Anti Wind Groups Decry Canadian Council of Academies’ Bookend Piece to Health Canada Study on Wind Power
North American Platform Against Wind Power
Ontario Wind Action
Ontario Regional Wind Turbine Working Group
Ontario Wind Resistance
Toronto Wind Action
APRIL 16, 2015
Ontario anti-wind groups expressed a collective sigh of disappointment with the study results provided by the Canadian Council of Academies’ study results on wind power and health. “In response to public concern, the Government of Canada, through the Minister of Health, asked the Council to determine if there is evidence to support a causal association between exposure to wind turbine noise and health effects.”
While the study acknowledges the already clearly established causal relationship between wind turbines and “annoyance,” other commonly accepted health impacts, lack of sleep, tinnitus, loss of balance, nausea, pressure in the chest, to name a few, were noted as “insufficient evidence,” or requiring more study. Important studies were not included, and some works were labelled “grey,” rather than “white” or cardinal.
Victims’ voices could be heard this week, as one after another commented, “ENOUGH DEBATE FROM DESKTOP “EXPERTS.” “Where are our voices? Our health impacts are not being registered. Does the common experience of world health reporting with industrial wind mean nothing in Canada? Is this even less clarity? Where in this study are the Stephen Cooper ground breaking methodology and results, for just one rather crucial example of “missing materials.”
Noise expert Dr. Arline Bronzaft, commented to NA-PAW that she prefers the word, “harm” to “annoyance,” which most agree is trivializing. Dr. Bronzaft points out, “When a noise continues to be intrusive and "annoying, it can lead to stress and sustained stress diminishes quality of life and, in time, can result in physiological damage, e.g. cardiovascular disorders. Studies on other sources of noise, e.g. aircraft, rail, highway have demonstrated clearly that noise is indeed a health hazard. I quote from the U.S. EPA 1978 pamphlet "Noise: A Health Problem." "It is finally clear that noise is a significant hazard to public health. Truly, noise is more than just an annoyance." (Dr. Bronzaft is an environmental psychologist, sometimes referred to as the “noise curmudgeon,” and often called on as an expert witness in noise and environmental/physiological impacts.)
Noise Engineer Stephen Ambrose, long aware of the impacts of wind turbine infrasound effects, logs his clear and concise rebuttal to the study, and notes that despite the authors’ assertions that their materials assayed were completely up to date:
CCA chose not review “A Cooperative Measurement Survey and Analysis of Low Frequency and Infrasound at the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County, Wisconsin”. This study was performed by five professional noise control engineers in an abandoned residence near wind turbines. An acoustic expert recently published a study with extensive infrasound measurements at three adversely impacted homes near the Cape Bridgewater (Victoria, Australia) wind turbines.
And he concludes:
The CCA continues to rehash selected studies to benefit wind turbine development, and appears to set aside wind turbine complaints as only a nuisance for public health officials. Dismissing white papers as ‘grey’ and neighbors documentation for harm, just adds to the number of wind turbine victims. Expert panels lose credibility by citing earlier flawed governmental studies. CCA did not review the decision by the Brown County Board of Health (Wisconsin, USA), which found the Shirley Wind Turbine Project to be a public health nuisance. Public health studies should not appear to be performed with blind eyes and deaf ears.
Dr Bronzaft similarly questions: “Why is it not possible to include the real voices of persons affected, and why is that not inclusive of a meaningful study model?”
Ambrose concludes that the study is vastly imperfect, and presenting evidence based on conflicting reports, limited and inadequate, virtually rendering the real time complaints of victims, mute. Says Ambrose: “This report presents another lost opportunity for public health professionals to receive funding to do first-person research and gather evidence by living with wind turbines.”
Wind victims assert that the CCA assessment only affirms their mistrust with health studies by a government helping to fund the wind industry. It is clear that the “status quo,” as noted by Ambrose, continues to be the gold standard for health and turbine studies in Canada.
Sherri Lange, CEO NA-PAW (North American Platform Against Wind Power)
416 567 5115
Lorrie Gillis, Ontario Regional Wind Turbine Working Group
519 922 3072