40 doctors sign Wind Turbine Syndrome petition (Quebec)

Mar 1, 2011


—Roc Lebel, Terre Citoyenne

I am not a physician, but I work in the health care field. My work involves Research & Development and product formulation, and I have close ties with a number of physicians.

Indeed, this is what made it possible for Terre Citoyenne, a citizens’ organization to persuade 40 physicians to sign a petition (click here for French version, see below for English translation), urging the Québec Government to halt all wind turbine projects located in inhabited areas that are in development or under construction, until the research is sufficiently advanced to enable our public health authorities to establish beyond all doubt what is a safe minimum distance between a wind turbine and a home.

Forty physicians say “No!” to Big Wind

This is consistent with the principles of Québec’s Sustainable Development Act (R.S.Q. c. D-8.1.1) and, in particular, with the Precautionary Principle.

Dr. Linda Bernier, O.R.L., department head at the Arthabaska Hospital (Victoriaville, Québec), played a key role in this achievement. She reviewed the recent literature on this subject, and having freely translated the words of Dr. Nina Pierpont, finally took a clear position as follows:

As a specialist in oto-rhino-laryngology, there is no doubt in my mind that the harmful effects that have been described actually occur. The level of audible disturbance can easily be measured, although the guidelines need to be adjusted to take into account the low-frequency noise. Many studies have dealt with the effects of noise on the inner ear, but unfortunately not many studies can be found dealing with or proving the effects of these vibrations on the inner ear, and this is mainly where the problem lies.

Owing to a petition signed by 40 physicians in Québec, we received good media coverage on the risks to health caused by wind turbines. Moreover, we have continued to receive signatures from other physicians.


Petition for Health: Industrial Turbines in Populated Areas

The Québec government, in its energy development plan, calls for the building of numerous industrial wind turbines in rural, inhabited Québec.

The fact is, more and more scientific research is showing the negative impacts on health and quality of life among people living near industrial wind turbines.

CONSIDERING that no measures of assessment and control are currently applied on the level of social acceptability and level of psycho-social impacts associated with such industrial wind projects;

WHEREAS the unit of measurement currently used in Québec for impact studies (98-01 of instruction note MDDEP) is recognized by the Department of Public Health and MDDEP as inadequate to assess the specific types of noise emitted by industrial wind turbines, and consequently their real nuisance for people;

WHEREAS, increasingly, research confirms the evidence of several other negative impacts on health and quality of life of people living near industrial wind turbines;

WHEREAS much remains unknown and much research remains to be done to better define the extent of these impacts and their real consequences, particularly in view of audible sound and infrasound;

CONSIDERING that more and more researchers recommend a minimum setback of 2 km from residential and industrial turbines, to reduce risks to human health. Moreover, this criterion is being increasingly accepted elsewhere in the world;

We, the following physicians, in light of the risks discussed above and the potential negative effects of industrial wind turbines on the health of people living nearby, ask the Québec government for a moratorium on future or current projects being built close to human habitation, until the research is sufficiently advanced to allow public health authorities to establish, beyond doubt, a safe setback from people’s homes.  This follows the spirit of the law regarding sustainable development in Québec (LRQcd_8.1.1), and in particular the Precautionary Principle.

  1. Comment by Melodie Burkett on 03/01/2011 at 4:59 pm


  2. Comment by Bob on 03/01/2011 at 5:10 pm

    The Quebec doctors deserve our thanks. It is a wonderful breakthrough!

    Those of us in the medical profession who have been public with our concerns are now feeling much less lonely. I know of many who agree with the need for evidence-based setbacks, but most prefer anonymity.

    This is, however, the time for all physicians to be health advocates, as is our professional responsibility.

    Forgive the inadequacy of my word processor and my francais mais c’est tres important a dire “Merci beaucoup a mes amies en Quebec!!”


  3. Comment by Jane in North Gower on 03/01/2011 at 8:38 pm

    Do you have any links to the news stories you mention? This could be very useful with councils/mayors; they are not scientists but they understand the value of media.

    Thank you!

    Editor’s reply: Alas, Jane, we don’t. But write to Mireille Bonin (PQ) at cduff@mediom.qc.ca, and she should be able to help you out.

  4. Comment by Kerry on 03/06/2011 at 1:29 pm

    We are currently fighting a large windfarm project here in Illinios, and the information on this site is extremely helpful, and I thank God for it. Keep up the study, so we can fight the politically created energy scam. Someone needs to protect us, so it might as well be the ones that are being affected and having money stolen for no reason other than govenmental waste in subsidies.

    Editor’s reply: Thanks for your encouragement. I’ve been doing this for going-on 7 years, and I thought I had reached my limit of being appalled and horrified by this stuff. I was wrong; I had not. It simply gets worse. Is anyone listening in the halls of government? Have they all lost their minds?

    Your point about a government/corporate sponsored “energy crisis” really resonates with me. We will be making another posting on that matter in the next day or two. Stay tuned.

  5. Comment by Spanner Combe (Victoria, Australia) on 04/04/2011 at 9:42 pm

    Keep up the good work everyone—we are currently fighting against the introduction of a windfarm into a beautiful piece of the breathtaking Flinders Ranges in South Australia, so this will mean a threat to endangered flora and fauna as well as the associated health effects for those who live there.

  6. Comment by Andreas Marciniak (Waterloo, South Australia) on 04/07/2011 at 10:56 pm

    CONSIDERING that more and more researchers recommend a minimum setback of 2 km from residential and industrial turbines, to reduce risks to human health. Moreover, this criterion is being increasingly accepted elsewhere in the world;
    Please believe me wen I tell you the 2km setback is NOT good enough, I’m about 2.5 to 3 km from the Waterloo Turbines in South Australia and my daughter and I are very sick from them, my brother has left town and is in a Caravan in the next town 6 km from here and he told me that he still feels sick from the Turbines even at that distance, we have gone as far as 15km from the Turbines before we would feel any change for the better, and last week I went to Adelaide 100km, to look after my grandson and it tuck 4 days before I felt much better,others have also left town or are about to, so DON’T let this happen where you are.

  7. Comment by kevin (Wisconsin) on 08/12/2011 at 4:04 am

    i live in green bay wi. we have 8 turbins near our dairy farm so far this year we have lost 15 dairy cows with unexplained deaths my wife has migrains and i have 3 daughts complaining daily of headachs

    Editor’s note: Kevin, if you will write up your story, just as you have written it here, and if you can send me digital photos of your farm and the windfarm and of your family–I will turn it into a feature article on this website. People need to hear stories from people like you! (Don’t worry about your writing abilities; you don’t need to be Shakespeare. I’m a writer; I can fix anything.) The point is, write from your heart–as you have written, here.

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