Health & wellbeing

the effects of turbines on health & wellbeing



Credit:    Daniel Ionescu     The Lincolnite      (06/06/12)


Lincolnshire County Council have voted unanimously to halt the spread of turbines across their region and introduce tougher criteria which wind developers must consider including:-


Residential amenity: Amenity of existing residential occupants must be maintained at an acceptable level in particular, no wind turbine should be constructed within 2km of a single residential property, and no wind farms should be constructed with 10km of a village with more than 10 properties.


"Councillor Martin Hill, Leader of the County Council, said: “There’s been a proliferation of wind farms across Lincolnshire in recent years, and we feel that enough is enough.


“Although we understand the need for alternative energy and are not opposed to all wind farms, we remain unconvinced by the questionable science behind them.


“Not only are these things spoiling our beautiful countryside for future generations, they could also seriously damage our tourism industry – who wants to spend their holiday looking at a 400ft turbine?


“Similarly, who wants to live next door to one? People enjoy living in Lincolnshire because we have a great way of life, not because the landscape’s blighted by wind farms."


Click here to read more



With Dumfries and Galloway's Planning Application Committee meeting for the first time next week we will be watching to see which councillors stand up to protect our region


Credit:    Dr Sarah Laurie     Waubra Foundation      (28/05/12)



Recent acoustic surveys in and around the homes of sick people living near large wind turbines in Australia and the US conducted by acousticians independently of the wind industry have confirmed that infrasound and low frequency noise are indeed being emitted by wind turbines, and are now being measured inside the homes of sick people, the emissions correlating with symptom occurrence and severity.


The long term effect of chronic exposure to these frequencies from wind turbines specifically has not been extensively studied, but there is relevant research on the known effects of infrasound and low frequency noise from other sources which is highly relevant, but has been largely “forgotten”.


One relevant credible literature review from 2003 relates specifically to the known effects of exposure to low frequency noise, in a report by British Acoustician Professor Geoffrey Leventhall, for the UK Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). This review detailed symptoms and a pattern of their occurrence, which the author has subsequently publicly admitted is identical with “wind turbine syndrome”


Click here to read more

Credit:     Christopher D Hanning, (honorary consultant in sleep medicine) and Alun Evans, professor emeritus,     Article published 8th March 2012 in the BMJ



A large body of evidence now exists to suggest that wind turbines disturb sleep and impair health at distances and external noise levels that are permitted in most jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom. Sleep disturbance may be a particular problem in children, and it may have important implications for public health. When seeking to generate renewable energy through wind, governments must ensure that the public will not suffer harm from additional ambient noise. Robust independent research into the health effects of existing wind farms is long overdue, as is an independent review of existing evidence and guidance on acceptable noise levels.


Click here to read full article

Credit:    Christopher Booker,      The Telegraph,     (03/03/12)


Developers of wind farms offer ‘sweeteners’ to local communities, but they may be tiny compared to the revenues.

Read the full article here.


Please note for D & G, a framework has been agreed for developers to pay £5,000 per MW not £1,000 as in the article.  To put it into context though let's look at the Mayfield development:-


20.4 MW at 30% capacity (as claimed in their Environmental Statement – though they also claim it could be 35% capacity!)


6.12MW x £800,000 pa from ROC's and electricity sales   =  £4.896 million pa   x 25 years

TOTAL  income of     £122.4 million


Community benefit at £5,000 per MW is £102,000 pa   

Over 25 years is equal to £2.55 million  – approximately 2% of the total income at today's prices!





Previous objections to Mayfield do NOT stand – you will need to object again to be counted.


Reasons for objection and information to help you can be found by clicking 'Projects in the Region'  then 'Mayfield'


Or simply click here



After the shut down of Proven P35-2 turbines last year due to technical failures, it seems another company are also experiencing problems.


Evoco are instructing customers to keep the brakes on after 3 turbines lost blades due to high winds recently. 


To read more click here

Credit:   Tamara Cohen       Mail Online      (07/01/12)


First there were the wind farms that had to be shut down if it got a bit blowy.

Then there was the turbine that burst into flames in a gale a month ago.

And now three turbines have been wrecked in the latest bout of rough weather – sweeping away any remaining illusions that strong winds simply mean more electricity being generated.


Click here to read full article and view video




wind+screamCredit:   The Sunday Times,     (18/12/11)


Thousands of people living near wind turbines could find their lives blighted by the noise, researchers have warned.

Acoustic scientists estimate up to a fifth of Britain’s wind farms generate a low- frequency hum that can be audible for more than a mile.


With the government planning a huge expansion of wind turbines, some experts want the limits on wind turbine noise — 35 decibels during the day and 43 decibels at night, the equivalent of a buzzing fridge — to be lowered.

