Letter to the Editor — Lakeland Times — January 8, 2013
To the Editor:This is a response to the Jan. 2 article written in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel by Thomas Content, “Wind Farm Study Results a Mixed Bag.”
Supporters of wind power have repeatedly stated that there is no proven link between infrasound generated from Industrial Wind Turbines (IWTs) and negative health effects in humans.
Scientists at Clean Wisconsin have stated that there have “been no peer-reviewed studies that link inaudible noise with health problems.”
This is, quite simply, inaccurate.
Here are peer-reviewed findings of three particular scientists:
Scientist Carmen Krogh has stated that chronic psychophysiological damage may result from long-term exposure to infrasound. Krogh believes that the “debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans,” because the debate has now “evolved to one of degree” (A Summary of New Evidence: Adverse Health Effects and Industrial Wind Turbines-August 2011).
Scientist Dr. Alec Salt at the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University School of Medicine has found that exposure to infrasound for prolonged periods can cause a “plethora of symptoms” including chronic sleep deprivation, headaches, nausea, and tinnitus. Salt believes that “there is ample evidence to support the view that infrasound could affect people” and that to ignore such evidence is to “ignore the known physiology of the ear” (Infrasound from Wind Turbines Could Affect Humans July 19, 2011 Bulletin of Science Technology and Society 2011 31:296).
Scientist Stephen Ambrose has stated that dysfunctions in the vestibular system from infrasound can cause “disequilibrium, nausea, vertigo, anxiety, and panic attacks, which have been reported near a number of industrial wind turbine facilities” in individuals prone to motion sickness.
According to Ambrose, “clinical evidence of frequency following response (FFR) in the brain suggests that entrainment with wind turbine modulations, pulsations and tones may pose conflict for the brain’s natural rhythms, leading to stress when the conflicting signals (the wind turbine) cannot be turned off” (The Bruce McPherson Infrasound and Low Frequency Noise Study, Dec. 14, 2011).
Constituents in my district have suffered from these harmful symptoms. As a result, several families with children have moved out of their homes. They have taken out second mortgages to afford a new place to escape the negative impacts on their health from IWT farms in Glenmore/Shirley.
It simply goes against common sense to believe that these families subjected themselves to such expensive means to escape ‘make-believe’ symptoms. The pro-wind advocates are essentially calling these residents “liars,” and that the negative health impacts they have experienced are not in fact “objective.”
Unlike the wind proponents, these families do not have an agenda – if they can be accused of anything, it is that they want their lives back.
It is important that Wisconsin residents have first-hand knowledge of the health impacts and scientific insight from newly-published studies. The pleas of my constituents are falling on deaf ears.
These recent test results, as well as the existing peer-reviewed studies, show how important it is for the PSC to immediately establish new set-back requirements that protect the health and wellness of Wisconsin residents who are forced to live too close to these 500-foot tall IWTs.
Families in Wisconsin deserve this protection.Frank LaseeState SenatorFirst Senate District