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Health > Victims of wind turbines > INFRASOUND EMISSIONS FROM WIND TURBINES HAVE ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS

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INFRASOUND EMISSIONS FROM WIND TURBINES HAVE ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS

LES INFRASONS PRODUITS PAR LES  ÉOLIENNES ONT DES EFFETS NÉFASTES POUR LA SANTÉ

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM FINLAND:

26 november 2015
Important information from Mauri Johansson concerning Finland
Spokesman for Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) plus Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia
, MD (Specialist in Community & Occupational Health. Master in Humanities and Health studies, MHH) - Prevention & Health Promotion (Denmark)

 URGENT
Press Release


INFRASOUND EMISSIONS FROM WIND TURBINES HAVE ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS

Wind turbines generate infrasound that can cause serious health problems. The infrasound from wind turbines can carry through the air for tens of kilometres. This was verified in the measurements carried out in Finland.
This was the first time that infrasound generated by wind turbines was verified by measurements in Finland.
Tuulivoima-kansalaisyhdistys (TV-KY) ry – the National Association of Citizens against Giant Windmills - has recently released an extensive report on the infrasound emissions from wind turbines and their impact on people’s health.
The wind turbines being built in close proximity to residential areas in Finland are the biggest in Europe. Their rotating blades generate low frequency noise and infrasound, i.e. frequent and continuous air pressure pulses that can travel for very long distances.
Low frequency noise refers to frequencies between 20-200 Hz that are audible to the human ear, and infrasound refers to frequencies between 0.1-20 Hz that can’t be picked up by the human ear. Wind power companies, as well as some researchers, have claimed that “infrasound can’t cause adverse health effects as it is inaudible”. Similarly, we could maintain that radiation isn’t harmful as it is beyond sensory perception.
However, in the summer of 2015 the German Max Planck Institute released a study conducted using a new kind of measurement technology. Contrary to the well-established view, the study showed that the alarm mechanisms of the human brain are sensitive to very low infrasound that is below the hearing threshold.

The need for a survey conducted by the TV-KY Association arose when a growing number of residents in areas located near wind farms started to report health problems, some of which were serious. The measurements showed that the rapidly changing low frequency noise and infrasound caused by wind turbines can indeed be measured inside Finnish homes. Low frequencies permeate the structures of buildings and they can be disturbingly distinguishable from background noise, particularly indoors. Infrasound, on the other hand, can’t be picked up by the human ear, but the residents complain over a great number of symptoms, some of which are serious. The emergence and degree of problems depend on the strength and length of exposure.
In Finland, large scale wind farms have only been constructed for a few years. We don’t yet have any records of the number of people who have had health problems caused by the infrasound emissions of wind turbines. For this report, we interviewed 12 Finnish families who live in close proximity to giant wind turbines in Finland, and we collected the experiences of 55 people concerning the health impacts of industrial wind power production. Out of these 55 people, 33 suffer from sleep disturbances, 26 from ear problems, 23 from headache, 17 from nausea, 11 from heart problems and 11 from inertia.
In addition to infrasound emissions, the audible low frequency noise of the up to 230 m tall wind turbines is directed with force horizontally away from the rotating blades, both downwind and against the wind. The massive air pressure pulse, generated by the blades, that varies with 1-2 seconds intervals, produces low frequency noise that isn’t actually directed at the foot of the wind turbine or on the side.
This partly explains why the interviewed residents in areas that are close to wind farms don’t react identically to wind turbine noise, which is at its worst during night time.
In our measurements, we used a microbarometer, an exceedingly accurate instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure. The measurements were carried out in homes that had reported adverse health effects caused by wind turbines. The report presents the noise measurements carried out inside the homes of some families interviewed in the survey. The infrasound emissions from wind turbines were clearly perceivable.
The report describes what types of well-known health problems are caused by infrasound and what kind of mechanisms are involved. In addition to this, the report contains basic information on the infrasound emissions of wind turbines and on how those emissions can be measured.
This report is first of its kind. Both foreign and domestic experts have been heard in the making of it, and it goes through a wide range of literature published on the topic both in Finland and in other countries. The report has been prepared without any external funding, relying solely on voluntary contribution and support from international experts. Almost all other researches and surveys conducted on the problems caused by noise emissions from wind turbines in Finland have been funded entirely or partly by the industry. The Association expresses its concern over the small number of wind power research conducted independent of funding from the industry. The Association maintains that if wind farms are suspected of causing health problems, they should be investigated by independent medical researchers instead of simply denying the existence of problems.
The National Association of Citizens against Giant Windmills is an impartial and voluntary association working for the benefit of people and the environment.
The report Tuulivoimaloiden infraäänen aiheuttama terveysongelma Suomessa (Health problems in Finland caused by infrasound from wind turbines) is available in its entirety on the web pages of the Association:

