Irish Wind Farm Study Proves Turbine Noise Causes Disease

Professor Alun Evans

Professor Alun Evans: no bones about it, IFLN generated by these things causes environmental insomnia and a range of associated diseases.


Irish Daily Mail
Leah McDonald
16 October 2015

Irish scientists link them to cancer, stroke and heart attacks – wind turbines ‘too near family homes’

WIND farms can contribute to people getting diseases such as cancer and heart attacks, two leading Irish health experts have warned.

They say that noises emitting from turbines lead to sleep deprivation that can cause cancer and heart disease, along with a number of other illnesses.

Professor Graham Roberts, head of the Department of Endocrinology at University Hospital, Waterford, and Professor Alun Evans, an expert in public health at Queen’s University, Belfast, met Alan Kelly yesterday to warn the Environment Minister that the current guidelines in Ireland are a cause for alarm.

The rules allow turbines and power lines as close as 500 metres to a family home, while international standards demand they should be at least 2km away.

Prof Evans, recently wrote a report pointing to ‘serious adverse health effects associated with noise pollution generated by wind turbines’. The risks were due to sleep disturbance and deprivation with loud noise being one of the main causes.

He pointed out that sleep deprivation is associated with memory impairment in children and disturbed cognitive function in adults.

He told the Irish Daily Mail yesterday that distances between homes and turbines should be increased.

He said: ‘The bad effects of low frequency noise has been known for at least 40 years, the thing is 500 metres does not protect people. It is insufficient.’ He warned that there is evidence that the ‘infrasonic signatures’ that cause the damage can be picked up from 50 miles way, adding: ‘It is a serious problem. It doesn’t affect everyone the same way. Something like a quarter of people are more susceptible.’

Prof Evans explained: ‘It is a problem, the big thing being noise and sleep deprivation. Once you deprive people of sleep you make them more liable to become overweight and you delay their learning because while we sleep we reinforce memory.

‘Depriving people of sleep is not a good idea, overweight children become obese adults and obese adults are far more likely to [develop] a whole range of diseases particularly cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.’ He added that the noise doesn’t have to have a direct effect to cause a problem. ‘It can be indirect but it is still very important,’ he said. ‘And you can prevent diseases by preventing the more distant causes.’

And in his recent report, Dr Evans said that there had been no proper cost-benefit analysis in Ireland before the widespread introduction of wind power.

Both he and Dr Roberts believe there are fundamental technical errors in reports on current wind farm and power-line projects here.

They are concerned over the consultation process with the public. Some parents of autistic children have particular fears about the effects turbines and high-voltage pylons have on their quality of life.

John Callaghan has objected to wind farms in Co. Meath, which he fears will affect the environment and health of his autistic son.

The engineer, who has studied renewable energy at postgraduate level, said his seven-year-old son is autistic and very sensitive to noise and says he has ‘grave concerns’ about the impact of the proposed wind farm on his son, himself, his family and the local area, including wildlife, heritage and the cultural landscape.

The meeting between the professors and the minister was organised by community campaigner David Reid of the Westmeath Alliance. Mr Reid said there are significant concerns about noise pollution for people living close to wind turbines. He said the World Health Organisation refers to this as ‘environmental insomnia’, if the noise is above a certain threshold.
Irish Daily Mail

Alun Evans made a brilliant submission to Australia’s Senate Inquiry into the great wind power fraud – available here.

David Reid is right on the money when he points out that “the World Health Organisation refers to noise pollution for people living close to wind turbines as ‘environmental insomnia’”. The WHO has defined noise induced ‘environmental insomnia’ as an adverse health effect, in and of itself, for something like 60 years. Its Night-time Noise Guidelines for Europe – the Executive Summary at XI to XII which covers the point – says:


There is plenty of evidence that sleep is a biological necessity, and disturbed sleep is associated with a number of health problems. Studies of sleep disturbance in children and in shift workers clearly show the adverse effects.

Noise disturbs sleep by a number of direct and indirect pathways. Even at very low levels physiological reactions (increase in heart rate, body movements and arousals) can be reliably measured. Also, it was shown that awakening reactions are relatively rare, occurring at a much higher level than the physiological reactions.

