Two Acousticians succumb to Wind Turbine Syndrome (MA)

“Now we know personally, viscerally, what people have been telling us!”

From:  Robert W. Rand, Rand Acoustics
To:  Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD
Date:  4-20-11
Regarding:  My experience with WTS

Robert Rand

I just got back from a several-day wind turbine noise survey with my long-time colleague, Steve Ambrose—like me, a Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering.

I’m writing to let you know that we both experienced adverse medical effects in the vicinity of the turbine under survey (one industrial wind turbine) under strong wind conditions aloft. Nausea, loss of appetite, vertigo, dizziness, inability to concentrate, an overwhelming desire to get outside, and anxiety.

The distance was approximately 1700 feet, in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

We obtained relief, repeatedly, by going several miles away.

I will be looking very carefully at the data and recordings acquired at this site to correlate with the experience. Short story is—and I reserve the right to revise any comments here as I learn more—it matches the Pedersen & Waye 2004 curve, where the annoyance ramps up quickly above 32 dBA.

That curve hides the real story, however. The A-weighted level doesn’t track the experience at all. I know! Steve and I sat for hours on Monday, comparing what we were feeling and what our meters were displaying. The dBA doesn’t work at all. So we have a complete disconnect between medical impact and regulatory framework.

Don’t count on dBC either.

I think that this impact could be related to how the ear is pumped by the repetitive pressure in a quiet rural background, or indoors. In Hull, Massachusetts, the background is high (Ldn60) and the two industrial turbines there don’t raise appeals to stop the noise, or even any complaints to speak of, at the same or closer distances than I was at this last week.

I hypothesize that if the ear is working at a low background level, different things happen in the auditory and vestibular system than when the ear is working at higher sound levels. (Wish I had more training in neurobiology!)

Many have been affected by wind turbine noise here in Maine and elsewhere, and we have listened to a number tell of their symptoms and problems with wind turbines. We have determined the potential for community noise impact of wind turbines in rural areas and published our findings.

However, the symptoms we experienced on this trip were unexpected for us. We have been surveying other wind turbine sites over the last 15 months and have not experienced these effects. (We each have over thirty years of experience in general and industrial acoustics, and have evaluated just about every kind of noise source—and noise level—imaginable.) I repeat, this is the first time I have experienced these symptoms simply by being near a noise source.

However, I see this as a gift. We are experienced acousticians who work from the neighbor’s perspective. Now we know personally, viscerally, what people have been telling us! We must now include ourselves in the percentage of the population that can experience significant and debilitating adverse health effects from the acoustic energy emitted by wind turbines.

Large industrial wind turbines must be considered seriously as capable of creating an adverse health effect within a certain distance with a dose-response or threshold relationship that varies with the individual.

If you have any questions or would like to talk about what we experienced, please contact me at your convenience.

Liens R Us (New York)

Editor’s comment:  “Timothy Chase lives in Chateaugay in a house with big fat liens on it. And I warn you right now this is going to be a sad story and if you don’t like sad stories stop reading right now.”  So we began a story uncannily similar to this one, in March 2009.  Up here in the North Country of New York State.  We titled it, “Liens R Us.”

Read it and compare it to this, below, and ask yourself some hard questions about these bozos who call themselves wind developers.


“Noise, Distraction, and Litigation: Controversy over Hardscrabble Wind Farm”

—Dana C. Silano, Utica Daily News (4/10/11)

They’re a colossal sight—towering metal giants with blades as long as airplane wings humming in the rural fields of Central New York.

But for residents in Fairfield who already felt they’d been deprived of a fair say in construction, the windmills are nothing but an expensive, loud nuisance.

“We should have been able to vote on them,” said resident Carol Riesel. “We were never made aware until the deal was almost done—it’s makes me so angry. No one had a voice in this—the board members listened and looked and moved on to the next business.”

And so it was, that through the summer and fall of 2010, Iberdrola Renewables constructed the Hardscrabble Wind Farm.

