Health

We want to be able to sleep in our homes

Key concerns of  SCA
  • Noise
  • Shadow flicker
  • Electromagnetic radiation
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (following 2009 Delburn Complex Fires and Churchill Fires)
  • The SCA is greatly concerned about the impact on health. Many community members, some of whom are still traumatised by the 2009 fires, have raised their concerns with their GPs and the Latrobe Community Health Advocate (see link below). Supporters of the wind farm proposal irresponsibly misrepresent the findings of the National Health and Medicine Research Council (NHMRC) into the affect of wind farms on the physical and mental health, implying they are safe. The lack of quality research available meant that the NHMRC could not draw a conclusion one way or the other. That is why it is currently spending $3.3 million on research into wind farms and the impacts on sleep, annoyance and quality of life. Placing the largest onshore turbines in such a populated region without the findings of the NHMRC sponsored research being known goes against the Precautionary Principle of the State Government’s Environmental Protection Amendment Act, 2018:
     

    “If there exist threats of serious or irreversible harm to human health or the environment, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent or minimise those threats.”

    When releasing the Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region in 2018, the World Health Organisation stated, “More than a nuisance, excessive noise is a health risk – contributing to cardiovascular diseases, for example.” For the first time, wind turbine noise is included in the guidelines.

    Adverse Health Effects
  • Wind turbines produce primarily infra- and low-frequency noise. This sound travels further and can easily penetrate walls and roofs. Room resonance can augment the sound.
  • The World Health Organisation’s 1999 Guidelines for Community Noise, states that noise measurements based on an A-weighting are inappropriate when prominent low-frequency components of sound are present. In 2018, the WHO included wind turbines in its Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region and again questioned the adequacy of methods for measuring turbine noise that focus only on audible sound.
  • Common adverse health effects reported globally by those living near industrial wind farms and other industrial machinery generating infra and low frequency noise include sleep disturbance, tinnitus, headaches, dizziness, tachycardia, anxiety, and problems with memory and concentration.
  • Both the WHO and Australia’s NHMRC acknowledge that lack of quality, independent research into the impacts of wind turbine noise on health.
  • Paul D. Schomer and George Hessler are both Professional Engineers and members of the Institute for Noise Control Engineering in the US. Schomer was the Standards Director for the Acoustical Society of America. After reviewing Steven Cooper’s report on wind farm noise at the troubled Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm, they stated:

    “There is at least one non-visual, non-audible pathway for wind turbine emissions to reach, enter and affect some people”……up until now windfarm operators have said there are no known cause and effect relations between wind farm emissions and the response of people living in the vicinity of the windfarm other than those related to visual and/or audible stimuli, and these lead to some flicker which is treated, and “some annoyance with noise.This study proves that there are other pathways that affect some people, at least 6. The windfarm operator simply cannot say there are no known effects and no known people affected. One person affected is a lot more than none; the existence of just one cause-and-effect pathway is a lot more than none. It only takes one example to prove that a broad assertion is not true, and that is the case here. Windfarms will be in the position where they must say: We may affect some people.And regulators charged with protecting the health and welfare of the citizenry will not be able to say they know of no adverse effects. Rather, if they choose to support the windfarm, they will do so knowing that they may not be protecting the health and welfare of all the citizenry.”

    Disclaimer: This video have been selected to simply highlight the impact wind farms have had on the health of the community members in Australia. SCA are not endorsing either the program or anyone who is sharing the video.

    TopicLinks
    Flinders University – wind farm noise study (2019)Click here for more info
    Annoyance and wind turbines – Waubra FoundationClick here for more info
    Latrobe Health Advocate – raise your concernsClick here for more info
    South Gippsland Shire Council – Bald Hills Wind Farm decisionClick here for more info
    Doolan, C. 2019. University of NSW. Taller, faster, better, stronger: wind towers are only getting bigger. As turbines grow, so too does the noise they make.Click here for more info
    Rand, J. and Hoen, B. 2017. Thirty years of North American wind energy acceptance research: What have we learned? Energy Research & Social Science
    Volume 29, July 2017, Pages 135-148

    – The NIMBY explanation for resistance
    to wind development is invalid.
    – More sampling of those living close to turbines was needed.
    Click here for more info
    Shadow flicker effect – 2019Click here for more info