Wind Turbine Syndrome, “Chapman’s Caution,” and Personal Health Journals
Apr 12, 2012
Editor’s note: The following is a practical guide on what to do if you become ill from wind turbines.
But first, a word of caution from a man named Simon Chapman. Mr. Chapman is a PhD in what appears to be sociology. He teaches at an Australian university. He’s brilliant. (Consider Chapman’s curriculum vitae, so formidable that it offers a Table of Contents to help you navigate the mind of a man who has said not only all he has to say about everything, but all he has to say about nothing.) In his words:
This contagious “wind turbine syndrome”—a condition not recognised by any international disease classification system and which appears not once in any title or abstract in the massive US National Library of Medicine’s PubMed database—appears to be spread by the vector of anti-wind farm activist groups.
Copy out Chapman’s Caution (let’s call it) and keep it someplace handy, so you can remind yourself that—you’re—probably—making—it—all—up. To remind yourself: WTS is a hoax, an exercise in hysteria being foisted on the human race by “anti-wind farm activist groups.” (Who could possibly know better than a cheerful Australian sociologist, right?) And you, dear reader, are nothing but a sucker for falling for it.
There is increasing recognition around the world that some people begin to develop some new health problems, or experience worsening of pre-existing health problems, after a nearby wind turbine development starts operating. This can happen with just one wind turbine, and people are reporting these symptoms out to a distance of at least 10km in some places.
Some people are affected right away, whereas others develop the symptoms over time, many months later.
For many individuals, it is subtle, and they or their families only start to realize they are being affected if they go away from home and the symptoms go away, only to return when they come back home AND the turbines are operating. Many people do not initially link the operating wind turbines with their symptoms, especially if they are unable to get away from their home (near the operating wind turbines) for longer periods of time and notice for themselves they are feeling much better.
If you think this might be happening to you, one way of finding out is to start a detailed personal health journal or diary, noting the date, the time, and the particular symptoms or problems you experience, which is then shared with your treating medical practitioner.
Certain weather conditions and wind directions also are consistently reported to be associated with symptoms being experienced, or symptoms worsening. This information is also worth recording.
If you would like further information, I recommend you view the information in the videos on our website.
Sarah Laurie, MD*
Chief Executive Officer
The Waubra Foundation
Personal Health Journals
If you are concerned that the turbines may be having an effect on you or your family’s health, one way of seeing whether or not your concerns are justified is to start keeping a detailed journal or diary. This information is often used by acousticians to try and help people affected by noise from other sources, and residents elsewhere have found it very helpful for themselves, and for their local health practitioners to identify a pattern to their symptoms, if there is one.
I suggest keeping the information either in an exercise book used only for this, or entering the information into a spreadsheet on the computer if you prefer. It is best to do this at the time you are experiencing the symptoms.
I suggest noting the following:
» Blood pressure (if relevant)
» Heart rate (if relevant)
» Detailed description of symptoms, and what you are doing at the time they occur, how long they last, and anything else relevant
» Weather conditions
» Wind direction
» Estimated wind speed (e.g. no wind, light breeze, strong, or gale)
» Turbines turning (if you can see them—some people can’t)
*Editor’s note: Dr. Laurie’s Australian medical degree, BMBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery), is equivalent to the MD degree in the United States. We have listed her as “MD,” since Americans typically have no idea what BMBS stands for.