The review of available evidence leads to the following conclusions.

  • Sleep is a biological necessity and disturbed sleep is associated with a number of adverse impacts on health.
  • There is sufficient evidence for biological effects of noise during sleep: increase in heart rate, arousals, sleep stage changes and awakening.
  • There is sufficient evidence that night noise exposure causes self-reported sleep disturbance, increase in medicine use, increase in body movements and (environmental) insomnia.
  • While noise-induced sleep disturbance is viewed as a health problem in itself (environmental insomnia), it also leads to further consequences for health and well-being.
  • There is limited evidence that disturbed sleep causes fatigue, accidents and reduced performance.
  • There is limited evidence that noise at night causes hormone level changes and clinical conditions such as cardiovascular illness, depression and other mental illness. It should be stressed that a plausible biological model is available with sufficient evidence for the elements of the causal chain.

STT tends to think the World Health Organization – after more than 60 years of studying the problem – might just know a thing or two about night-time noise, sleep and health. And, after more than 5 years of suffering, so do Clive and Trina Gare.

Notwithstanding a $200,000 annual pay-cheque, and thousands spent on noise ‘mitigation’, the Gares still can’t sleep properly; or otherwise enjoy their own home – their suffering continues:

SA Farmers Paid $1 Million to Host 19 Turbines Tell Senate they “Would Never Do it Again” due to “Unbearable” Sleep-Destroying Noise

What Alun Evans and his team have done is simply confirm what is simply obvious to any human being gifted with our good friends ‘logic’ and ‘reason’: deprive someone of sleep over an extended period and their health will suffer.

Even after one ‘rough night’, you don’t ever hear the sufferer bubbling about how much better they felt in the morning. No, the usual response is about telling those around them to keep out of their way for the day, or there’ll be trouble (often in terms too ‘blue’ to print). However, that ‘trouble’ manifests as a danger not just to the sufferer and his nearest and dearest, but to a range of others who might end up tangling with the insomniac, as their sleep-deprived day draws on:

Wind Turbine Noise Deprives Farmers and Truckers of Essential Sleep & Creates Unnecessary Danger for All

Alive to the critical importance of regular, quality sleep to health, the common law has recognised a person’s right to a decent night’s sleep in their own home for over two centuries.

STT’s Nuisance “In-a-Nutshell”

Nuisance is a long recognised tort (civil wrong) at common law based on the wrongful interference with a landowner’s rights to the reasonable use and enjoyment of their land.

Negligence is not an element of nuisance, although aspects of the former may overlap with the latter.  Where, as here, the conduct is intentional (ie the operation of the wind turbines is a deliberate act) liability is strict and will not be avoided by the defendant showing that it has taken all reasonable steps to avoid the nuisance created.  Indeed, the conduct of the defendant is largely irrelevant (unless malice is alleged); the emphasis is on the defendant’s invasion of the neighbouring landowner’s interests.

A defendant will have committed the tort of nuisance when they are held to be responsible for an act indirectly causing physical injury to land or substantially interfering with the use or enjoyment of land or of an interest in land, where, in the light of all the surrounding circumstances, this injury or interference is held to be unreasonable.

The usual remedy for nuisance is an injunction restraining the defendant from the further creation or continuance of the nuisance.  Injunctions are discretionary, in all cases, and will not be granted unless the nuisance caused is significant.

Where interference with the enjoyment of land is alleged, the interference must be “substantial” and not trivial.

Interference from noise will be substantial, even if only temporary in duration, if it causes any interference with the plaintiff’s sleep.

The loss of even one night’s sleep through excessive noise has been repeatedly held to be substantial and not trivial in this sense (see Andreae v Selfridge & Co [1937] 3 All ER 255 at 261, quoted with approval in Munro v Dairies Ltd [1955] VLR 332 at 335; Kidman v Page [1959] St R Qd 53 at 59; see also Halsey v Esso Petroleum Co Ltd [1961] 1 WLR 683 at 701: “a man is entitled to sleep during the night in his own house”).