The impact of the pulsating sound, a phenomenon called “amplitude modulation” (AM) which is believed to be caused by the turbine blades striking patches of turbulent air, has already led to payouts from energy companies.

Earlier this year, Jane and Julian Davis took a wind farm operator to court, claiming that the noise from nearby turbines had forced them from their Lincolnshire home. They settled for an undisclosed sum.




Credit:    Edward Malnick and Robert Mendick,     The Telegraph,     (11/12/11)


1,500 accidents in the UK wind farm industry over the past 5 years – that averages out at 300 incidents per annum.


With just over 3,000 turbines in the UK this means we have an accident rate of nearly 10%.


Click here to read the article

This turbine in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, was photographed on fire in Thursday's (8th Dec) UK storms

Photo: Stuart McMahon

…an academic study by Daniel Shepherd, David McBride, David Welch, Kim N. Dirks, Erin M. Hill


(Department of Psychology, School of Public Health, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, School of Population Health, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)


This paper was published recently (September 2011) in an interdisciplinary  journal (public & evironmental health). Here's part of the abstract of what the study found:-

…residents living within 2 km of a turbine installation reporting lower overall quality of life, physical quality of life, and environmental quality of life. Those exposed to turbine noise also reported significantly lower sleep quality, and rated their environment as less restful. Our data suggest that wind farm noise can negatively impact facets of HRQOL [Health Related Quality of Life] .

You can access the full paper here and the conclusions are reproduced below:-

A thorough investigation of wind turbine noise and its effects on health is important given the prevalence of exposed individuals, a nontrivial number that is increasing with the popularity of wind energy. For example, in the Netherlands it is reported that 440,000 inhabitants (2.5% of the population) are exposed to significant levels of wind turbine noise. Additionally, policy makers are demanding more information on the possible link between wind turbines and health in order to inform setback distances. Our results suggest that utility-scale wind energy generation is not without adverse health impacts on nearby residents. Thus, nations 339 Noise & Health, September-October 2011, Volume 13 Shepherd, et al.: Health and wind turbine noise undertaking large-scale deployment of wind turbines need to consider the impact of noise on the HRQOL of exposed individuals. Along with others, we conclude that nighttime wind turbine noise limits should be set conservatively to minimize harm, and, on the basis of our data, suggest that setback distances need to be greater than 2 km in hilly terrain.


Ayr Racecourse on Friday 11th November saw the first National Wind Farm Conference for Scotland.


Our thanks to Susan Crosthwaite, Kim Terry and everyone else from CATS for taking on the mammoth job of organising this conference.


Click here to read more.


It is hoped that information from the conference will be made available to the general public and we'll supply links from this website, where possible, in the near future.


At the end of the meeting there was a vote on the proposal that CATS (Communities Against Turbines Scotland) become the umbrella organisation for wind action groups to band together and fight wind farm development at a national level.


The result was unanimous and a national action group was born!

Communities Against Turbines Scotland has changed their web site address.

It is now   


Please note that everything is the same except we are    .com    NOT .org


Sorry for the inconvenience.  If there are any problems please contact Kim Terry on


Please consider attending  the day-long in Ayr on the 11th November (why not make a weekend of it!). The conference has been called to generate a national critical voice on Scottish wind energy policy and to facilitate solidarity between groups and communities.


Please register as soon as possible and preferably before the end of September so that  numbers can be assessed.

TW312 held a public exhibition at Castle Douglas Community Centre on Tuesday 30th August in the room opposite RES UK, the developers of the proposed Barcloy Hill Wind Farm. 


People came from across the Stewartry to meet us (and it was good to put some faces to names too) – we appreciate the efforts you made to give us your support.


Congratulations to all those involved in putting this exhibition together at the eleventh hour!


We have had many offers of help recently in various ways, from the donation of material goods, people's time, energy and skills and also financial support.  TW312 would like to take this opportunity to express our SINCERE THANKS to ALL OF YOU!

Scottish Tory MEP Struan Stevenson has lent his whole-hearted support to a campaign by Communities Against Turbines (Scotland) against the scandal of industrial wind developments in Scotland. Speaking at Ballantrae Community Centre tonight (Tuesday 9th August 2011), Mr Stevenson delivered the following speech:

 "Chambers Dictionary defines the word RAPE as meaning violation, despoiling or abuse.

I have chosen this evocative word as the title of my presentation this evening, not as an emotive gesture or a cheap gibe against the renewable energy sector, but as an accurate description of the scandal of industrial wind developments in our nation today. I intend to demonstrate this evening how industrial wind developments encompass all three of these descriptive words.

