F. Owen Black, MD, FACS
Jan 17, 2010
“I believe [Pierpont’s] study is an important initial contribution to understanding the effects of low frequency pressures on the inner ear and other organs.”
The following is from an affidavit given by Dr. Black to the Planning and Zoning Department of DeKalb County, IL. Bear in mind that it is written in the formal style of an affidavit—Editor.
I am a medical doctor specializing in neuro-otology, focusing on balance and vestibular (inner ear) disorder research. I am an internationally known neurotologist and human vestibular physiologist. I am an expert in disorders of the inner ear.
I graduated from the University of Missouri Medical School in 1963. After completing a residency in otolaryngology at the University of Colorado and a National Institutes of Health-sponsored fellowship in otology, I served as a combat surgeon in Vietnam with the United States Navy. I have been practicing medicine for 46 years.
I am a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and Senior Scientist and Director of Neuro-Otology Research at Legacy Health System in Portland, Oregon. I have received funding from the National Institutes of Health and NASA in connection with my research pursuits related to disorders of the inner ear.
I have recently reviewed Dr Nina Pierpont’s study entitled “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” which I understand will be published shortly.
Based upon my review or Dr. Pierpont’s report, I believe this study is an important initial contribution to understanding the effects of low frequency pressures on the inner ear and other organs.
As an expert in vestibular disorder research, it is my opinion that the symptoms reported and described by Dr. Pierpont in her Wind Turbine Syndrome study are consistent with symptoms I see as part of my work with disorders of the inner ear, including sleep disturbance, headache, tinnitus, ear pressure, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia, irritability, problems with concentration and memory, and panic episodes associated with exposure to low frequency, high amplitude, ambient pressure fluctuations.
I am familiar with studies conducted by the United States Navy relating to low frequency sound pressure patterns, which report symptoms similar to those reported by Dr. Nina Pierpont in her Wind Turbine Syndrome study.
In my opinion, based upon the similarity between Dr. Nina Pierpont’s study, the Naval studies, and patients with otic capsule defects that produce similar symptoms, the hypothesis that low frequency sound pressure patterns emitted by commercial wind turbines cause the symptoms outlined above needs to be investigated further.
I have recently agreed to assist with a study in the planning stage that will attempt to determine whether low frequency sound pressure patterns emitted by commercial wind turbines cause the symptoms outlined above.
F. Owen Black, MD, FACS
Director of Neurotology Research
Balance & Hearing Center North West
Legacy Health System
May 8, 2009