It is not a defence for the party creating the nuisance to claim that he is merely making a reasonable use of his property.  The defendant’s conduct may well be otherwise lawful, but still constitute actionable nuisance.  The activity engaged in by the defendant may be of great social utility or benefit, but that has been repeatedly held as being “insufficient to justify what otherwise would be a nuisance” (see For example, Munro v Dairies Ltd [1955] VLR 332 at 335; see also Halsey v Esso Petroleum Co Ltd [1961] 1 WLR 683)

Halsey’s case is well worth a read – a real “David and Goliath” battle, as described by the trial Judge: “This is a case, if ever there was one, of the little man asking for the protection of the law against the activities of a large and powerful neighbour.”  And just like David’s epic battle with a thuggish giant, the little bloke won!

Here’s a link to the case: Halsey v Esso Petroleum [1961] 1 WLR 683

Precisely the same principles were at work in the case pursued by Julian and Jane Davis, who successfully obtained a £2 million out of court settlement from a wind farm operator, for noise nuisance; and the resultant loss of property value (the home became uninhabitable due to low-frequency noise, infrasound and vibration).

The Particulars of Julian and Jane Davis’ Claim are available here: Davis Complaint Particulars of Claim

And Jane Davis’ Statement (detailing their unsettling experiences and entirely unnecessary suffering) is available here: davis-noise-statement

What the likes of Alun Evans have done, is to add to the growing body of irrefutable evidence, that is now well-and-truly sufficient to take on wind power outfits in Civil Proceedings; to win back everything that you worked so hard to obtain; and that they were prepared to simply steal from under you, with knowing assistance from your very own governments.


Judgment Day Awaits …

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 Climate- Science.

  2. john mc cartney says:

    The wind turbine bullies intend to stick 10 wind turbines in my backyard called the Brockagh proposal at BT47 waterside Derry city N.Ireland. There is one monstrosity only 476 M from my house. This is not on!!! The International distance FROM A HOUSEHOLD IS 2km!! We are being taken for a ride.Our Environment minister is in favour of these disease causing machines, so I for one will not be voting SDLP in future!!!

  3. Government’s the world over are continuing to deliberately ignore this serious problem. It is beyond sickening to see this level of misfeasance and malfeasance by those whom the people elect to safeguard their homes and family’s. Despicable.

  4. Maria McCoy says:

    Why do they feel the need to erect these monstrosities in area of worldwide outstanding natural beauty? The Mourne Mountains with wind turbines spread out over them is an horrific idea! A question I’d like to ask the electrical fat cats is – Have they ever put a toe down in any of them? To stand and survey a map is easy enough to do it’s only paper, it’s totally different to stand in them, to listen to people who live there, would be a thing to do. Would they have a turbine/wind farm near their house if they’re so harmless?

  5. E Griffiths says:

    Even 13 km is much too close to a cluster of 10 large fans if you happen to be sensitive to ILFN.

  6. The rent seekers of the wind industry and their acolytes must realise that even with the support of opportunistic and influential politicians in the current Turnbull “Labor Lite” Government their subsidised “golden goose” will eventually become Sunday dinner.

    The demise of the wind industry is as predictable as was that of the asbestos and tobacco industries before them.

    We now see the wind industry engaged in a campaign of lies, cover-up and misinformation similar to what the vested interests of the asbestos and tobacco industries did even long after the emergence of damning evidence of their product’s lethal health impacts.

    With the evidence of the harmful noise impacts of wind turbines mounting, the time to launch a co-ordinated legal challenge may have arrived.

    Governments of both the left and the right are clearly not yet prepared to seriously consider the immense economic cost to the nation of subsidised, intermittent wind power nor are they interested in preserving the health and well being of a small, number of expendable, rural voters (inconvenient road kill).

  7. Canadian Climate Guy says:

    Reblogged this on Canadian Climate Guy and commented:
    Now you know there is going to be some “noise” made over this study!

  8. Crispin Trist says:

    I am not an acoustician. But I am a musician.

