Denmark: Is living near wind turbines harmful to health?

From National Wind Watch

Credit:  tvsyd.dk ~~ July 2, 2013

English transcript of Danish TV broadcast regarding Danish government plans to study cardiovascular health effects of wind turbines:

Narrator:  Is it harmful for health to live near wind turbines? There is no answer [yet] to that question, and therefore several municipalities, among others Kolding and Sønderborg, have put plans to build giant wind on standby. But the Minister of Health now promises a study of whether there is a health risk.

Retired head physician Peter Prinds is one of those who are pleased that the Ministry of Health now recognizes what he has said for a long time.

Peter Prinds:  ”It is good that the ministries have finally admitted that they do not have a sufficient basis for their work on wind turbine noise.”

Narrator:  As a result of the lack of answers to the question, whether wind turbines harm neighbors’ health, several municipalities has put their wind turbine plans on hold, among other Kolding

Mayor Jørn Pedersen, Kolding:  “There are no clear answers. Not more than what we already knew from the Statutory Order on wind turbine noise.”

Councillor Erik Lauritzen, Sønderborg:  “Too many people feel uncomfortable with these wind turbines, and we must take the consequences of it.”

And last week both the Minister of Health and the Minister of the Environment acknowledged in two consultations (in the parliament) that many opponents of giant wind turbines on land are entitled.

Health Minister Astrid Krag:  “In the absence of epidemiological studies of wind turbine noise, effects on the cardiovascular system by long-term exposure to wind turbine noise can not be completely excluded at the present time. I am therefore pleased today to announce that the Environmental Protection Agency will ask the Danish Cancer Society to prepare a detailed description of a study of possible effects of wind turbine noise.”

Narrator:  It’s MP Hans Christian Schmidt (former Minister of the Environment) who has been pushing the ministers to recognize that municipalities are in the process of planning wind turbines that might come to harm citizens’ health. The last half-year, he has called both ministers for numerous consultations on the subject.

Hans Christian Schmidt: “It’s great. It is certainly a redress to the people who have always said: ‘We have become ill from living close to wind turbines.’ Whether this is true or not, no one knows today, but now we have all recognized that we at least have to investigate it. Because there are no scientific studies. And this is what we will have now.

Narrator:  The realization of the need of knowledge from first the Minister of Health and later the Minister of the Environment, creates joy. But the question is whether the 1.5 million Dkr for the study is enough.

Hans Christian Schmidt:  “If, the study as it is now, it will be okay, I actually do not know, because we have not seen the terms of reference. But I wonder, of course, if it possible to make a study on wind turbines’ effect on human health for 1.5 million Dkr when I also know that it will cost 100 million Dkr to investigate whether wind turbines affects birds, fish, and seals.

Narrator:  The ministers will compare registry data from locations of wind turbines with the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. The two ministers’ recognition now places a new responsibility on the shoulders of the municipalities which continue to plan wind turbines.

Peter Prinds:  “When told that we will have the result of the study after a year and a half, there must be a stop on the erection of wind turbines now, pending the outcome of the study.”

Hans Christian Schmidt:  “Just now I can only say that it is up to each councilor to make their decision whether to support erecting wind turbines, even today when we do not know if people can get sick of living so close to them, or to decide to put projects on standby, as some municipalities have done, or to move them farther away from people and from workplaces.

Narrator:  The planned study of the relationship between disease and wind turbine noise must be completed by the end of 2015.

One response to “Denmark: Is living near wind turbines harmful to health?

  1. Pingback: Denmark: Is living near wind turbines harmful to health? | ajmarciniak·

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