If a company added turbines like these close to your home, without consulting you at all, what would your concerns be? 

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Landowners individually named in lawsuit re: DeKalb, IL County Board Wind Ordinance, 1-9-2010

A Wisconsin farmer talks about his regrets

A medical doctor's plea
for longer setbacks, based on recent evidence,
Jan. 8, 2010

Noise contaminated home assessed at 50% previous value

TV reception a complaint at Maple Ridge's wind farm
 

 


Wind Turbines in Adams County
Negative Health Effects
 
This page gives recent evidence to support the concern that putting wind turbines only 1320 feet away from homes (as provided in the Adams County Wind Ordinance) would be reckless with the health of Adams County residents.  Even though some people are able to tolerate living that close, there is ongoing scientific investigation into the reasons why at least 25% to 50% of people living within a half mile of a turbine will suffer from a variety of physical and psychological symptoms. 

It is of particular concern that the severity of symptoms has led a small but growing number of people to abandon their homes (and be unable to sell them), not only in the United States but also in other countries.  Far from "just being in their head," this issue has already led the World Health Organization and other respected scientific groups around the world to seek longer setbacks ranging from one-half mile (2640 feet) to one mile and a half (7920 feet) from homes, schools, and businesses.

"My husband and I have decided to walk away from our property.  I can't stand it here for another day.  I can't leave soon enough.  You may be able to put turbines up behind our home, but that doesn't mean I am going to do nothing when it affects my family's health and my animals' well-being."  

-- Property owner in Wisconsin, abandoned home in September, 2009

The above quote is from a book, Wind Turbine Syndrome, by Dr. Nina Pierpont, published in fall 2009, including ten in-depth medical case studies of families living between one-half and one mile of a wind turbine who began experiencing health issues at the same time the turbines were installed.  Before the study ended, eight of the ten families left their homes.  For more about this book, her impressive credentials, reviews by medical experts, and her findings:

http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com/

 

 

The Acoustic Ecology Institute
Special Report, Nov. 2009: "Wind Energy Noise Impacts"

"Noise can be a significant issue in at least some situations when turbines are within about a half mile of homes, with some impacts apparent up to a mile away.  Some acousticians and health professional are encouraging setbacks of as much as 1.5 miles...It appears to AEI that a half-mile (2600 feet/800m) setback is appropriate if the goal is to minimize impacts on residents, with a one-mile (1.5 km) setback offering near assurance of avoiding noise issues."

 (From the Acoustic Ecology Institute Special Report, November, 2009.  Link to full report below:

http://acousticecology.org/srwind.html

The report details the effects of noise and low-frequency (inaudible) vibrations on human health, and relates these findings to safe setback distances.  It discusses the dangers of allowing 1000 foot setbacks, and identifies many reputable sources (including the World Health Organization and other scientific groups from around the world) who recommend minimum setbacks of 1/2 mile or more.

 


Other Personal Stories

Read other personal stories of health effects caused by living close to a wind turbine:

http://betterplan.squarespace.com/what-its-like-to-live-near-win/


Video:  Negative Health Effects

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lm0Oe8J6qT8


Article: "Are Wind Turbine Farms Making People Sick?  Some Say Yes"  (a balanced article exploring both sides of the issue). http://www.pantagraph.com/news/article_813902f4-ae21-5932-9b79-d6e1cfa72ef7.html

The World Health Organization
184 page Report, 2009
The Health Effects of Night Time Noise

*    Found that at outside average sound levels greater than 40db, "Adverse health effects are observed," and "many people have to adapt their lives to cope with the noise at night.  Vulnerable groups are more severely affected." 

*   Notes that only below 30db are "no significant biological effects observed."

(Wind industry claims that at 1000 feet, sound levels are approximately 45db, although a great deal of the literature is devoted to study of the effect of inaudible low-frequency vibrations in addition to sound in the audible range.)


European Setback Standards

"The French National Academy of Medicine has called for a halt of all large-scale wind development within 1.5 kilometers (roughly 4921 feet) of any residence, and the U.K. Noise Association recommends a 1km (3281 feet) separation distance."

(From the Acoustic Ecology Institute Special Report, November, 2009.)


Article:  "Simple Guidelines for Siting Wind Turbines to Avoid Health Risks" (July, 2008)

Written by two sound engineers, George Kamperman & Richard James, both certified by the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, analyze the frequencies and types of wind turbine sounds that appear to be linked with health complaints, offer safe guidelines (by decibels instead of distance), and propose a standard means of measurement for enforcement purposes.

http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wp-content/uploads/simple-guidelines-for-siting-wind-turbines-to-prevent-health-risks.pdf

How close is too close?

While a slowly rotating windmill might look like a peaceful sight from a distance, scientists are continuing to study the negative health effects of living too close to a wind turbine as a result of constant noise-related sleep deprivation, low-level vibrations, and other factors.  While it is true that the effects are still being studied, it is also true that it would be reckless with the health of citizens to assume at this early point in the study that there is no cause for concern. 

Many representatives in the wind industry claim that there is no proven health risk associated with living near a wind turbine, and short setbacks hold down associated costs for the company.  The Adams County Board approved a 1320 foot setback from homes and schools; or a 1.10 times turbine height setback for leaseholders or non-participants who waive the 1320 foot requirement. 

Meanwhile, because it appears that some percentage of the population may suffer from negative health issues as a result of living too close to wind turbines, many reputable scientists recommend that until we know differently, wind turbines should not be placed within a half-mile (2640 feet) of a home, school, or business; others conclude that even greater distances are required to protect the public safety.  There are more than 30 additional articles recommending longer setbacks listed on the Better Plan, Wisconsin website.