    What I do know is that if you turn on your hi fi stereo and put on a CD, something with a beat or a lot of bass, then turn up the music. You can hear all of the frequencies that make up the sound. Now leave the room and shut the door and move away from the sound source. If you listen carefully, you will notice that most of the high frequencies have gone. But the low frequency sounds are still there. As you move further away, the high frequencies decrease further. The low bass frequencies that can still be heard are so often the source of many inner city noise complaints. All that the neighbour may end up hearing is the drum and bass!

    Another source of audible low frequency noise could be your local airport. I used to live in Brisbane. The airport was some 16klms away. And yet on certain nights, the rumble from a distant aircraft taking off could be heard right across the city! Thankfully it was not a continuous sound going 24/7 because then you really would have a problem! And modern jets are getting quieter all the time.

    Now consider a thunder storm. Depending on how close you are to the lightning source, you will notice a flash and then after a slight delay, a bang or a rumble. As it passes you it can often be heard to roll across the landscape into the distance. This low frequency sound can travel for miles! It can also wake you up from a deep sleep in the middle of the night!

    Now just imagine how far the even lower frequency sounds or the infrasound elements of thunder are travelling!

    It has recently been made clear to me that infrasound has now been detected from a wind farm over 70 klms away! Just how far is the infrasound travelling from the repetitive beat of 40m long 7-8 tonne wind turbine blades right across South West Victoria?

    This is insane!!!

    Australia, you should be ashamed of the way you are treating your own citizens!

  9. substantiate substantiate says:

    While Dr Evans has contributed to raising a debate on this matter There are still no irrefutable studies or research done on the matter of turbine noise and its affects on humans. People cannot use hearsay in the Courts and will have to substantiate their arguments and case irrefutably.
    We all request that Dr Evans and his collegues bring some strong research based evidence to the table now before getting people’s hopes up that they have a case.

    • Happy to substantiate.

      1. the adverse health effects caused by turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound was proven nearly 30 years ago, everything since NASA’s research merely confirms it:

      2. not sure what you mean by ‘hearsay’. Evidence given by a witness in court of their own knowledge based on their direct observations (eg what they heard, saw and sensed) is not hearsay. Read Jane Davis’ statement linked in the post above. Her own observations are relevant and admissible in court. Cases in nuisance caused by noise have been won exclusively on such evidence in the past.

      3. expert evidence is of no value in a nuisance case, unless there is first hand evidence from the plaintiff(s) of suffering from noise including losing sleep as a result. Anyone so affected by noise has a case. It is the reason that wind power outfits settle cases before they get to trial (as in the Davis case); buying out properties and using gag clauses to prevent them from talking about the settlements. This has happened around the globe, including numerous properties at Waubra in Victoria.

      • Hear hear STT!

        And what is clearly ‘irrefutable’ is that the wind industry has:

        Actively sought to suppress scientific evidence and information and witness testimony to their sustained abuse of rural communities throughout the world, over many many years.

        They have misinformed, and attempted to vilify anyone with the temerity to speak the truth on this issue (The attack on politician Pru Goward’s case just reported by STT is a case in point. As have been the attacks on anybody seeking transparent independant scientific research on the topic).

        And they have coerced the acoustic profession internationally(with some notable exceptions) to ‘keep mum’ on the issue (the corrupt acousticians know however that the longer the stay silent, the bigger the fall that is coming…)

        BigWind has sought to prevent testimony in court cases from neigbours experiencing adverse health impacts (SA ERD court)

        They gag turbine neighbours whose unliveable properties they buy out, intimidating them with legal action should they go public about adverse effects.

        They have bulldozed selected properties that have been bought out, lest open and transparent scientific investigation reveal the truth about acoustic pollution effects.

        They gag turbine hosts (the Gare’s of South Australia had the courage to testify under parliamentary privelege of the adverse impacts, in spite of $200.000 per year from BW).

        They have sought to suppress Mr Cooper’s groundbreaking research at Cape Bridgewater in Victoria, Australia.

        They seek to pervert environmental regulation the world over having low frequency noise and infrasound excluded (or intentionally misapplied) from regulatory standards.

        And they insinuate the panels created by bodies such as Australia’s NHMRC with their tame acousticians and ‘scientists’. Or in the case of the NHMRC, they stack ‘scientific reviews’ with industry insiders whose identity is only made public through Senate investigations ( Leventhall and the smoking ‘gun’).

