Last update: August 15, 2017

Melissa Ware February 3, 2015 Cape Bridgewater, VictoriaAustralia

More hidden impacts of infrasound and low-frequency noise – Maternal and child health issues

Melissa Ware's Open letter to Australian Breastfeeding Association

Melissa Ware
Melissa Ware

The article below has recently been published in the Portland Observer by Bill Meldrum “Wind Alliance rejects health claims”; I object to the incorrect statements made within it by Ms Angela McFeeters, an ABA representative at Portland and spokesperson for the Victorian/Australian Wind Alliance. I draw it to your attention for discussion, review and management of.

As one of the six resident participants in the Steven Cooper Acoustic Testing Program at Cape Bridgewater of Nov 2014, I have firsthand knowledge of impacts and conditions living in proximity to the industrial wind energy plant of 29, 2MW turbines at Cape Bridgewater causing health impacts and disturbance to us and to many others exposed to infrasound and other disturbing industrial ‘noise’ emissions around Australia.

I suggest the ABA has a duty to become more fully informed of these public health impacts to assist new mothers and babies; to become informed of the issues by reading the links below and further extensive information compiled and available at; wind.watch.org, the Waubra foundation or Stop These Things websites.

Ms McFeeters would not have the medical expertise to publically declare any conclusions on the status of my health, only my GP or Specialist have the comprehensive understanding of and authority to make any statements regarding health or impacts to it. Ms McFeeters has over the past 12 months anonymously attended community consultation meetings related to the acoustic study being conducted by the owners of the wind farm, Pacific Hydro and has heard the impacting conditions we have reported to the company and the Government Authorities over the past six years.

This is not the first biased public statement or comment Ms McFeeters has aired whilst representing the Wind Alliance and the wind industry.

Her assumptions and implied accusations in this article are based without visiting my house, nor noting medical conditions first hand, as my GP’s, Specialists or the Acoustic Engineers that have conducted studies inside my home. The study undertaken by Mr Cooper is groundbreaking and assists with the resolve of problems of noise, vibration and sensation through greater understanding and knowledge gleaned by cooperatively working together. Cooperation was undertaken for the first time ever by residents, a wind farm and an independent acoustician working with the goal of getting to the bottom of the problems. I doubt Ms McFeeters has read or understands the importance of the research or the publically released conclusions.

The most damaging impact of wind farms to public health, including my own is the serious issue of sleep deprivation. As a representative of the ABA, dismissal of the very real health impact of sleep deprivation caused by wind farm disturbance is unfeeling and callous in its disregard. Dismissing disturbances documented within the Acoustic study could damage mothers and infants living near and impacted by wind farms, not only in the Portland region but around the nation.

Sleep disturbance and post natal depression go hand in hand; her biased public opinions and her obligation to abide by the code of ethics of the ABA do not. I ask which qualifications, expertise and knowledge allows her to refute health impacts that have been well documented and confirmed as far back as 1985 in the US Kelley report and do you endorse the opinions of this Alliance?

Disturbed fertility and menstrual cycles in women living near wind turbines in Denmark, Canada and Australia are being reported from both residents and by health professionals.

Health professionals, medical practitioners, acoustic experts and researchers who have firsthand knowledge of the severity of reported health problems call for urgent multidisciplinary research in this area and include:

Professor Bob McMurtry, Dr Roy Jeffery, Associate Professor Jeff Aramini, Carmen Krogh and Mr William Palmer from Canada; Dr Alan Watts, Dr Wayne Spring, Dr David Iser, Dr Gary Hopkins, Dr Andja Mitric Andjic, Dr Sarah Laurie, Mr Les Huson, Mr Steven Cooper, Emeritus Professor Colin Hansen and Dr Bob Thorne from Australia; and Associate Professor Rick James, Mr Rob Rand, Mr Stephen Ambrose, Emeritus Professor Jerry Punch, Dr Jay Tibbetts, Dr Sandy Reider, Dr Nina Pierpont, Dr David Lawrence, Dr Paul Schomer, Mr George Hessler, and Dr Bruce Walker from the USA with others from Europe.

Wind turbines are increasing in size and are being placed closer to larger human populations and justifiably, there is growing concern all over the world.

For any breastfeeding counsellor or representative within the ABA to be ignoring the serious issue of sleep deprivation is a very real concern. Evidence about sleep deprivation and its role in post natal depression is well accepted. Is this evidence being ignored by the ABA counsellors in the Portland region? Does the ABA disagree with the concerns of the Health and Acoustic Professionals and Researchers listed above?

As a concerned mother and advocate of breastfeeding I ask you to investigate. Impacts of infrasound on breastfeeding cannot be dismissed out of hand by someone without the authority or proper and independent knowledge to do so.

Read the above, acknowledge the depths of this issue and release a public apology. Proper and independent health studies are going to be conducted in the homes of impacted people near these energy plants and until this further study is undertaken and released by the Australian Government then no-one should conclude there are no impacts on residents’ health and quality of life.

Melissa Ware

Open letter
Article of the Portland Observer
Article of the Portland Observer
Melissa Ware's Open letter to Australian Breastfeeding Association