Now, Riesel, who lives at 797 Davis Road, and other residents say the giant windmills are nuisance to their community.

“They’re annoying!”

Riesel said many of the town residents are in agreement that windmills are ugly, scary and loud.

“It interferes with my life,” she said. “Now the beautiful landscape is gone. They’re 500 feet tall!  And to live underneath them is unbelievable. They’re within 1,000 feet of my property and I hate them. My anxiety is sky-high.”

Nearby, neighbor Monique Consolazio said from her home at 1183 State Route 170, the effects of the windmills—particularly one that stares into her kitchen window, dubbed Turbine 33—are ‘maddening.’

“It’s like living in an insane discotheque,” Consolazio said. “When the sun hits the blades at a certain angle, you get a strobe-light effect. And the blades throw their black shadows across the house, the field, everything, while the strobe light effect is going on.”

That’s hard for Consolazio, who said she moved to Fairfield nearly 18 years ago, after she was widowed, to live a simple life. Now, she said, she can’t even watch basic television. Her TV is in constant pixilation, which is so annoying that half the time, she shuts it off and doesn’t bother to watch. And the noise is like listening to the highest volume of ‘an old-time coffee grinder,’ she added, making a noise that signified the sound: ‘GRIND! SWISH! GRIND! SWISH!’

“I was told by a representative (of Iberdrola) that they were sorry about that, and what I should do is do the same thing they did in World War II—get shades and black out my windows,” she said in disbelief.

A red blinking light atop each tower shows itself to air traffic, but Consolazio said the company never put the promised ‘sleeve’ over it so it wouldn’t bother land dwellers.

“No one’s taken responsibility for that,” she said.

Iberdrola spokesman, Paul Copleman, indicated in a statement that the company was well-aware of the issues raised by concerned Fairfield and Little Falls Citizens about the windmills.

We are working closely with landowners who have raised concerns and are actively investigating those that have been brought to our attention. This includes meeting directly with landowners, engaging in additional studies, and assessing some mitigation measures. We will of course honor our obligations to the landowners and the community.

With regard to sound, we modeled the project to be in compliance with local ordinances, and our permits with Norway and Fairfield govern sound levels. As a response to some of the concerns raised, we will be engaging in additional sound measurements.

With regard to shadow, we analyzed shadow during the development phase, as this is a phenomenon which is predictably modeled given turbine placement and the movement of the sun during the year. Our analysis was presented as part of the project environmental impact statement and is available here.

We designed our final turbine layout to minimize the duration of shadow flicker, and its occurrence, assuming it is sunny, should be limited during the day, and in no case will a home experience this for more than 20-30 hours a year. As you can see in our analysis, this 20-30 hour scenario only applies to two homes, the remainder of those affected will be affected for less than 20 hours per year at maximum.

With regard to television interference, again, we are aware this can happen, and our permits contain language addressing this. We are already working with landowners who have raised this with us to evaluate their circumstances in more detail.

Potential Litigation?

Jim and June Salamone live at 820 Davis Road. They have for many years.

Jim said he and his wife were shocked and angered when last Wednesday, April 6, they received a certified letter in the mail from Saunders Concrete Company indicating they, along with 33 other property owners, had a lien placed on their property. That’s the company that poured the concrete bases that root the windmills to the ground, residents explained to Utica Daily News.  (more…)

Ontarians are angry! (Ontario, Canada)


Pierpont vs. Big Wind Bluster (Québec, Canada)

“Wind turbine foes to get support at hearing”

—Charlie Fidelman, Montreal Gazette (4/6/11)

For New York pediatrician and wind noise expert Nina Pierpont, wind farms blow nothing but an ill-wind.

Pierpont, who coined the term “Wind Turbine Syndrome,” says she’s not against windmills and renewable energy.

But Pierpont’s research of families living near wind turbines shows debilitating health effects—effects that start when the turbines are turned on and then disappear once families have moved away.