        Evidence of the above is irrefutable. And that is just the tip of the windscam iceberg. There much much more outlined elsewhere and in STT articles.

        I don’t wish to get peoples’ hopes up, but the day is coming when this most malicious and dishonest of industry’s will be held to account. Through transparent, independant science and people and communities with the courage to stand up to the wind industry bullies and thugs.

      • subtantiate substantiate says:

        Sadly much of this remains hearsay. The fact remains that the level of scientific proof required remains absent. There is no doubt as to the genuine and legitimate complaints that affected people have but the burden of proof remains for anyone challenging the industry scientists. We have been waiting a number of years for studies that are deemed adequate to prove those impacts. As things stand they have not yet emerged.
        The importance of proving the case cannot be highlighted enough and that is what we must seek. Only this will prevent further harm. No government is going to act to curtail this industry unless faced with undeniable evidence that is contrary to what is currently regarded as acceptable. The industry has produced 500 experts to refute the contention that wind farm generated noise and low frequency associated with operational turbines cause harm to human health. We have nothing concrete to counter this claim. What is circulating has not gone beyond the identification of a problem but until scientifically proven will remain officially regarded as hearsay. Little comfort for those inflicted.

      • Substantiate, you are confusing too many concepts for us to provide a sensible answer.

        ‘Hearsay’ is a rule of evidence applicable in contested court proceedings; it has nothing to do with scientific investigation. You then go on to assert that ‘scientific proof is absent’, but do not specify in relation to what? There are fewer than 5 properly qualified noise experts routinely used by the wind industry (not 500); and none of their evidence has ever been used to defeat common law claims in nuisance, as pointed out the wind industry has always settled them to avoid judgments being used as precedents by others. Their ‘experts’ are used in the limited context of planning decisions, supporting the ludicrous ‘guidelines’ written by the self-same experts. In our previous considered reply to you, we linked a number of studies etc. If you are really interested, here a couple more:

    • substantiate If there were, absolutely, definitely, undeniably, no health effects from IWT’s, the DTE corporation ( monopolizing Michigan along with Consumers Power) would tell this woman to eat worms……..But read, just read !!!

      Huron Daily Tribune – Chris Aldridge – October 14, 2015
      Impact on People Michigan

      DTE Energy says it won’t build a wind turbine near a resident whose doctor says it would be disorienting and potentially harmful to her health. The utility’s decision comes less than two weeks after the county received a letter from Chandler resident Deb Ruth. She said if a wind turbine planned for DTE’s newest Pinnebog project is erected about a quarter-mile from her home, it could trigger dizzy spells.

  10. shock an' yaw says:

    The wind industry has been cunningly and systematically manipulating and massaging the ‘court of public opinion’ ever since their huge profits were threatened by the US Government sponsored Kelley/NASA research of the 1980’s.

    It is now well known (with STT playing its part!) that the Kelley et al extensive research demonstrated there was a causal dose/response relationship between acoustic pollution and infrasound produced by a single wind turbine and deleterious health impacts on neighbours.

    Indeed the wind industry changed their turbine designs as a result of this research, but the acoustic pollution persisted. And the industry has been working overtime ever since to have low frequency noise and infrasound excluded from Wind Industry noise guidelines internationally ever since. And to seek to vilify and destroy the careers and reputations of anyone seeks to raise concerns about this issue.

    But the industry cannot coverup their lies forever. Scientific evidence (some of which is described in this article) continues to add to the body of acoustic and health knowledge and is corroborating and building upon the Kelley research, in spite of industry (and its complicit politicians, government authorities and employees, and assorted discredited ‘academics’) attempts to suppress scientific progress.

    It is now well overdue for the Corporate Wind Machine’s strategic abuse of rural community health and well-being to be held to account in legal jurisdictions around the world. They are about to have their asbestos moment, and they know it. The corporate bankers also know it. Thank you STT for helping to expose the Big Wind bastards!


  1. […] Source: Irish Wind Farm Study Proves Turbine Noise Causes Disease […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: