This article comes from the Warrnambool Standard, journalist is SHANE FOWLES.
AN independent study into wind farms which measured Yambuk residents’ health has found there is no link between exposure to turbines and health problems.
University of Adelaide professor Gary Wittert used data from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to compare medical prescriptions of people living in areas with and without turbines.
His study involved 12,000 people living within a 10-kilometre radius around wind farms in Yambuk, Waubra and two sites in South Australia.
“I can tell you from a preliminary look — and we will send this to peer review as soon as it’s fully analysed — there is no hint of any effect on a population basis for an increased use of sleeping pills or blood pressure or cardiovascular medications whatsoever,” he told the ABC.
“If you whip up anxiety, people will generate many of these symptoms.
“There’s fear of the unknown, there’s activists creating concern among the population.”
The 10km zone was chosen because anti-wind farm campaigner Dr Sarah Laurie said people living within that area could be at risk of health problems such as elevated blood pressure and headaches.
As medical director of the Waubra Foundation, which was formed after anecdotal evidence of health problems in people who live near wind turbines, Dr Laurie has been an active campaigner.
While visiting Portland earlier this year, she raised a link between early morning high blood pressure, heart attacks and wind farms.
In giving evidence at a Senate inquiry, Pacific Hydro general manager Lane Crockett said the company never had a complaint near the Codrington wind farm until Dr Laurie’s public appearance in Portland.
“Since these claims were made, Pacific Hydro has received several calls from worried residents nearby our wind farm asking if they are likely to become ill,” Mr Crockett said.
“We note that in recent community consultations a number of residents showed considerable anxiety about a wind farm being built in their area.
“It does seem odd to me that 10 years go by and then suddenly people are asking questions.
“They are not asking questions because of the wind farm; they are asking questions because of what they have been told.”
At the inquiry hearing in March, the Glenelg Shire Council revealed it had received five complaints about the wind energy sector.