Ontario’s Wind Powered Health Calamity

sleepingOntario is the scene of a perfectly avoidable and entirely unnecessary public health disaster.

The rights of people to live peaceful, healthy lives in rural Ontario have been trampled under the jackboots of Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals – a solid team of hard-‘green’-left eco-fascist nutjobs, responsible for the most bizarre, pointless and costly energy policy on Earth (see our posts here and here and here)

The scale and scope of the disaster was laid bare in the brilliant documentary, Down Wind (see our post here) and has been pursued with proper journalistic zeal by Sun News’ investigative reporter, Rebecca Thompson (see our posts here and here).

A couple of weeks back, Wynne’s puppets at her Health Department (laughably called “Health Canada”) threw together yet another half-baked, wind industry approved pile of tosh parading as “research” on the known and obvious impacts of turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound.

Ever since, properly qualified people have been slamming it for the sloppiness of the work and the wild assumptions upon which its undercooked “conclusions” rest.

Two of them – Carmen Krogh and Bob McMurtry penned the piece below.

carmen krogh

Carmen Krogh: gives “Health” Canada’s “work” an “F”.

Carmen Krogh, BScPharm (retired), is a peer reviewed IWT health researcher and former Director of Publications and Editor-in-Chief of the CPS.

bob mcmurtry

Bob McMurtry: slams “Health” Canada’s half baked efforts.

RY “Bob” McMurtry is Professor Emeritus (Surgery) of Western University (formerly University of Western Ontario). Dr. McMurtry was also an ADM at Health Canada 2000-02.

Health Canada and Wind Turbines: Too little too late?
CMAJ
28 November 2014

Industrial wind turbines (IWTs) are being erected at rapid pace around the world. Coinciding with the introduction of IWTs, some individuals living in proximity to IWTs report adverse health effects including annoyance, sleep disturbance, stress-related health impacts and reduced quality of life. [i],[ii],[iii],[iv],[v],[vi],[vii],[viii],[ix],[x],[xi],[xii] In some cases Canadian families reporting adverse health effects have abandoned their homes, been billeted away from their homes or hired legal counsel to successfully reach a financial agreement with the wind energy developer.[xiii]

To help address public concern over these health effects Health Canada (HC) announced the Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study (HC Study) 2 years ago and brought forth preliminary results November 6, 2014.

Here we briefly comment on the HC Study results and provide some historical context.

Acknowledgement of IWT adverse health effects is not new. The term “annoyance” frequently appears when discussing IWT health effects.

In a 2009 letter the Honourable Rona Ambrose, disclosed:

“Health Canada provides advice on the health effect of noise and low-frequency electric and magnetic fields from proposed wind turbine projects…To date, their examination of the scientific literature on wind turbine noise is that the only health effect conclusively demonstrated from exposure to wind turbine noise is an increase of self-reported general annoyance and complaints (i.e., headaches, nausea, tinnitus, vertigo).” [xiv]

In 2009, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) sponsored a literature review which acknowledges the reported symptoms such as headaches, nausea, tinnitus, vertigo and state they “… are not new and have been published previously in the context of “annoyance”…” and are the “… well-known stress effects of exposure to noise …”[xv]

In 2011, a health survey of people exposed to IWTs in Ontario reported altered quality of life, sleep disturbance, excessive tiredness, headaches, stress and distress. [xvi]

In the same year, CanWEA posted a media release which advised those impacted by wind turbine annoyance stating “The association has always acknowledged that a small percentage of people can be annoyed by wind turbines in their vicinity. … When annoyance has a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, it is important that they consult their doctor.”[xvii]

It turns out it’s not a small percentage of people annoyed by wind turbines. An Ontario Government report concluded a non-trivial percentage of persons are expected to be highly annoyed.

The December 2011 report prepared by a member of CanWEA for the Ontario Ministry of Environment states in the conclusions:

“The audible sound from wind turbines, at the levels experienced at typical receptor distances in Ontario, is nonetheless expected to result in a non-trivial percentage of persons being highly annoyed. As with sounds from many sources, research has shown that annoyance associated with sound from wind turbines can be expected to contribute to stress related health impacts in some persons.”[xviii]

The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges noise induced annoyance to be a health effect [xix] and the results of WHO research “…confirmed, on an epidemiological level, an increased health risk from chronic noise annoyance…”[xx]

HC also acknowledges noise induced annoyance to be an adverse health effect. [xxi],[xxii] The Principal Investigator of the recent HC Study also states “noise-induced annoyance is an adverse health effect”. [xxiii]

Canadian Government sponsored research has found statistically significant relationships from IWT noise exposure.