Concerned about the health effects of living in the shadow of windmills, a coalition of South Shore communities opposed to wind farms in the area have invited Pierpont to present her findings Tuesday before Quebec’s environmental review agency, which is holding hearings in the Montérégie town of St. Paul de l’Île aux Noix.

Windmills have their place, but not next to where people sleep or learn, Pierpont said Tuesday.

Pierpont’s findings may have broader implications as governments look to alternative energy sources and windmills continue to pop up in rural areas across Quebec and Canada.

Pierpont looked at individual experiences of families in Canada, United States and Europe, living within two kilometres of windmills and their swishing blades.

Pierpont’s book on the turbine syndrome documents severe medical problems including crippling headaches, anxiety and depression, dizziness, nausea and loud ringing in the ears.

Other clinicians in Europe, Australia and the U.S., support Pierpont’s contention that high-intensity, low frequency noise, also called infrasonic noise, may have a negative impact on the body.

The sound can lead to vibrations in the inner ear which could potentially lead to a litany of problems, Pierpont says, including difficulties with concentration, sleep, irritability, fast heart rate and feelings of panic.

It affects some people but not others. Migraine sufferers, those with inner-ear damage, and motion or carsickness are more at risk, she added.  (more…)

Australians are angry! (Queensland, Australia)



Québecois are angry! (Québec, Canada)

Watch this video to witness the anger of French-Canadians!  (You don’t need to understand French to get the message.)

See the relevant website, Regroupement pour le Développement Durables des Appalaches.

No sleep (Fairfield, NY)

Click anywhere on the radio, below, for an interview with Carolyn Riesel, Fairfield, NY, as she describes what life is like under the turbines.

Click here for the Save Sauquoit Views website.

“Clean, green, renewable” wind turbines explode bats’ lungs


Now, read . . .

Justin G. Boyles, Paul M. Cryan, Gary F. McCracken, and Thomas H. Kunz, “Economic importance of bats in agriculture,” Science, vol 232, 1 April 2011, pp 41-42.

“I live right under the wind turbines” (New York)

“Noisy wind turbines have ruined Fairfield”

—Carolyn Riesel, Letter to the Editor, (3/26/11)

Day and all night long, I hear grinding and grinding, whooshing and whooshing non-stop. I live right under the wind turbines in Fairfield.

Every window, east, west, north and south has a wind turbine. My beautiful landscape is forever gone.

We cannot carry on conversations outside due to the constant noise level. There is a constant droning sound inside my home that was never there before. I can’t even begin to imagine the noise when the turbines are going full force and in the summer; I bet I won’t even be able to have my windows open due to the high noise levels.

I have heard comments that no one is complaining about the noise level.

Not so.

Those of us living within the triangle of the turbines have called our town “fathers” repeatedly, with no answers.

When I purchased my home, it was not with the understanding there would be health risking turbines surrounding my home disrupting my peace.

I wonder if I put up something my neighbors did not want, would I have to remove it? I bet I would. No one asked if I agreed to have these ugly things in every window of my home.

I attended town meetings, voiced my opposition to no avail.

Litchfield beware!

Do not allow the wind turbines to destroy your land, peace and health.

“Vivre le Québec!” (Québec, Canada)

“Vivre le Québec libre des éoliennes!”

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD (from Vaudreuil, Québec)

July 1967.   French President Charles de Gaulle, visiting Montreal, famously boomed out to a huge French-speaking throng, “Vivre le Québec!”

As the approving roar died down, he leaned into the mike and roared back, “Vivre le Québec libre!

Libre!”  That one word made History.

Hail to a free Québec!”  (Free of English control.)

Last evening, Nina Pierpont raised her voice in support of a Québec free of wind turbines.  (“Vivre le Québec libre des éoliennes!“)

Speaking in the measured language of the clinician, Pierpont explained to a rapt audience that “real clinical medicine does not support industrial wind turbines in your communities!”

