11/30/09 The problem that won't go away: What happens when you site industrial scale wind turbines too close to homes?
Our wind farm resident quote of the day:
"The noise is constant, some days louder than others. It is not noise I enjoy or choose to be around. It is noise I cannot escape."
Wind Turbine Syndrome: Clinical study of heath effects of large wind turbines published
Rowe, Mass., Nov. 28, 2009 — Dr. Nina Pierpont, a pediatrician and population biologist in Malone, New York, has announced the publication of her book-length study Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment. 
In interviews with ten families living 1,000-4,900 feet away from recently built industrial-size wind turbines, a “cluster” of symptoms was revealed: from sleep disturbance, which affected almost everyone, to headache to tinnitus, vertigo, nausea, irritability, memory and concentration problems, and panic episodes. Industrial wind turbines have a total height of 300-400 feet or more, with blades of 125-150 feet that sweep 1.5-2 acres of vertical airspace.
The book includes supportive reviews and notices by several noted physicians in related disciplines. Although primarily directed towards medical professionals, it includes an informative and often poetic version for the lay audience.
The individuals affected by Wind Turbine Syndrome noticed that they developed symptoms after the turbines near their homes started turning. Symptoms were relieved when they left the area and resumed on their return. Eight of the ten families eventually moved away from their homes because of the severity of the symptoms.
Although not everyone living near turbines is subject to these symptoms, the data Pierpont presents are a concern, considering the current political drive to construct more and ever larger industrial wind turbines close to people’s homes, as well as in the habitats of other equally or more sensitive animals.
Pierpont’s sample size was large enough to show that individuals with pre-existing migraines, motion sensitivity, or inner ear damage are particularly vulnerable. People with anxiety or other mental health problems are not particularly susceptible, she says, contradicting the common claim of industry developers that “it’s all in their head”.
“This report is a public health wake-up call that our elected officials and administrators need to take very seriously”, said Eric Rosenbloom, president of National Wind Watch, a clearinghouse for information about the adverse effects of industrial wind energy development.
Pierpont and other health and noise experts agree that at a minimum, large wind turbines should be 2 kilometers (1-1/4 miles) from any residence. 
According to Pierpont, low-frequency noise or vibration from the wind turbines acts on the balance organs of the inner ear to make the body think it is moving. And this misperception of motion affects other brain functions, including physical reflexes, spatial processing and memory, and physiological fear responses (such as pounding heart and nausea).
Japanese Government to study effects of wind farms on health
The Environment Ministry will launch its first major study into the influence of wind turbines on people’s health next year, it has been learned.
Much is expected of wind power as a source of clean energy, but people living near wind power facilities are increasingly complaining of health problems. The low-frequency sound produced by the wind turbines at such facilities–sound that is difficult to discern with the naked ear–is suspected of causing such conditions as insomnia, tinnitus and hand tremors.
Due to a lack of substantiating data, the ministry has deemed it necessary to study the matter. It will launch a four-year examination of all 1,517 wind turbines in the country in April.
The study will try to ascertain to what extent health problems are being caused by the low-frequency sound, through such means as questioning local residents.
It will examine the relationship between wind turbines’ operating hours and the times of day when people’s health deteriorates. It also will make continual measurements of such elements as the level of the low-frequency sound.
The study’s attempt to determine the causality between the low-frequency sound and health problems will take into account such factors as weather conditions and the distance between homes and wind power facilities.