A 2014 review article in the Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine reports:

“In 2013, research funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment indicated a statistically significant relation between residents’ distance from the turbine and the symptoms of disturbed sleep, vertigo and tinnitus, and recommended that future research focus on the effects of wind turbine noise on sleep disturbance and symptoms of inner ear problems.” [xxiv]

Recently on November 6, 2014, HC posted on its website preliminary results of its HC Study[xxv]. Wind turbine noise “…. annoyance was found to be statistically related to several self-reporting health effects including, but not limited to, blood pressure, migraines, tinnitus, dizziness, scores on the PSQI, and perceived stress” as well as related to “measured hair cortisol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure.”

These troubling results come as no surprise. Since at least 2007 HC employees including the Principal Investigator of the HC Study recommended wind turbine noise criteria which they predict will result in adverse health effects. (i.e. result in an increase percentage highly annoyed).[xxvi],[xxvii],[xxviii]

Then turbines were built and HC spent 2.1 million dollars to find out it appears to have under predicted the impact of IWT noise. HC’s IWT noise criteria does not use a dose response based on IWT noise but rather road noise. But of course IWTs are not cars and peer-reviewed studies consistently document that IWTs produce sound that is perceived to be more annoying than transportation or industrial noise at comparable sound pressure levels. [xxix],[xxx]

IWT noise annoyance starts at dBA sound pressure levels in the low 30s and rises sharply at 35 dBA as compared to road noise which starts at 55 dBA. These findings are further supported by the HC Study’s preliminary results. [xxxi]

IWT noise characteristics that are identified as plausible causes for reported health effects include amplitude modulation, audible low- frequency noise (LFN), infrasound, tonal noise, impulse noise and night-time noise. [xxxii]

The logical solution would be to develop IWT noise criteria which will protect human health but that would present a barrier to wind energy development. Noise limits impacts IWT siting, cost of energy produced [xxxiii] and by extension corporate profits. The wind energy industry has actively lobbied governments to be granted IWT noise exposure limits which benefit their industry.

Canadians trying to understand this should be mindful the Government of Canada has invested and distributed significant amounts of public money to attract and support the wind energy industry. [xxxiv],[xxxv],[xxxvi],[xxxvii],[xxxviii],[xxxix],[xl],[xli] In addition to providing funding, the Government of Canada in collaboration with wind industry stakeholders has developed the Wind Technology Road Map (Wind TRM) [xlii] which Natural Resources Canada defined to be an “…industry-led, government supported initiative that has developed a long-term vision for the Canadian wind energy industry …”.[xliii]

Canada’s Wind TRM states “Members of the Steering Committee, government and our industry will be using this roadmap to direct the actions that are necessary for Canada to develop its vast wind resources.”[xliv] HC is a member of the Interdepartmental Wind Technology Road Map Committee [xlv] which was created to assist in the implementation of Canada’s Wind TRM. [xlvi] One of the “key action items” detailed in the Wind TRM calls for Government and Industry collaboration to develop and maintain government documents that address concerns raised about wind energy projects including that of noise, infrasound and other. [xlvii]

Some jurisdictions are trying to take action to protect their residents. For example, several municipalities in Ontario are trying to establish bylaws that protect from IWT noise. In Wisconsin, on October 14, 2014 the Brown County Board of Health unanimously approved a motion to declare the IWTs at a local project a Human Health Hazard. [xlviii]

It would appear HC’s research effort is too little too late. A non-trivial percentage of Canadians continue to experience adverse health effects. HC now has additional scientific evidence of the “conclusively demonstrated” effects from exposure to IWT noise. It is time for HC to take action to help Canadians maintain and improve their health. (for the references, see below)
CMAJ

Bob and Carmen aren’t the only qualified experts dumping on the woeful “methods” and flawed assumptions of the Health Canada “research”.

john harrison

Professor John Harrison: it’s political propaganda, not science.

