Diagnosing Patients Experiencing Adverse Health Effects from Industrial Wind Turbines


Dr Robert J McMurtry


Robert Y. McMurtry is the former Dean of Medicine for the University of Western Ontario. He was a member of the Health Council of Canada for 3½ years and a member and special advisor to the Royal Commission on the future of  health care in Canada. Dr. McMurtry was a visiting Cameron Chair to Health Canada for providing policy advice to the Minister and Deputy Minister of Health and the Founding and Associate Deputy Minister of Population & Public Health, Canada. Presently Dr. McMurtry is Professor (Emeritus) of Surgery, University of Western Ontario.

In October 2010 a multidisciplinary group of approximately 100 professionals -including medical doctors, acousticians, psychologists, physicists, pharmacists and occupational therapists – got together at a symposium, shared their knowledge and realised that they all needed to get very serious about the emerging global issue of adverse health effects (AHEs) experienced by people living next to industrial wind turbines (IWTs).

But the lack of consistent gathering of information was hampering their progress – so steps were taken then to create a case definition of the adverse health effects reported by people living in the environs of industrial wind turbines. The aim was to assist rural doctors making a medical diagnosis of adverse health effects in the environs of industrial wind turbines (AHE/IWT).

A paper was published by Robert McMurtry summarising this pivotal meeting, and the proposed diagnostic criteria of adverse health effects in the environs of industrial wind turbines:

McMurtry, R. Y. (2011). Toward a case definition of adverse health effects in the environs of industrial wind turbines: facilitating a clinical diagnosis. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 31(4), 316-320.

Based on feedback, Robert then teamed up with Carmen Krogh and presented a revised case definition and proposed a model to study and establish a confirmed diagnosis. This paper was recently published in a peer reviewed journal by the Royal Society for Medicine:

McMurtry, R.Y. & Krogh, C. M. E. (2014). Diagnostic criteria for adverse health effects in the environs of wind turbines. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Open , 5(10), 1-5.


Carmen Krogh


Here are some important extracts from this recent paper for our readers:

Sleep disruption and ear complaints are the most frequent symptoms reported.

“The most frequent complaints or symptoms are sleep disturbances or difficulty initiating sleep and/or difficulty with sleep disruption and annoyance producing increased levels of stress and/or psychological distress. Another frequent complaint relates to inner ear symptoms.”

No sleep with turbines

A probable diagnosis of Adverse Heath Effects in the environs of Industrial Wind Turbines (AHE/IWT) can be made when all four of these first order criteria are present:

(a) Domicile within up to 10km from IWT.
(b) Altered health status following the start-up of, or initial exposure to, and during the operation of IWT.  There may be a latent period of up to six months.
(c) Amelioration of symptoms when more than 10km from the environs of IWT.
(d) Recurrence of symptoms upon return to environs of IWT.

The diagnosis is strengthened when at least 3 of the 4 second order criteria occur or worsen after IWTs start or continue operating:

(a) Compromise of quality of life.
(b) Continuing sleep disturbance, difficulty initiating sleep and/or difficulty with sleep disruption.
(c) Annoyance producing increased levels of stress and/or psychological distress.
(d) Preference to leave residence temporarily or permanently for sleep and/or restoration.

These are the third order criteria that can occur or worsen after IWTs start or continue operating (medical definitions are linked):


(a) Tinnitus
(b) Dizziness
(c) Difficulties with balance
(d) Ear ache
(e) Nausea
(f) Headache

(a) Difficulty in concentrating
(b) Problems with recall or difficulties with recall

(a) Hypertension
(b) Palpitations
(c) Enlarged heart (cardiomegaly)

(a) Mood disorder, i.e. depression and anxiety
(b) Frustration
(c) Feelings of distress
(d) Anger

Regulatory disorders
(a) Difficulty in diabetes control
(b) Onset of thyroid disorders or difficulty controlling hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism

(a) Fatigue
(b) Sleepiness.

When 3 or more of these third order criteria occur or worsen after IWTs start or continue operation, then it is a presumed diagnosis of AHE/IWT until proven otherwise.

