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Author Topic: Are there any health implications of wind farms?  (Read 4398 times)

Offline Sprool

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Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« on: 12/01/2012 16:50:42 »
I read a year or two ago there was a health lobby against further wind farm developments on the grounds that they were linked to cancer or brain tumours amongst people living in the locality. Gut feeling says this is rash irresponsible journalism or someone has his facts well messed up. What possible link could they make between the spinnig blades of a windmill and human cell carcinoma development?
« Last Edit: 12/01/2012 17:46:49 by chris »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: wind farm dangers
« Reply #1 on: 12/01/2012 18:26:33 »
My first assessment was that this was nothing new...  a bunch of negative complaints about new technology.  But, I decided to do a WWW search to see what showed up.

http://wind.netwny.com/issues/health_risks_of_wind_power.html
http://www.electricalpollution.com/windturbines.html

Hmmm...  Dead cows in a "closed herd" with odd deformities and etc.
The first thing I would look at is inbreeding.  It is time to start getting some bulls from other ranches.

Bloody noses?  Anti-coagulation factors?  Blood Pressure?  Whatever?  It is a good point that some stress related issues improved for some individuals that moved away.  However, there needs to be a randomized control trial, rather than a few anecdotes.  What else changed with the move?

The truth is that nothing is that unique to windfarms.
Noise?  That is one thing that I hate about city life, no peace and quiet.  My neighbor's AC unit used to be immediately below my bedroom window  [xx(] Even in the country there is a significant amount of road noise, and other noise sources.

But, it is true that one should evaluate the different kinds of noises.

Roads?
Deep Foundations?
Hmmm...  I've heard of those before...  somewhere???

Shadow flicker?  60RPM, 1 per second isn't that fast.  But...  perhaps there is something.

Line noise from poor quality inverters?  Hmmm...  One might ask them to filter their signals better and buy better inverters.  However, who's to say that 50/60 HZ sinewaves is healthier?  Many devices convert the AC back to DC.  Those that run on AC directly are quite robust to some line noise.

Maybe you could ask them to provide free Cable TV to everyone  [O8)]

Anyway...
For Cancer in cows, I'd look very closely at what they've done with the genetics in the "Closed Herd".
For human short-term health effects, a Randomized Clinical Trial needs to be conducted.  It would mean some participation from locals, but it could be done.
You might be able to do a similar trial with lab animals.

What is better?
Wind Power?
Coal Power?
Hydroelectric Power?
Nuclear Power?
Running around as barefoot savages with bows and spears?

Everything has positive and negatives. 
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #2 on: 12/01/2012 19:23:36 »
Major problem from wind farms is low frequency noise. Hard to measure on a sound pressure meter as it is normally filtered out by the microphone to reduce handling noise. You would have to use a silicon pressure sensor and a linear response amplifier to get it to a measurable level, and it is not heard more felt by people. Same with a nightclub bass being annoying even when you cannot hear the so called music well.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #3 on: 12/01/2012 20:44:20 »
"Bloody noses?  Anti-coagulation factors?  Blood Pressure?"
My guess is this
http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/66/1/4.full

Though I have to sympathise with anyone complaining about low frequency sound.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #4 on: 12/01/2012 22:27:15 »
"Bloody noses?  Anti-coagulation factors?  Blood Pressure?"
My guess is this
http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/66/1/4.full

Though I have to sympathise with anyone complaining about low frequency sound.

Yes, my father actually had a Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation scholarship.  I.E. research funded by dead rats!!!

Cattle may be eating moldy hay.
People usually don't....

Unless...
Well, unless they have a very pissed off wife!!!
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #5 on: 13/01/2012 20:46:20 »
I think it's baloney.  I used to go eat my lunch near a wind turbine, and I couldnt hear or feel anything.  The only thing that might be less healthy is some property owners investment because they think it detracts from the skyline. I cant imagine the noise or vibration from a windmill being as substantial as other manmade and even natural sources, simply because vibration equals inefficiency and wear and tear. It can't be anywhere near as bad as expressways, airports, household appliances, or simply living next to the ocean. I lived on the tenth story of a highrise on Lake Erie. In November, the wind sounded like a train running through my livingroom.
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #6 on: 13/01/2012 20:53:03 »
You might get hypnotized and walk in front of a bus.

