By Merrill Morey, MD, New Castle
I have presented the negative physical effects of industrial wind turbines (IWTs) at multiple meetings in the last year, including a WECS meeting, Planning Commission meetings, County Commissioner meetings, etc. These health problems include headaches, ringing of the ears, sleep disruption, mood disturbances, and an increased incidence of heart attacks in people living in the vicinity of these turbines.
The following link shows that German researchers have proven that the infrasound linked to the turbines can cause a decrease in the force of contraction in heart muscle up to 20 percent. In a person with a healthy heart, this would not normally be a problem, but in someone with heart failure, or a weakened heart from infection or a prior heart attack this could be potentially fatal.
The link is: www.germanenergyblog.de/?p=19852
A few of you have commented that without 100 percent proof that the turbines are harmful you will approve them. I would challenge you to prove the cigarettes 100 percent cause lung cancer. I take care of patients that have smoked multiple packs of cigarettes daily for many years that don’t have lung cancer. I also take care of patients who never smoked that get that unfortunate diagnosis. Despite these facts, the government is continually working to decrease the number of people who smoke because of the dangers.
If you read some of the links included in the blog, you will also see that Bavaria successfully defended in their Constitutional Court a 10h minimum setback for wind turbines. This means 10 times the highest point of the turbine. In another link, Saxony has successfully put their setback at 1,000 meters (about 3,281 feet). Since turbine height varies, many feel that any setback should be a multiple of turbine height, rather than a set amount of feet. Some people feel that Europe is ahead of us with renewable energy, and we should learn from their experience. Then should we not also follow their lead in ensuring the safety of the community?
Our elected officials (and by extension their designees on committees) are charged with protecting the community’s health and safety. This implies, and I think demands, that each elected official acknowledges that they have studied both sides of this issue. The community’s health is too important to just take a company’s word that its products are safe. With community health the goal, the burden of proof related to health effects should be on the officials to uphold the health, safety and welfare of the people.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
— Merrill Morey, MD, New Castle