It is noted by the authors that the much needed epidemiological studies of AHE/IWT have been severely limited by the lack of cooperation by the wind industry:

“double-blinded studies could be done if industry co-operated by turning IWT off and on during noise energy and physiological measurements.”

So to confirm a diagnosis more work is needed. Robert and Carmen propose sleep studies that show measurable electro-physiological differences (as recommended by the WHO) as well as changes in biochemical markers. This is difficult to do on-site, but they believe a sleep study centre could be modified to include a source of acoustic energy that accurately reflects the person’s exposure to IWT in their homes. In many ways this approach would reflect the 1987 research by Neil Kelley into the annoyance of wind turbine noise conducted after their first experiences of the adverse health impacts of first wind turbines in 1985 – except the participants would be asleep rather than awake. Robert and Carmen argue that this will help with the neutrality or ‘blinding” of the proposed study of AHE/IWT.

sleep study

Sleep studies are needed to get to the bottom of AHE/IWT


So if you are experiencing adverse health effects – please see your doctor and share this paper with them: McMurtry, R.Y. & Krogh, C. M. E. (2014). Diagnostic criteria for adverse health effects in the environs of wind turbines. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Open , 5(10), 1-5. The Waubra Foundation continues to be an excellent source of information and resources for Australians experiencing AHE/IWT.

Also consider lodging your experiences with ILL WIND REPORTING – a Canadian-based organisation which aims to build a global database of incidents of any adverse effect from industrial wind turbines – including human health, impacts on animals, electrical systems, noise/vibration, property devaluation, social disruption, loss of tourists, turbine failure and unethical behaviour by wind developers.

illwind reporting

Reports to the ILL WIND REPORTING database can be made by any of the following ways:

If you would like to ask any questions of the ILL WIND REPORTING team – try using this email info@illwind.org or the form on their web site.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Reblogged this on Patti Kellar.

  2. Reblogged this on How Green Is This?.

  3. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    The industry and its acolytes can no longer continue to hide behind their unproven theories and lies.
    Too many are now aware of what they have been trying to hide, too many are willing to come forward and prove the lies and ill-founded theories are doing harm and preventing those suffering from being listened too, as well as hindering the much needed comprehensive research across the whole subject of these things which have been thrust into our environments without due care and consideration of the harm they could and can cause.
    It’s the forward thinking and recognition of possible harm by people such as Robert McMurtry and Carmen Krough and others that are showing up those who try to hinder the truth from being researched and broadcast that will win the day.
    Too many who should know better have been engulfed by the ‘green’ tide of misinformation, under the guise of environmentalism, but the truth cannot be ignored any longer.
    The AMA has to rescind its ill-informed and ill-conceived Position Statement, the NHMRC needs to ensure research is carried out without pre-conceived theories which can and do prevent those suffering from being listened to in an unbiased manner.
    No longer should the industry and its aids be listened to and the process of the ‘victim’ is lying and those who offer them a helping hand are dangerous to the industries cause should be entertained by the media, politicians and anyone else.
    No longer can it be said there is no ‘diagnostic’ tool available to doctors and researchers. More work on the subject may be needed but what this paper shows is there are unchallengeable correlations between effects being reported by nearby residents and the commencement of operation of industrial wind turbines.
    This is a worldwide health issue and one that has to be accepted as having the potential to cause even more harm as these things continue to be installed and operated without claims of their status as benign instruments thrust into our environs being proven by the industry and its enthusiasts.

  4. Thank you STT for bringing awareness to the http://www.illwind.org site. All submissions can be made anonymously. Residents can submit as many reports as they wish. The site could be used as a data base for your specific location. We are presently @ 685 reports representing 65 categories of impacts, worldwide with 241 of these reports indicating sleep disturbances. If there are changes that need to be made in the category, please let me know. We are also on FB and twitter

  5. The wind weasel and greentard goons (what fools and criminals they are) say there are no known problems with health from giant fans, what a joke. There has always been health issues with fans and there always will be – that is what this web site is all about, to STOP THESE THINGS.

    WE WILL STOP THESE BL**DY FANS, once and for all, and sooner rather than later.

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