Wind Turbine Health Study Announcement Comment

Lorrie Gillis

Dr Robert McMurtry, MD, FRCSC, FACS, recipient of the Order of Canada and Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, in his deputation to the Standing Committee on Bill 150 in April of 2009 said,

There clearly are competing claims about LFN [low frequency noise] and health risks [from industrial wind turbines] - from those who are living the claims and from those who deny them.

There is a way out of this dilemma. Authoritative guidelines must be established based on sound science. A well-designed epidemiological study conducted by arms-length investigators, mutually agreeable to all sides, must be done. In addition it would be prudent to engage sound engineers (again mutually agreeable) to determine the presence or absence of LFN near existing wind farms in Ontario. The reality of people’s health and well-being as well as the sound physics needs to be investigated. In the meantime listen to and help the victims. Anything less would be an abandonment of responsibility by the government.

Families in Ontario have been asking for help to mitigate the adverse health effects they have experienced with the start up of turbines in proximity to their homes to both the Provincial and the Federal Government for years with no help, no relief and no hope coming from either. Some have left the province, some have abandoned homes, some have fought back, forcing the wind company to purchase a home made unlivable by turbines, some have quietly moved away to regain health and some, for various reasons, stay in a home toxic from the effects radiating from turbines and suffer.

Dr McMurtry has this to say about the recent announcement from the Federal Government for Health Canada's Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study Design:

  1. Good news, the research IS needed and we have been asking for 4 years.
  2. The need for research acknowledges there are knowledge gaps and therefore a moratorium on construction of IWT is required until we can develop evidence-based guidelines. Currently the evidence does not exist as to how to protect human health.
  3. 3. Health Canada is NOT the agency to be doing the research. They are regulatory have very limited research capacity. Furthermore they are on record as supporting wind energy. This is too important a question to be addressed by science bureaucrats. The research should be conducted by CIHR [Canadian Institutes of Health Research] which is the top health research agency in Canada.

People who have had their lives turned upsidedown with the advent of industrial wind turbines into their community have been asking for help from both the Provincial and Federal levels of government for years with no mitigation for the suffering they have or are still experiencing.

Instead these people are revictimized by the governments' continued financial and marketing boost to the wind industry. In fact, many view our government as being in partnership with industry. Even as Health Canada issues this announcement regarding a study into adverse health issues from wind turbines, their introduction states, "This source of energy is viewed as a viable and environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels." It continues with discussion on Government of Canada's renewable energy initiative and uses turbine capacity rather than actual performance of turbines to suggest that many more homes can be powered by wind than is ever possible in reality, a tactic also used by Canadian Wind Energy Association, registered lobby group for the wind industry.

Why is there no representation of adversely affected citizens on the panel to provide study design input regarding the issues and impacts related to the implementation of this new technology?

Why did this study not include Robert McMurtry, MD, FRCS (C), FACS, Canada, Carmen Krogh, BSc Pharm, Researcher Wind Turbines: Adverse Health and Social Justice, Canada, Stephen Ambrose, Acoustician, USA, Jeffery Aramini, PhD, Epidemiologist, Canada, Arline Bronzaft, PhD, Noise and Health Specialist, USA, Steven Cooper, ENG Fellow Australian Acoustical Society and Member of Institute of Noise Control, USA, Professor Phillip Dickinson, Acoustician, New Zealand, Barbara J. Frey, BA, MA, and Peter J. Haddon, BSc, FRICS, Scotland, Christopher Hanning, BSc, MB, BS, MRCS, LRCS, LRCP, FRCA, MD, Sleep Disturbance and Wind Turbines, UK, Colin Hansen, Acoustician, Australia, Magda Havas, BSc, PhD, Biological and Health Effects of Electromagnetic and Chemical Pollution, Canada, Richard James, INCE Acoustician, USA, Mauri Johansson, Specialist in Community Health and Occupational Medicine, Denmark, Sarah Laurie, BMBS, CEO Waubra Foundation, Australia, Henrik Moeller, Acoustic Specialist, Denmark, Michael Nissenbaum, MD, USA, Carl Phillips, PhD, MPP, USA, Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD, Author of Wind Turbine Syndrome, USA, Robert Rand, Acoustician, USA, Daniel Shepherd, PhD, Noise and Health Specialist, New Zealand, Malcolm Swinbanks, Acoustician, UK and Robert Thorne, PhD, Health Sciences and Acoustics, Australia?

Studies to date support the need for a moratorium to be implemented to halt any more wind turbine installations from proceeding until the adverse health issues have been studied and resolved.

We need all current problems mitigated so affected families can return to living in a healthy home environment before embarking on any health study. Not one of these people volunteered to become a guinea pig for Health Canada.

Trust in motive behind this study is low because of items such as the excerpts below from Health Canada Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), February 2012:

Why is this study coming to so many conclusions before it starts?

It is necessary to do a proper arms-length study using the Canadian Institute of Health Research because trust in our government is at an all time low. I am NOT interested in supporting the wind industry with more vague literature but I am interested in knowing why so many people are unwell after the startup of turbine installations in their area. And I don't want turbines starting up near anyone else until there is a clear answer here. This study is not supposed to be about whether we want to use wind turbines in greater numbers. It's supposed to be about finding out, once and for all, why people are getting sick near turbines; not IF but WHY.