Wind Turbine Syndrome in Denmark: Physician’s letter to the Australia Senate
Feb 8, 2011
From: Mauri Johansson, MD, MHH, National Association of Neighbors to Giant Land Wind Turbines in Denmark
To: Australia Senate Community Affairs Committee
Comments on adverse health effects for [Danish] people living in close proximity to wind turbines and wind farms
Denmark has for several decades produced and exported wind turbines. The size of these has been ever growing, measured in total height and/or electrical effect [output].
In 2007 the Danish government decided to start a huge project to establish 1,111 land-based wind turbines, several of them in parks/farms in open land. About 15 projects have been completed, with turbines of total height of 130 – 150 meters and effects [power rating] from 2 MW up to 3-4 MW. Much bigger versions are under way.
A few days after the new giant windmills were started up, and based on experiences of the small, older windmills, symptoms and adverse reactions appeared for people living in close proximity (up to 1,900 meters away). As a consequence, in the autumn of 2009 ”The National Association of Neighbors to Giant Land Wind Turbines in Denmark” was established. It has been rapidly growing since, and now has 86 local groups, one to two new one appearing weekly these days, as several new projects are being started.
Unfortunately, only one small-scale research project was finished in 1994 in this country. Its recommendations were rejected in favor of proposals from the wind turbine manufacturers and owners. The rules still in force require a setback from neighbors of 4 times the total height of the turbine. The noise limit requirements are modest, lower than those for industrial and traffic noise, especially at night and in silent areas, even if [though] we know that turbine noise is much more irritating and is present continuously. The control procedures are far from reliable.
For the time being, the National Association is planning meetings with Parliament committees, ministers, environment authorities, while local groups are active in the communities that are responsible for the projects.
We very much hope the Australia Senate Committee takes the opportunity to create laws that require [safe] distances and noise limits for low frequency and infrasound—limits that are totally safe for human beings, not least children and old people, and animals—as an example for other countries worldwide.
Mauri Johansson, MD, MHH