Senator Bob Day and Wind Turbine Syndrome

This piece is by David Clarke. For more information see

There have been many reviews of the available evidence by the world’s public health bodies and studies published in health science journals. Not one of these has concluded that wind turbines adversely impact human or animal health beyond some annoyance in some people.

waterloo wind farm

The list is too long to repeat on this page, I have tried to include links to the important articles in a page on wind turbines and health.

Senator Day has chosen to ignore the science and believe unsubstantiated claims and rumour.

Why you should not believe that wind turbines cause illness

  1. Science: There is nothing in respectable peer-reviewed scientific journals indicating a direct link between wind turbines and ill-health. If wind turbines really were making people ill it would not be difficult to do research to provide convincing evidence of this. No one has reported on research demonstrating such a link. In addition to the peer-reviewed literature science depends on rational argument – the points below show that it is irrational to claim that turbines cause health problems;
  2. Cause: There is no known mechanism by which turbines could make people ill. There are very few things known to science that are undetectable to our senses yet can cause us harm from a distance – wind turbines produce none of these. (Levels of audible sound andinfrasound from wind turbines are much too low to be harmful);
  3. Dose: There is little, if any, correspondence between a person’s exposure to wind turbines and their likelihood of reporting symptoms. The intensity of anything radiating from a wind turbine must decrease with distance according to the inverse square law of physics. The claimed illnesses are just as likely to occur at larger distances rather than smaller: they show no dose-response correlation, which is quite counter to the science of epidemiology.
  4. Selectivity: The great majority of people are unaffected by nearby turbines and the alleged cases of illness are almost all in people who get no financial benefit from the wind turbines and in those who started with negative opinions about turbines. Farmers who are receiving lease payments and wind farm workers hardly ever claim a health problem from turbines. The ‘problems’ are almost entirely confined to English-speaking countries (because that’s where they have had the publicity).
  5. Legal cases: From 1998 to 2014 there were 49 legal cases against wind farms on health grounds; 48 were decided in favour of wind farms. (See Energy Policy Institute; written by Mike Barnard.)
  6. Symptoms: The symptoms associated with wind turbines are those of anxiety-related disorders (see Opinion from a clinical psychologist);
  7. Car analogy: Wind turbines have three main parts: a fan, a gearbox and a generator. Our cars have the same parts. Sound levels at all frequencies are much higher in cars than near wind turbines. How many of us think that our cars are making us sick?;
  8. My own experience: I have visited many wind farms on many occasions, have even slept beneath operating wind turbines a number of times, in a cabin 850m from an operating turbine twice, and in avacant house 500m from a wind turbine on another occasion. I have never heard sounds from the turbines loud enough to be unpleasant. I have never felt any ill-effects that might be ascribed to infrasound or any other emanations from the turbines.

The fear and anxiety toward wind turbines that is instilled in some people by irresponsible rumour mongers and unethical or ill-informed journalists may lead on to psychosomatic disorders. These people are largely to blame for the epidemic hysteria around wind farms that we are seeing in some English speaking countries.

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