are being oppressed by just about anything.

    At the same time, I have to say that a phone ringing can cause my blood pressure to increase by 40 point. The expectation of what is on the other end of the line is enough to make one unhealthy.

  2. See Wikipedia entry, “Brown Noise”, for effects of sub-audible low frequencies on humans.

  3. Snorbert Zangox

    It appears that someone is applying the pet excuse, the precautionary principal, to one of the radical greens pet technologies. The irony is sweet.

  4. In the early 1990’s my daughter went to a College about 60 miles away…..when going up to visit her we always went the back way or the scenic if you will…..coming into a small town……there was a huge wind mill running in the back yard…..the lot was about an acre in size….even in the blowing winter months …..it was a noise that got to you right away…..I said more than once how could any one live near that with the constant swoosh….swoosh…..swoosh…..its a noise that gets to you…even to day when I go up to the college town for a little shopping it stiil grabs me….the noise of the giant fan moving air…and I was raise near a railroad shunting yard….////

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