John Harrison, a Queen’s University professor emeritus in physics, slammed the “research”, saying that: “the Health Canada study is more politics than science“.

John Harrison is joined by Denise Wolfe – a highly experienced clinical trial research auditor – who has taken a well-honed axe to the “study” – hammering it for:

  • hiding and fudging the raw data;
  • failing to meet the study design’s own sample size criteria;
  • only taking its noise samples during summer, when there is little or no wind;
  • inherent inconsistencies between the data relied on and the arguments presented in the report;
  • incomplete and inconsistent noise modelling;
  • excluding children – the most vulnerable group – from the study altogether;
  • failing to point out that annoyance of the kind identified by the study (which includes sleep deprivation) is defined by the WHO as an adverse health effect (refer to its Night-time Noise Guidelines for Europe – the Executive Summary at XI to XII covers the point);
  • failing to even bother analysing the infrasound data gathered;
  • and, having failed to even analyse the infrasound data, making wholly unsupported conclusions about its impact on sleep and health;
  • in relation to its flawed noise data modelling, relying on wind speed data up to 50km away from the residences involved;
  • making the bogus claim that the study has been published in a peer-reviewed journal (it hasn’t);
  • misleading verbiage (ie waffle and gobbledygook);
  • prematurely publishing what is a piece of political propaganda, based on incomplete and deliberately misleading and inconsistent information; and
  • failing to disclose links between those that worked on the study and their wind industry backers.

For Denise’s withering critique click here.

sleeping baby

Health Canada’s “study” deliberately ignores rural
Ontario’s most vulnerable little citizens.

References (to the CMAJ article)

[i] Pedersen E, Persson KW. Perception and annoyance due to wind turbine noise–a dose response relationship. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 2004; 116: 3460-70.

[ii] Harry A. Wind turbines, noise and health. 2007, February. Available here

[iii] Pedersen E, Persson Waye K. Wind turbine noise, annoyance and self-reported health and well being in different living environments. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2007;64:480-86.

[iv] Phipps R, Amati M, McCoard S, Fisher R. Visual and noise effects reported by residents living close to Manawatu wind farms: Preliminary survey results. 2007. Available here

[v] Pedersen E, Bakker R, Bouma J, van den Berg F. Response to noise from modern wind farms in the Netherlands. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2009; 126: 634-43.

[vi] Pierpont N. Wind turbine syndrome: A report on a natural experiment. Santa Fe, NM: K-Selected Books. 2009. Available here

[vii] Krogh C, Gillis L, Kouwen N, Aramini J. WindVOiCe, a self-reporting survey: Adverse health effects, industrial wind turbines, and the need for vigilance monitoring. Bulletin of Science Technology & Society. 2011; 31: 334-45.

[viii] Shepherd D, McBride D, Welch D, Dirks KN, Hill EM. Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health-related quality of life. Noise Health. 2011;13:333-9.

[ix] Thorne B. The problems with noise numbers for wind farm noise assessment. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society. 2011;31:262-90.

[x] Rand R., Ambrose S, Krogh C. Wind turbine acoustic investigation: infrasound and low-frequency noise–a case study, Bulletin of Science Technology & Society. 2012;32:128–41

[xi] Falmouth Health Department. Letter to Massachusetts Department of Public Health. June 11, 2012. Available on request.

[xii] Nissenbaum M, Aramini J, Hanning C. Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health. Noise Health. 2012;14:60:237-43.

[xiii] Roy D. Jeffery, Carmen Krogh, and Brett Horner Industrial wind turbines and adverse health effects

[xiv] Can J Rural Med 2014;19(1):21-26

[xiv] Krogh – Correspondence from the Honourable Rona Ambrose, June 30, 2009. Available on request.

[xv] Colby, W. D., Dobie, R., Leventhall, G., Lipscomb, D. M., McCunney, R. J., Seilo, M. T., & Søndergaard, B., Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects: An Expert Panel Review, Washington, DC: American Wind Energy Association and Canadian Wind Energy Association. (2009). Available here

[xvi] Krogh C, Gillis L, Kouwen N, Aramini J. WindVOiCe, a self-reporting survey: Adverse health effects, industrial wind turbines, and the need for vigilance monitoring. Bulletin of Science Technology & Society. 2011; 31: 334-45.

