And what about people who work under those turbines, collecting bird & bat carcasses?

Jan 25, 2011

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Editor’s note:  This arrived the other day, from a young woman named Melissa.  (The young lady asked that her real name not be used, and we have honored her request.)  We asked if we could reprint her letter, and she said “yes.”  Melissa works for a wind energy company, collecting dead birds and bats.  Five hours a day.  She wrote because of the health effects she suffered from that job.

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“It was hell–purgatory, at best”

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Dear Dr. Pierpont,

Somehow, my Internet searching turned from “jobs” to “wind turbines and health” this morning. The first time I did such a search was about a year ago, when I was considering applying for a job searching for bat and bird carcasses on a wind farm.

I knew I didn’t want to take that job, but the bleak economy sort of forced me, after being jobless the previous year.

I am laid off for the winter and scheduled to resume in March. I feel obligated to return if I don’t find a better job before then, and I’m scared and desperate. I thought you might be able to help me.

I haven’t found much information on the health effects of being within 1 to 70 meters from the turbine base for 5+ hours a day. But I know what it did to me.

My symptoms from being directly under the turbines included severe anxiety, extreme agitation, wild rage, crying, headaches, and even thoughts of suicide. I had my first severe panic attack on the wind farm, one so bad I had to go home because I got chest pains. I was constantly agitated, and I would try to talk to myself to keep invasive thoughts out, and I’d often end up screaming in anger or on my knees crying. Sometimes I would send my boyfriend horrible text messages because I felt like I was going to explode. I was tired all the time and had trouble sleeping. I felt trapped. I love working outdoors, but this was absolute torture.

It was hell—purgatory, at best. I wore a Q-link EMF protection pendant, but I don’t know if it helped. I know it is best for me to never return, but I am afraid I would have to repay my unemployment compensation if I don’t return. Do you have any advice for me?

I think I am more sensitive to other vibrations, now, as from appliances and vehicles, etc. I hope I can limit my stress and find a healthy source of income. I am hoping to find a gardener/groundskeeper job for two, with a little house, in a semi-pristine location, far from annoying, manmade things.

Thank you for your time,

Melissa

  1. Comment by Dr Sarah Laurie on 02/02/2011 at 3:27 am

    Dear “Melissa,”

    In the course of my work with the Waubra Foundation in Australia, I have now talked with a number of current and ex-employees who have worked on turbines (construction and maintenance), and who have had a number of the same effects which you have described.

    I am extremely concerned about this, as I do not know of any worker health monitoring programs offered by any of the wind developers in Australia, or their relevant unions, and indeed what I have heard from ex-employees is that if they have disclosed their health problems their employment has been terminated—in their words, they have been dropped like “hot cakes.”

    I have also been told by a number of employees that they have never worked in such an ‘angry’ workplace, with so much aggression.

    Yet another important area for further independent research.

  2. Comment by Melissa on 02/07/2011 at 8:56 am

    Maybe someday I will see a lawsuit commercial on TV, inviting me to join and get reimbursed for pain and suffering.

    Maybe some poor worker will be driven to the point of suicide, but it won’t be me, because I quit.

The comments are closed.