Cohocton Wind Watch: Speakers focus on health effects of wind turbines
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Speakers focus on health effects of wind turbines

Intended as an information meeting for township residents, the evening became a series of dire warnings on the alleged adverse health effects of industrial wind turbines.

The evening's three speakers focused on the symptoms of Wind Turbine Syndrome, a medical catchall of signs that include excruciating headaches, tinnitus, nausea, sleep deprivation and similar debilitating complaints. With a growing number of health-care professionals, researchers and engineers convinced that industrial wind turbines contribute to these symptoms, speaker Carmen Krogh reiterated her position that more epidemiological studies need to be done before further wind-farm developments are approved.

"We've got a lot of evidence there's a problem out there," said Krogh, a retired pharmacist and the former editor-in-chief of the "Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties."

David Colling, an electrical pollution consultant, told the audience about four families that were forced from their homes following a wind-farm development in his hometown of Ripley. Colling's readings from these abandoned homes suggested the nearby wind turbines were helping create "dirty" electricity that aggravated their symptoms.

"Different families will have different symptoms, depending on the frequencies," Colling said.

While the organizing Brooksdale Women's Institute invited industry and government representatives to Wednesday's meeting, these invitees chose not to attend the session. The absence of a provincial government representative was most glaring during the presentation by researcher Joan Morris, who simply questioned the effectiveness of the guidelines in the new Green Energy Act.

During her few minutes at the podium, Morris pointed out a seeming loophole in the legislation that would allow developers to build turbines closer than the usual 550-metre setback through the successful completion of a "noise study." She also suggested the legislation's "safeguards" -- including a 40-decibel maximum -- had been relaxed or omitted in the months since the regulations were first proposed.

"There seems to be a lot of things that aren't clear or a lot of avenues that would let developers take a different angle," Morris said.

Citing "parallel" health scares like the Listeriosis outbreak and the Walkerton tragedy, Morris suggested the provincial government should take a similar approach with wind turbines until further studies are completed to determine the impacts of low-frequency noise and the other wellbeing issues.

"We stopped exposing the people, found out what the problem was and eliminated it," Morris said. "We're at the point where we should be doing the research and not making anybody sick.

"We really do need to do the proper studies and we should be doing them before we expose any more rural Ontario residents."

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