You don't want to get too close to them in high winds either
 

Offline RD

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #7 on: 14/01/2012 15:31:34 »
What possible link could they make between the spinnig blades of a windmill and human cell carcinoma development?

I think it's a electricity pylon thing: the wind turbines could bring pylons into an area.

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=33269.msg
« Last Edit: 14/01/2012 15:33:53 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #8 on: 14/01/2012 17:33:00 »
What possible link could they make between the spinnig blades of a windmill and human cell carcinoma development?

I think it's a electricity pylon thing: the wind turbines could bring pylons into an area.

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=33269.msg

Electromagnetic radiation would be dependent on the proximity to the power lines, and could happen with any power lines or substations, or even that transformer behind the house.

The articles I saw seemed to be concerned about cancer in COWS...  which, of course, could be an indicator of cancer risk in humans... 

However, I would first be inclined to look at the herd genetics, and possible inbreeding in the herd.  Should I ask about their local human genetic pool?
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #9 on: 14/01/2012 20:27:44 »
It's all about Nimby.
 
(Not In My Back Yard.)
 
I'd be interested to see what would happen if there was a proposal to put in a wind farm off Malibu beach. I'm sure the folks that live there would love it. After all, it would be very "green".
 

Offline Sprool

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #10 on: 18/01/2012 16:13:03 »
I see today that Donald Trump has delayed plans to invest in a golf resort plan along the Aberdeen coast since it has come to light that an offshore windfarm may be planned along the same stretch of coast. Scotland certainly needs the investment but don't they already have enough golf courses?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-16608068
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #11 on: 18/01/2012 19:18:10 »
I see today that Donald Trump has delayed plans to invest in a golf resort plan along the Aberdeen coast since it has come to light that an offshore windfarm may be planned along the same stretch of coast. Scotland certainly needs the investment but don't they already have enough golf courses?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-16608068
Quote
"If the north east of Scotland is serious about tourism and creating a global golf destination it cannot allow the coastline to be ruined by an ugly industrial park directly off the shoreline."

Not to mention spoiling pristine shorelines by building ugly golf courses and ugly hotels!!!

Of course, it was pointed out that Geese are big fans of nicely manicured fields.   ::)

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=42820.0
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #12 on: 19/01/2012 05:44:08 »
I don't understand why so many people in the UK are against wind turbines.  I should think that they would be a status symbol.

Canada has an area in southern Alberta with dozens of wind turbines and they look fantastic with the mountains in the background.  Like a modern day version of the statues on Easter Island.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #13 on: 19/01/2012 06:58:01 »
I would agree.
I've seen windfarms in California that seemed nice.
We also have windfarms along the Columbia Gorge in Oregon, and I think they look great, and a sign of renewable progress.  However, it is often through rural, desert areas. 

I could imagine them clashing in more urban areas. 

I also suppose I think of going to the shorefront for solitude & nature.

Personally, I'd rather see windmills along the shorefront than a Trump Tower.  But, I'm not sure I want to see windmills everywhere along the ocean shores.  It would be more complex to build them, but they would be less intrusive if pushed a mile or so offshore.
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #14 on: 19/01/2012 07:28:07 »
I've seen what they've done in parts of Scotland, and some of it is pretty ugly. It's a matter of scale. The turbines really seem to dominate the landscape in a very unfortunate way.

 

Offline Sprool

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #15 on: 19/01/2012 12:31:38 »
They have recently erected 3 massive wind turbines on the moors near me at Holmfirth, west yorkshire - I think they are really beautiful structuralkly and as a green renewable energy metaphor. It was local protestors to this scheme, propagating health scares that prompted my thread here.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #16 on: 19/01/2012 20:43:13 »
I guess I don't find the wind turbines offensive when viewing them from a distance.



However, I could imagine how these big turbines could dominate a landscape, especially if typically viewed from close up.

Perhaps they need better colors.  Camouflage  :)
 

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Re: Are there any health implications of wind farms?
« Reply #16 on: 19/01/2012 20:43:13 »

 

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