Friday, February 17, 2012

Motion Sickness and Headache

On Feb. 12, 2012, Steve Ambrose and Robert Rand, the authors of the McPherson Report on acoustical effects of commercial wind turbines in and around homes took part in an internet radio interview.
Ambrose emphasized that prior to doing the research for this report, he was careful to avoid reading any articles or accounts of what people say they have experienced physically when wind turbines are in their area because he wanted to go into the study as objectively as possible. He and Rand fully expected to enter the house where they were to carry out the study, set up their instruments, stay several weeks and collect data, then leave and analyze and write up what their findings were. But within 20 minutes, while setting up their instruments, they both - separately - noticed odd feelings and had a hard time concentrating and making simple decisions that normally come as second nature since they have done acoustics studies for so many years. Both men experienced headaches and a feeling they likened to motion sickness. They noted that while the symptoms came on quite fast, it took several weeks to fully recover from them. 

Quoting Rand: "What we experienced was not anectdotal. We had severe physical effects.... We have as much experience and knowledge of acquiring acoustical data as anyone in the world. It would take a medical professional to be able to do the measurements in the ear and in the brain and report on those."  He and Ambrose mentioned Dr. Alec Salt, who co-wrote a paper for the Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society (2011) titled "Infrasound From Wind Turbines Could Affect Humans."  Dr. Salt is a leading expert on how the ear receives and processes the various levels of sound. His report from a physiological basis coupled with the McPherson Report by Rand and Ambrose from the acoustical measurement standpoint make for a very compelling and powerful case about the dangers wind turbines pose to public safety. This blog's January 26th post features an illustration from Dr. Salt's report on how the human ear processes infrasound from wind turbines and the resulting symptoms.

They caution anyone responsible for siting and distance guidelines for wind turbines to confirm models with real world measurements taken in an area with similar winds and similar topography and population density to that where a project is proposed. In most cases, even 1500 feet is too close to a home or work place.

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