[xvii] The Canadian Wind Energy Association, The Canadian Wind Energy Association Responds To October 14, 2011 Statement By Wind Concerns Ontario, Media Release (2011, October 14) PDF Available on request.

[xviii] Howe Gastmeier Chapnik Limited. (2010, December 10). Low frequency noise and infrasound associated with wind turbine generator systems: A literature review (Rfp No. Oss-078696). Mississauga, Ontario, Canada: Ministry of the Environment.

[xix] World Health Organization, Guidelines for Community Noise,1999 Available here

[xx] Niemann H, Bonnefoy X, Braubach M, Hecht K, Maschke C, Rodrigues C, Robbel N. Noise-induced annoyance and morbidity results from the pan-European LARES study. Noise Health 2006;8:63-79

[xxi] Health Canada, Community Noise Annoyance, It’s Your Health, (2005, September). [cited 2014 Nov 25]. Available here

[xxii] Health Canada, Useful Information for Environmental Assessments, (2010), Published by authority of the Minister of Health. [cited 2014 Nov 25]]. Available here

[xxiii] Michaud, D. S., Keith, S. E., & McMurchy, D., “Noise Annoyance in Canada”, Noise Health, 7, 39-47, (2005)

[xxiv] Roy D. Jeffery, Carmen Krogh, and Brett Horner Industrial wind turbines and adverse health effects

[xiv] Can J Rural Med 2014;19(1) Available here

[xxv] Health Canada, Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study: Summary of Results, November 6 2014. Available here

[xxvi] Keith SE, Michaud DS, Bly SHP. A justification for using a 45 dBA sound level criterion for wind turbine projects. N.D.

[xxvii] Keith SE, Michaud DS, Bly SHP. A proposal for evaluating the potential health effects of wind turbine noise for projects under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Second International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise, Lyon France September 20 -21 2007

[xxviii] Keith SE, Michaud DS, Bly SHP. A proposal for evaluating the potential health effects of wind turbine noise for projects under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. J Low Freq Noise. 2008:27:253-65.

[xxix] Pedersen E, Persson KW. Perception and annoyance due to wind turbine noise–a dose response relationship. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 2004; 116: 3460-70.

[xxx] Pedersen E, Bakker R, Bouma J, van den Berg F. Response to noise from modern wind farms in the Netherlands. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2009; 126: 634-43.

[xxxi] Health Canada, Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study: Summary of Results, November 6 2014. Available here

[xxxii] Jeffery RD, Krogh CME, and Horner B, [Review] Industrial wind turbines and adverse health effects Can J Rural Med 2014;19(1), 21-26. Available here

[xxxiii] Canadian Wind Energy Association [website]. Letter to Neil Parish re: sound level limits for wind farms. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Wind Energy Association; 2004. Available on request.

[xxxiv] Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, EcoEnergy for Renewable Power, web update June 1 2009 Improving Energy Performance in Canada an ecoACTION initiative. Available here

[xxxv] Government of Canada Natural Resources Canada: Government of Canada Announces $9.2 Million for Alberta Wind Energy Project. July 07, Available here

[xxxvi] Minister of Natural Resources Lisa Raitt (Thursday, 10 Sept 2009) MEDIA RELEASE -Renewable Energy Expands in Ontario. Available here

[xxxvii] Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Program Power Program Date Modified: 2011-02-25 Available here

[xxxviii] Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. About Renewable Energy

[xxxix] Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Program, Available here

[xl] Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Program Power Program. Available here

[xli] The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, Letter of correspondence August 10, 2012. Available on request.

[xlii] Access to Information and Privacy Request (ATIP) Briefing Note to the Ministers Office, Update on the Development of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Guidelines on Wind Turbine Noise

[xliii] Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) Wind Energy | Canada’s Wind TRM (Technology Road Map). Available here

[xliv] Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) Wind Energy | Canada’s Wind TRM (Technology Road Map). Available here

[xlv] Health Canada, (2012) Health Canada Policy and Research Approach for Wind Turbine Noise – A presentation to the Science Advisory Board, February 2, 2012 Available here

[xlvi] Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. Wind Technology Road Map. Next Steps. Available here

[xlvii] Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) Wind Energy | Canada’s Wind TRM (Technology Road Map). Available here

[xlviii] Proceedings of the Brown County Board of Health, Meeting, Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Available here (see page 13)
CMAJ

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. keith Staff says:

    A good idea would be to have a 200 turbine wind energy facility placed in the middle of Port Philip bay in Melbourne and then listen to the ‘noise’ from the greentards.

