German Researchers Target Effects of Wind Turbine Infrasound on the Heart

The evidence proving the unnecessary damage done to wind farm neighbours by the noise generated by giant industrial wind turbines is mounting by the day: Germany’s Max Planck Institute has identified sub-audible infrasound as the cause of stress, sleep disruption and more (see our post here); and a Swedish group have shown that it’s the pulsing nature of low-frequency wind turbine noise  (‘amplitude modulation’) that is responsible for sleep problems in those forced to live with it (see our post here).

In a World first, Australia’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) held that “noise annoyance” caused by wind turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound “is a plausible pathway to disease”, based on the “established association between noise annoyance and some diseases, including hypertension and cardiovascular disease, possibly mediated in part by disturbed sleep and/or psychological stress/distress.” The AAT also slammed wind turbine noise standards as irrelevant and, therefore, totally unfit for purpose: Australian Court Finds Wind Turbine Noise Exposure a ‘Pathway to Disease’: Waubra Foundation Vindicated

The wind industry and its pet acoustic consultants maintain the fiction that wind turbine noise is the equivalent of a refrigerator at 500m, and steadfastly refuse to admit that the low-frequency noise and infrasound generated has any impact on humans, at all.

Meanwhile, in Germany, real research continues apace. Here’s a wrap up on one study focusing on the effects of long-term exposure to infrasound on the heart.

Wind power – Jammers for the heart: Mainz researchers investigate the consequences of infrasound
Allgemein-zeitung.de
Michael Bermeitinger
5 March 2018

MAINZ – The wind energy euphoria is still continuing in politics and industry, but local residents find this energy generation highly controversial.

Landscaping is one aspect, but also the harmfulness of inaudible infrasound. And here there is more and more support from research. For example, a working group of the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery of Unimedicine caused a stir at the congress of the professional society with their research on the impairment of the heart muscle by infrasound. We spoke with the initiator of the work, HTG Director Professor Christian-Friedrich Vahl.

WORKING GROUP INFRASHALL
Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery (HTG) of the University Medical Center Mainz
Dr. Rayan Chaban
Dr. Ahmed Ghazy
Hazem El Beyrouti
Dr. Katja Bushman
Dr. Lena Brendel
Prof. Christian-Friedrich Vahl

Professor Vahl, how did you come up to this topic?
A friend of mine, the artist Cyrus Overbeck, had a house in Ostfriesland near a large wind farm. And he increasingly complained of difficulty concentrating and sleeping – symptoms that are described all over the world in the vicinity of wind turbines.

And the connection between sound and heart disease?
The impact of audible sound is indeed being researched by the working group around Professor Münzel in an exemplary way. I myself examined the effects of high-frequency vibrations on the development of muscle strength in physiology Hamburg. The assumption that even inaudible sound, ie infrasound, has an effect on vessels is not new either.

What kind are these effects?
When the aortic valve, which regulates the flow of blood from the heart to the body, is calcified and constricted, the bloodstream and thus the flow noise changes. For example, it is being discussed whether this altered sound is involved in the formation of dangerous sagging after constrictions.

What is infrasound and how does it work?
The audible sound ranges from 20 to 20,000 Hertz, below 20 Hz it is no longer audible, but it is physically perceptible at high sound pressure – possibly with corresponding consequences. Wind turbines convert 40 percent into energy and 60 percent into infrasound.

But there is noise protection …
Infrasound has a long range and is not dampened by windows or masonry. It would take 30 meters high and eight meters thick walls to protect against the usual infrasonic frequencies. And with ever-increasing wind turbines of up to 200 meters and rising power, naturally, the infrasound load will be higher.

What question did you ask yourself about infrasound?
We simply wanted to know qualitatively whether the direct application of infrasound to the heart muscle tissue has an effect on the development of strength.

And how was that measured?
To test whether infrasound has a direct effect on force development, we’ve connected a speaker to a heart muscle piece. The loudspeaker is a special industrial vibrator that transmits the smallest monophosphere vibrations in the infrasound range to the specimen. But also the preparation itself was prepared.

In what way?
We have used an established but complicated technique to eliminate all membrane-bound processes and measure them only on the isolated contractile apparatus. This ensures the contraction of the heart muscle.

How big can you imagine the preparation?
It is about three millimeters long, 0.2 millimeters wide and is fixed between speaker and force gauge. The preparation was activated, then the loudspeaker was switched on.

And what effect did the infrasound have?
At the given time it is safe to say that infrasound under the conditions of measurement reduces the force developed by isolated heart muscle, under certain conditions up to 20 percent is lost. The fundamental question of whether the infrasound can affect the heart muscle is answered.

What’s next?
The next step, of course, are measurements on the living specimen.

What conclusion do you draw from the previous results?
We are at the very beginning, but we can imagine that long-term impact of infrasound causes health problems. The silent noise of infrasound acts like a jammer for the heart.
Wind Watch

A home for troubled hearts.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. There is an old Chinese torturing technique, where you hold a cloth or a bucket of water and let it drip on the tortured person’s forehead for hours, even days, drop by drop at the exact same spot. First it doesn’t feel like anything, but in time it starts causing problems – every drops starts to feel like a hit from a sledgehammer.

    Another point to describe WTS, would be tremors in general. They do nothing for months or years to anything, but after a while they start breaking buildings little by little. Sound vibrations and infrasound in general work in a similar kind of way, after a while of non-stop 24/7 exposure, it’ll surely start causing problems.

    I live in a city, and every time I go see my grandparents in the countryside, I start getting headaches after a few days and my tinnitus actually gets worse, but never when I’m in the city. Well, people, especially middle age and older, seemed to start having their own problems in the mentioned countryside, especially heart conditions and those with them already, have them worse. You don’t always have to hear, smell or feel it, for it to affect. Now I’m no scientist, but there is enough evidence to be heard and experienced around to know it to be true.

  2. Reblogged this on Patti Kellar.

  3. And yet at the same time on the other side of the planet, the Daniel Andrews’ Victorian Labor Party are frantically trying to get as many of these damn things up as possible.

    Ballarat and her ‘crown of thorns’.

    The city will be buried in wind turbines as far as the eye can see.

    A ring of steel.

    This state government and this industry are sick.

    And we are expendable!

  4. These turbines need to be turned off until the wind industry can prove they are safe. There is simply no other ethical way to approach this crisis.

  5. Reblogged this on UPPER SONACHAN WIND FARM and commented:
    How long do we have to wait for proper health monitoring of all those forced to live in close proximity to wind turbines?

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