http://tvky.info/tiedostot/infra_aani.pdf

Kalevi Nikula
Chair, M. Sc. (Philosophy)
The National Association of Citizens against Giant Windmills
Mobile +358 400 441 049
Email: kalleniku@gmail.com
Website: http://www.tvky.info

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Information importante de Mauri Johansson concernant la Finlande
Porte-parole pour la Scandinavie (Danemark, Norvège et Suède), ainsi que la Finlande, la Lituanie, la Lettonie et l'Estonie
médecin (Spécialiste en Médecine du Travail. Diplômé en Humanities and Health studies, MHH) - Prévention & Promotion de la Santé (Danemark)

Communiqué de presse

LES INFRASONS PRODUITS PAR LES  ÉOLIENNES ONT DES EFFETS NÉFASTES POUR LA SANTÉ

Les éoliennes génèrent des infrasons qui peuvent causer des problèmes de santé graves. Les infrasons des les éoliennes peuvent se propager dans l’air à  des dizaines de kilomètres. Ceci a été vérifié au cours des mesures effectuées en Finlande.
C’est la première  fois que des infrasons  généré par les éoliennes ont été constaté  par des mesures en Finlande.
Tuulivoima-kansalaisyhdistys (TV-KY) ry - l'Association nationale des citoyens contre les éoliennes géantes - a récemment publié un rapport détaillé sur les émissions des infrasons des éoliennes et leur impact sur la santé des gens.
Les éoliennes en cours de construction à proximité de zones résidentielles en Finlande sont le plus grandes  en Europe. Leurs pales qui tournent  génèrent des  sons de basse fréquence et des infrasons, c'est-à-dire  des impulsions de pression de l’air  régulières et continues, qui peuvent voyager pour de très longues distances.
Les sons de  basse fréquence ont  des fréquences comprises entre 20 à 200 Hz qui sont audibles pour l'oreille humaine, et les infrasons ont  des fréquences comprises entre 0,1 à 20 Hz qui ne peuvent être captés par l'oreille humaine.  Les Sociétés d'énergie éolienne, ainsi que certains chercheurs, ont affirmé que «les infrasons ne peut pas causer des effets nocifs pour la santé car sont inaudible». Avec ce même raisonnement, nous pourrions affirmer  que les rayonnements ne sont pas  nocifs car ils ne sont pas  perçus par nos sens.
Cependant, durant  l'été de 2015 l'Institut allemand Max Planck a publié une étude réalisée en utilisant un nouveau type de technologie pour les mesurer. Contrairement à l'opinion bien établie, cette étude a montré que les mécanismes d'alerte  du cerveau humain sont sensibles à des infrasons très faibles  qui sont  en dessous du seuil d'audition.
La nécessité d'une enquête menée par l'Association télévision à KY a surgi quand un nombre croissant de résidents dans les zones situées près des parcs éoliens ont  commencé à signaler des problèmes de santé, dont certains étaient sérieux. Les mesures ont montré que le bruit basse fréquence  évolue rapidement et que les infrasons émis  par les éoliennes peuvent en effet être mesurés dans les maisons finlandaises. Les basses fréquences pénètrent les structures de bâtiments et elles  peuvent être de façon inquiétante distinguées du bruit de fond, en particulier à l'intérieur. Les Infrasons, d'autre part, ne peut pas être capté par l'oreille humaine, mais les résidents se plaignent sur un grand nombre de symptômes, dont certains sont sérieux. L'émergence et le degré de problèmes dépendent de la force et la durée de l'exposition.
En Finlande, les grandes  fermes éoliennes ont été construites depuis  quelques années. Nous ne disposons pas encore de dossiers sur la totalité des  personnes qui ont eu des problèmes de santé causés par les émissions des infrasons des éoliennes. Pour ce rapport, nous avons interrogé 12 familles finlandaises qui vivent à proximité d'éoliennes géantes en Finlande, et nous avons recueilli les expériences de 55 personnes concernant les impacts sur la santé  liés à la production d’électricité éolienne industrielle. Sur ces 55 personnes, 33 souffrent de troubles du sommeil, 26 de problèmes d'oreille, 23 de maux de tête, 17 de nausées, de 11 de problèmes cardiaques et 11 de fatigue.
En plus des émissions des infrasons, le bruit de basse fréquence audible des éoliennes pouvant atteindre 2530m de haut est émis avec force r horizontalement loin des pales, à la fois sous le vent et contre le vent. L’impulsion massive de la pression d'air, générée par les pales, qui varie en fonction des intervalles de 1à 2 secondes, produit un bruit de basse fréquence qui n‘est  pas en de ce fait t  dirigé vers le pied de l'éolienne ou sur le côté.
Cela explique en partie pourquoi les résidents interrogés dans les zones qui sont proches de parcs éoliens ne réagissent pas de façon identique au bruit de l'éolienne, qui est à pire niveau pendant la nuit.
Dans nos mesures, nous avons utilisé un micro baromètre, un instrument extrêmement précis pour mesurer la pression atmosphérique. Les mesures ont été effectuées dans des maisons qui avaient signalé des effets néfastes sur la santé causés par les éoliennes. Le rapport présente les mesures de bruit effectuées à l'intérieur des maisons de quelques familles interrogées dans l'enquête. Les émissions d'infrasons par les éoliennes étaient clairement perceptibles.
Le rapport décrit les types de problèmes de santé bien connus qui sont causées par des infrasons et quel genre de mécanismes sont impliqués. En outre, le rapport contient des informations de base sur les émissions des infrasons des éoliennes et sur la façon dont ces émissions peuvent être mesurées.
Ce rapport est le premier de son genre. Des experts à la fois nationaux et étrangers ont été consultés pour la réalisation de celui-ci, et il compile  un large éventail de la littérature publiée sur le sujet à la fois en Finlande et dans d'autres pays. Le rapport a été préparé sans aucun financement externe, en se fondant uniquement sur la contribution volontaire et le soutien d'experts internationaux. Presque toutes les autres recherches et enquêtes menées sur les problèmes causés par les émissions sonores des éoliennes en Finlande ont été financés entièrement ou partiellement par l'industrie. L'Association exprime sa préoccupation devant le petit nombre de recherche sur l'énergie éolienne qui sont menés  indépendamment du financement de l'industrie. L'Association soutient que si les parcs éoliens sont soupçonnés de causer des problèmes de santé, ils devraient être étudiés par des chercheurs médicaux indépendants au lieu de nier tout simplement l'existence de problèmes.
L'Association nationale des citoyens contre les éoliennes géantes est une association impartiale et bénévole qui travaille pour le bénéfice des personnes et de l'environnement.

Le rapport Tuulivoimaloiden infraäänen aiheuttama terveysongelma Suomessa (problèmes de santé en Finlande causés par infrasons par les éoliennes) est disponible en intégralité sur les pages web de l'Association:

http://tvky.info/tiedostot/infra_aani.pdf
Kalevi Nikula
Président, M. Sc. (Philosophie)
L'Association nationale des citoyens contre les éoliennes géantes
Mobile +358 400 441 049
Email: kalleniku@gmail.com
Website: http://www.tvky.info

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Health, Noise

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Influence of infrasound noise from wind turbines on EEG signal patterns in humans  

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Author: 

[D]ue to the typical size of turbines and their airspace configuration, they can adversely impact the natural environment posing potential hazards such as noise emission, vibrations, non-ionizing radiation effects, emergency situations, the shadow flicker effect, and permanent shade conditions. Turbines may have also a negative effect on the local fauna (particularly birds) as well as the landscape.

In case of wind turbines, both low-frequency noise and audible noise is produced by various aerodynamic noise sources (turbulent layer tearing off from blade edges, boundary layer tearing off, onset of vortex air flows, induction of a boundary vortex, vortices of laminar layer, turbulence of the inflowing air stream) as well as by mechanical noise sources (gearboxes, generators, devices altering the headstock direction, cooling system pumps, ancillary facilities, etc.) [1].

Despite the fact that modern wind turbines operated at daytime generate far less noise than their prototypes, they still appear to strongly affect people. Under certain weather conditions, this noise is transmitted over large distances and exceeds (by about 10–15 dB) the noise levels obtained from numerical models [2]. In most cases, this effect can only be sensed in a subjective manner which means that the very presence of wind turbines may bring about acoustic or beyond-acoustic annoyance reactions in humans (distraction, irritation). These factors are accounted for in the sound level models and questionnaire tools that were a part of experiments conducted mainly in Holland and Sweden and connected with the level and spectral composition of sound generated by wind turbines emitted over the neighboring areas (residential areas). When addressing the issue, other aspects have to be considered as well: time of the day, atmospheric conditions (wind speed and direction), personal attitude towards wind power generation (ardent supporters and fierce opponents), the actual distance from a wind mill farm or the age of people being interviewed [3–6].

The noise produces negative reactions of the nervous system, affecting such abilities as reading ability, attention, problem solving, and memory. Noise appears to have a negative impact on children at school, mainly because it is impossible to control. It can also lead to elevated levels of stress hormones and increased blood pressure at rest. This unfavorable reaction is stronger in children whose school performance is poor.

Most people do not cope well with the effect of noise exposure, and because of that they run a higher risk of suffering from its harmful effects than it was proved in previous studies [7–9].

In 2001, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison the research workers distributed a questionnaire among the residents who had lived for two years in close proximity of a wind power installation comprising 22 turbines. The results of their investigations showed that 44% of people living within a distance of 243–402 meters from wind turbines estimated the noise level as an important issue in their households. Similar tendency was observed among 52% of residents living 804–1600 meters away from turbines, as well as in the 4% of those residing 1600–3200 meters from the wind farm. Under certain conditions, wind turbines could still be heard from the distance of 3.2 km [10].

These findings have been confirmed by Van den Berg, doctor of medicine at Groningen University in Holland, located at the Dutch-German border in the vicinity of a modern wind power plant consisting of 17 turbines with total power of 30 MW. Residents who lived 500 m and further from the turbines reacted strongly to noise pollution, while those living in an approximate distance of 1.9 km displayed clear signs of annoyance (anger) [2].

In 2005, a survey was carried out among 200 people living 1.2 km from a French wind mill farm in St. Crepin. 83% of residents took part in the survey, 27% found the noise level unbearable at night, 58% claimed that noises during nights seriously interfered with their night’s rest, while 10% stated that noise in the course of the day was at least distracting, and that was just a six-turbine installation with the rated power of 9 MW [2].

According to the Dutch standards, the noise of wind mill turbines is to be measured based on the average level of exposure Lden (day-evening-night) which is defined in correlation with the wind speed value at the height of the tower [5].

According to Schreurs [4], as long as the infra frequency noise level is kept below 40 dB(A), the annoying effects should not be acute and the residents’ health should not be strongly affected. For average exposure levels Lden exceeding 45dB(A), the noise is expected to be perceived as irritating and may cause sleep disorders thus affecting human health.

The subjective assessment of sound emitted by wind mill parks was conducted on the basis of surveys collected from residents living nearby wind farms [5, 11]. The issues addressed included verbal evaluation of noise generated by wind turbine elements, subjective perception of this type noise for different wind conditions as well as the impact of non-acoustic factors (economical benefits, wind mill view, living conditions) on the perceptibility and inconvenience resulting from the noise. The results of surveys carried out in Holland, in which respondents were asked to come up with the most accurate term describing sounds generated by wind power plants located at a distance of 2.5 km from their permanent residence, revealed that 80% of respondents described the noise as whistling. This group included both those who sensed certain level of discomfort and respondents who did not complain about the wind mill presence at all [5]. Research efforts aimed at defining the exposure-reaction curve for wind power plants noise both inside and outside houses are summarized in [12].

The purpose of the experiment presented in this paper was to determine the effect of infrasound waves on variations in Delta, Theta, Alpha, SMR, Beta1, and Beta2 waves in humans exposed to infrasound noise in an attempt to give a more objective evaluation of the impacts of infrasound generated by wind turbines.

Papers [13–18] report a statistically significant change in patterns of EEG and ECG signals in humans. Dominant changes were observed in the alpha rhythm during the infrasound exposure.

References
[1] S. Oerlemans, P. Sijtsma, L. Méndez, Location and quantification of noise sources on a wind turbine. J. Sound Vibr. 299, 869 (2007).
[2] G.P. van den Berg, Effects of the wind profile at night on wind turbine sound. J. Sound Vibr. 277, 955 (2004).
[3] M.V. Lowson, Aerodynamic noise of wind turbines. Proc. Internoise 96, 479 (1996).
[4] E. Schreurs, J. Jabben, E. Verhejien, Wind turbine noise in the Netherlands: a modelling and monitoring approach. Proc. Euronoise 2009, 3975 (2009).
[5] G.P. van den Berg, Why is wind turbine noise noisier than other noise? Proc. Euronoise 2009, 3965 (2009).
[6] E. Pedersen, G.P. van den Berg, R. Bakker, J. Bouma, Response to noise from modern wind farms in The Netherlands. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 126, 634 (2009).
[7] B. Berglund, P. Hassmén, R.F. Soames, Sources and effects of low-frequency noise. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 5, 2985 (1996).
[8] M. Alves-Pereira, Noise-induced extra-aural pathology: a review and commentary. Aviat. Space Environ. Med. 70, 7 (1999).
[9] M. Branco, M. Alves-Pereira, Vibroacoustic Disease. Noise Health 23, 3 (2004).
[10] D.E. Kabes, C. Smith, Excerpts from the final report of the Township of Lincoln Wind Turbine, Agricultural Resource Center, Madison 2001.
[11] E. Pedersen, Human response to wind turbine noise &emdash perception, annoyance and moderating factors, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg 2007.
[12] S.A. Janssen, A.R. Eisses, E. Pedersen, Exposure-response relationships for annoyance by wind turbine noise: a comparison with other stationary sources. Euronoise 2009, 1472 (2009).
[13] C. Kasprzak, The influence of infrasounds on the electrocardiograph patterns in humans. Acta Phys. Pol. A 118, 87 (2010).
[14] C. Kasprzak, [Possibility of application of infrasound therapy in treatment of sleep disorders.] Acta Bio-Optica Inform. Med. 15, 390 (2009).
[15] Z. Damijan, C. Kasprzak, R. Panuszka, Low‐frequency sounds and psychological tests at 7, 18, and 40 Hz. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 115, 2388 (2004).
[16] C. Kasprzak, Influence of infrasound on the alpha rhythm of EEG signal. Acta Phys. Pol. A 121, 61 (2012).
[17] C. Kasprzak, Influence of binaural beats on EEG signal. Acta Phys. Pol. A 119, 986 (2011).
[18] C. Kasprzak, The effect of the narrow-band noise in the range 4-8 Hz on the alpha waves in the EEG signal. Acta Phys. Pol. A 123, 980 (2013).

The influence of infrasound noise from wind turbines on EEG signal patterns in humans

 


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