Wind turbines across Oregon stir up health scare
What's the frequency?
Pierpont's findings suggest that low-frequency noise and vibration generated by wind machines can have an effect on the inner ear, triggering headaches; difficulty sleeping; tinnitus, or ringing in the ears; learning and mood disorders; panic attacks; irritability; disruption of equilibrium, concentration and memory; and childhood behavior problems.
Concerns also are coming out of Europe about low-frequency noise from newly built wind turbines.
For example, British physician Amanda Harry, in a February 2007 article titled "Wind Turbines, Noise and Health," wrote of 39 people, including residents of New Zealand and Australia, who suffered from the sounds emitted by wind turbines.
According to Pierpont, eight of the 10 families in her study moved out of their homes.
"All these problems were resolved as soon as these people got away from the turbines, got in the car and drove away from the house," she said.
Not so, says company
Mike Logsdon, director of development for Invenergy, developer of the 48 wind turbines under construction in the Willow Creek Wind Project, said he's heard of Pierpont's findings, but his 5-year-old company doesn't find them credible.
"We've had a number of other wind farms over the country and residents living by them and never had any problems," Logsdon said.
Invenergy has built and operates wind farms in Canada and Poland and in 12 states in the United States, Logsdon said. The company has 1,200 megawatts in production and is building 600 megawatts this year. The 72-megawatt Willow Creek Wind Project near the Eatons' home is scheduled to start producing electricity Jan. 1.
If Pierpont's theories gain acceptance, decisions on where future wind energy farms are built could be affected.
Last year, more than one-third of all new power capacity in the United States, roughly 5,000 megawatts, was generated by wind turbines, said Joseph Beamon, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington.
I bet T. Boone never saw this coming!
I wonder if those pesky little ceiling fans are behind some of these ailments that are already present.