Wind turbines violate the principle of fairness by transferring vast amounts of money from the poor to the rich. They despoil our unique landscape and environment; and through noise, the flicker-effect and vibration, they abuse the health and welfare of people and animals which have to live near them."

Click here to read the complete speech

Click here for Struan Stevenson's website

TW312 have corrected information on their Shadow Flicker page after an error was discovered. Originally, we stated that a new report from Parsons Brinckerhoff for the Department for Energy and Climate Change recommended that shadow flicker should be acceptable at a property for a maximum of 30 hours per year and no longer than 30 minutes per day.


This is incorrect and we offer sincere apologies for posting incorrect information.


In the UK there appears to be no specified limit as to the length of time that a property can suffer shadow flicker, either daily or yearly.


Which begs the question – what is an acceptable limit ?

Credit:     (25/07/11

The UK wind industry is scrambling to respond to a High Court ruling that affirmed the legaltiy of conditions placed on the Den Brook wind farm near Devon, limiting ampltude modulation of wind turbine noise to a level that could be very hard to comply with. After years of pooh-poohing the reports of neighbors who said that the pulsing quality of the turbine noise made it especially hard to live with, including a much-criticized study a few years back that found nearly no AM at UK wind farms, Renewable UK (formerly the British Wind Energy Association) is fast-tracking a far-reaching study of AM, which they hope to complete in just seven months.


The new study, funded by Renewable UK (a trade organization of wind industry companies), aims to develop better models for predicting AM, including assessment of the effects of high turbulence and closely spaced turbines, as well as noise predictions both nearby and at a distance. In addition, they aim to develop a listening test that could inform a possible penalty-assessment approach to dealing with AM noise when it does occur; such an approach, common in many regulations, forces the overall noise level to be lower when AM is present.


After years of claiming there is no need to assess or regulate AM, it appears that the industry has now found itself suffering the consequences of denying the problem. Instead of working to create regulations that take the issue seriously (whether or not it is common), the industry is now vulnerable to being out of compliance when AM does occur.


To read more click here

This is a preliminary draft of the following article in press:

Carl V. Phillips, “Properly Interpreting the Epidemiologic Evidence about the Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines on Nearby Residents,” Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society, vol. 31, no. 4 (August 2011), pp. 303-315.

"There is overwhelming evidence that wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder type diseases, at a nontrivial rate. The bulk of the evidence takes the form of thousands of adverse event reports. There is also a small amount of systematically-gathered data. The adverse event reports provide compelling evidence of the seriousness of the problems and of causation in this case because of their volume, the ease of observing exposure and outcome incidence, and case-crossover data. Proponents of turbines have sought to deny these problems by making a collection of contradictory claims including that the evidence does not “count”, the outcomes are not “real” diseases, the outcomes are the victims’ own fault, and that acoustical models cannot explain why there are health problems so the problems must not exist."

Click here to link to the full article

Credit:   David McKay     The Press and Journal      (26/07/11)

Noise complaints have been lodged about one in three commercial wind turbine schemes in a rural part of Aberdeenshire – more than double the UK average.

New data from Aberdeenshire Council following a freedom of information request by a local action group has revealed the extent of opposition to wind turbines operating in the Formartine area, which includes Ellon, Oldmeldrum and Turriff.

Campaign group Concerned About Wind Turbines (CAWT) has blamed planning guidance, which allows for a relatively small separation distance between turbines and homes.


The separation distance between turbine and residential property in Aberdeenshire is just 400m,  most of the complaints have risen within the last 18 months and include a single 80m turbine to tip, 1 km from the complainant.

The figures were obtained under a Freedom Of Information request by CAWT (Concerned about Wind Turbines).  Click here to link to a more indepth report.

Credit:   David Wilkes,     Daily Mail,     (04/07/11)

A couple driven out of their home by noise from a wind farm launched a landmark battle in the High Court yesterday over their inability to get a peaceful night’s sleep.

Jane and Julian Davis say the low- frequency hum of the 320ft tall turbines, which they liken to the sound of a helicopter, kept them awake even with earplugs and their double glazed windows closed.

They claim it became so intolerable they were forced to move from their home in Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire, six months after the eight-turbine wind farm began operating just over half a mile from their home in 2006.

Mr and Mrs Davis are challenging the turbines’ owners in a case which, if they win, could lead to operators of up to 50 wind farms across the country having to stop their turbines or compensate hundreds of residents living near them.

"The case will focus on ‘amplitude modulation’, the swishing noise made by the blades in certain conditions.

Research suggests many complaints about wind farms relate to this, and the industry admits it is not properly understood."

To read the full article click here


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