    • Please no – the constant whining and Green bile emanating from Milne and Dinasty in parliament is excruciating enough as it is.

  2. Goverments seem to be feeding corruption, not getting rid of it. This in turn means our governments are corrupt too.

  3. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    And the lies, misrepresentation, kickbacks, worthless ‘research’, bias, and SUFFERING continues unabated.
    It would be laughable if it wasn’t so devastating to those who are having to live with turbine noise or leave their homes.
    It could be considered a situation relevant only to Canadians, if this sort of thing were not going on around the world wherever these things have infested.
    It goes to prove how this industry has taken hold of countries governments and health authorities and you have to wonder HOW, how they managed to do this, how they have compromised otherwise intelligent beings into supporting something which can and does rort such horrific harm on communities, individuals and the environment.

    Why is it that these people are so gullible that they cannot and did not see what was happening? You didn’t need warning signs even though there were plenty of them, you just had to recognise that when something looks too good to be true it almost certainly is – simple common-sense was all it needed to assess these massive industrial machines were a health hazard as well as being a money sinkhole ready to open up and swallow massive amounts of public purse funding and greedy enough to suck even more from the end customers.

    These companies have snuck in and written the rules to suit themselves and in some countries they just ignore that nations jurisdiction, regulations and legal determinants and continue on their merry way as if they rule the world.

    What a dangerous amoral situation countries are finding themselves in when they allow such a situation to occur, where they handover the rights of their citizens to live a healthy life in a healthy environment to companies and their owners with no other purpose or consideration but to ensure their personal wealth is never ending.

    • michaelspencer2 says:

      I see you’ve used ‘gullible’ in your comment. It is the correct word to use, and is the reason that propaganda works so well when people do not question anything that suggests an authoritative information source.

      When I voted in Victoria last Saturday I amused myself by gently quizzing the Greens man (duly attired with hat, shorts, and sandals, and complete with obligatory beard) as to the most important matter in the election: “The climate!” was the instant response.

      I then discovered that he had put in time on a 9 week course via Melbourne University (Oh look! There’s David Karoly!) and therefore he knew everything there is to know: https://www.coursera.org/course/climatechange!

      So then, a few checks: “Did he know about deep ice-core records?” “What are they? Never heard of them!” “Did he know that CO2 levels follow temperatures by an average of about 8 centuries, and not the other way around, as promoted by Al Gore?” “No – but we have to curb greenhouse gas emissions otherwise we’re all off the Hell in a hand-basket!” (‘F’ for fail so far!) “And did he know that the World’s average temperature had gone nowhere in particular for the last 18+ years?” “Well, there’s been a dangerous 4°C warming, so we have to act now to stop any more!” (Oh! Really?) “Was he concerned about bird kill at wind farms?” “No! That’s just a myth put about by ‘deniers’!” (So I showed him a well-known photo of a dismembered wedge-tailed eagle! He was shocked but, upon reflection, would think probably it was photo-shopped!) And, so on ……

      I could go on! The level of ignorance was truly horrifying.And this is what STT is really up against. The inner-city ‘greenies’, completely out of touch with reality! (Unicorns, anyone?)

      But then, I think you know that already!

      So, now there is a change of State Government, and the proposal is to reduce the distance between wind turbines and people, I think it’s time for a wind-farm to be established in, say, Brunswick, Coburg, and Clifton Hill. Perhaps STT could contact a struggling wind-turbine manufacturer or two and suggest that there’s money to be had!

      If the Mafia can be so supportive in Sicily, why not here?

      • Jackie Rovenksy says:

        You have had the same reactions from questions put to a ‘Green’, that I have had.
        It’s as if they are so devoid of the ability to comprehend anything which might challenge their pre-conceived or should I say indoctrinated notions they go into either a stupefied state or wander around as if they have been ‘stunned by a mullet’.

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