Dr. Pierpont had been invited to Québec by a coalition of mayors (a half dozen or so) whose communities oppose Big Wind.  Communities rich in history.  Communities of black alluvial soils growing, for centuries, the vegetables for Eastern Canada.  Communities of robust towns along the banks of the Richelieu, as it journeys north from L. Champlain to intersect the St. Lawrence.

Communities where a name tells a story.  St.-Blaise-sur-Richelieu, l’Île-aux-Noix, St.-Valentin, l’Abri-du-Vent-de-Nord, Saint-Cyprien-de-Napierville.

Here kinship and hospitality reach back centuries—and still mean something.

Québecois tradition

Here, this physician with French surname spoke to the health of community.

First to a press conference.  Then, more formally, to a provincial tribunal.  To a government tribunal struggling to resolve the vexing issue of giant industrial wind turbines in the heart—the soul, really—of this eloquent fabric of land and people.

Testimony before an audience of hundreds—nearly all of them opposed to the mind-boggling machines being thrust upon them by a culturally tone-deaf developer.

Despite her name, the doctor’s French was rudimentary.  (A professional had to translate.)

And when she was done—the audience broke the rules.  They applauded!  They applauded “Vivre le Québec libre des éoliennes!

Thunderously.  As if they meant it.


Pierpont hauls Junk Science to the junkyard—again (Australia)

Calvin Luther Martin, PhD

Two weeks ago, Nina Pierpont testified (teleconference) before the Australian Federal Senate’s Community Affairs Committee, as it holds public hearings on wind turbines and health (among other matters).

During the course of the interview, the Senators referred to a report by the Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council.  The “Wind Turbines and Health:  A Rapid Review of the Evidence” (July 2010) report, which loftily dismisses Wind Turbine Syndrome as simply anecdote.

The Senators asked Pierpont if she had read the report.  “Yes, I have,” she replied.

And what do you think of it, they pressed?  “I consider it pitiful and dubious science.”

The next day, “Wind Turbines Report ‘Pitiful’” was headline news.

Pitiful and dubious? Is this possible—from the government’s chief medical and health agency?  You could almost hear the Senators gasp!  Would Dr. Pierpont be kind enough to write a rebuttal to this “pitiful” report, they gingerly asked?

The following is her rebuttal, now submitted to the Senate Committee.  Click here (or on the page fragment, below) to read it.  (Click here for Pierpont’s refutation of a comparable report, by American physician Dr. Robert McCunney.)

Pierpont didn’t finish her rebuttal, owing to lack of time.  (Her patients needed her more than she needed to keep peppering this document with buckshot.  She felt she had made her point.)

Are you puzzled why we attached someone’s photo to the cover?  That’s Dr. Warwick Anderson, CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Although he didn’t personally write the report, Anderson has publicly taken responsibility, boldly expressing his full support and endorsement.  Including support for its scientific rigor.  No kidding!

Which is a pity.  Anderson has better credentials than this.  The report is worthy neither of him nor the agency he directs.

Warwick Anderson, PhD
CEO, National Health & Medical Research Council

Senate Committee interviews weeping victims of Wind Turbine Syndrome (ABC News, Australia)

Click on the yellow triangle, below, to watch this ABC News (Australia) video showing live Senate Committee testimony from Australians suffering from Wind Turbine Syndrome.

Juxtaposed to this is video of Big Wind developers brazenly telling the same Committee that all such claims are nonsense and, what’s more, that Dr. Sarah Laurie is chiefly responsible for the hysteria seizing rural Australia—a hysteria that threatens to scuttle hundreds of millions of dollars of “clean, green, renewable” wind energy development.

(Dr. Laurie, we believe your life is in danger.)

“Should Uncle Sam subsidize Big Wind?” (Wall St Jour)

Editor’s note
:  Click
here to read the short article in the Wall St Journal, and be sure to cast your vote about federal subsidies to “renewable energy”—basically, a euphemism for wind energy.