Last update: June 23, 2017

Emyr Griffiths July 21, 2016 Wales

“There is no escaping the torture from infrasound emissions from industrial wind turbines.”

“I would like to ask one question of the WHO: Under what circumstances would the WHO condone torture?”

Wind turbine torture
Wind turbine torture

On July 21, 2016, Emyr Griffiths from Wales wrote to the members of the panel developing the WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region:

Dear Mrs Héroux,

My name is Emyr Griffiths, and I live in Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK. I and my wife live off-grid in very rural hilly terrain. Please accept this email plus attachments as my submission to the WHO review of the environmental noise pollution guidelines for Europe.

Wind farms that we know that can be heard:

Wind farm NameNo. of turbinesOwnerHeightGen CapacityYear
Ffynnon Oer16RWE-npower92 m2 MW2006
Alltwalis10Statkraft110.5 m2.3 MW2009
Mynydd y Betws15ECO290 m2.3 MW2013
Salem Turbine1Carmarthenshire Energy74 m500 kW2016

If you happen to be sensitive to infrasound and low frequency noise, through no fault of your own, there is no escaping the torture from infrasound emissions from industrial wind turbines.

My wife has been plagued by unexplained infrasound since 2006 - after Ffynnon Oer wind farm was commissioned. Our observations and research over this time have convinced us that the unexplained infrasound noise pollution is most probably emitted by surrounding wind farms as far as 40 km (25 miles) away from our home.

When my wife started hearing unexplained low frequency noise (LFN) in our home intermittently through the winter of 2006/07, she thought the noise was coming from airplanes since we live under a busy transatlantic flight path. Apart from the planes (which fly over regularly, but not constantly), the occasional distant tractor or other large agricultural machine, there are no known sources of LFN anywhere near our home which could explain the LFN my wife can hear.

My wife also hears LFN over an extensive area around our home while driving around the area. She can’t hear the LFN while driving - only when the engine is turned off. Prior to the winter of 2006 she never heard any unexplained LFN. Several months after she first heard the LFN we discovered other people could also hearing unexplained LFN. One of the LFN hearers used to drive around at all hours of the night “looking for the bugger operating the big machine”.

We live about 200 m above sea level in a very rural location at the end of a long track (0.9 miles) and have no grid electricity. There any no pylons nearby which could produce electrical noise pollution. The nearest main road is about 6 miles away and the nearest town is about 8 miles away, and there is no heavy industry which could produce the LFN my wife can hear.

In late May 2013 my wife became ill for the first time with symptoms identical to those identified as “wind turbine syndrome” – her world was spinning all the time and her balance was very unsteady. Onset of the illness started a few days after commencement of a period of constant loud LFN (not the loudest she’s heard LFN though) during a long period of a stable high pressure weather system. After the weather broke in late June the symptoms of her illness gradually diminished and eventually disappeared over a period of about 10-14 days.

3 years later, a new 74 m 500 kW wind turbine was commissioned 3 km (1.95 miles) from our home near the end of May 2016.

Soon after the turbine became operational, she started hearing metronomic pulses within the infrasound/ low frequency spectrum too - she thinks those were the thumps caused by the blades passing the tower, but since we can’t see the wretched turbine from our home we could not verify that observation.

Within 2.5 weeks of the turbine becoming operational, my wife left home at very short notice due to the speed and severity of the deterioration in her health. Within a few days of the turbine becoming operational, she has been feeling constantly ill - and was getting worse - with constant headaches, nausea, vertigo symptoms and now sharp chest pains.

The chest pains got her so worried, she left home at very short notice like a terrified animal. She has now become a wind turbine refugee :(

She couldn’t take the chronic torture any more, so she left home. She couldn’t even wait to make a doctor’s appointment to report her health problems because her health had deteriorated so alarmingly quickly.

It may not be a fast death, but it’s a death by a thousand cuts. The chronic torture has taken my wife from me piece by piece over the last 9-10 years, more so since a wind farm was commissioned 8.5 miles (13km) from our home in Sept 2009.

It has been heartbreaking to observe the effects of the torture on my wife - even though the damage is invisible. It has taken her departure to make me realise that my long held suspicions that the chronic effect of torture on her health were correct.

She couldn’t bear to tell me how bad she was getting or that she was planning to leave home. I knew she was deteriorating since the turbine became operational, but I had no idea she’d be driven out of her home so soon after the wretched turbine started turning.

This day has been a long time coming, yet it’s still a shock when the day arrived.

My fight goes on with even more determination than ever before. Many politicians continue to refuse to acknowledge the hard evidence of health damage to human beings and other life forms. They are all in a state of denial... they are complicit in inflicting torture on law abiding citizens living peacefully in their own homes. SHAME on them and any pretence they have for being caring and compassion people. Ignorance is NO excuse in the eyes of the law. In their case it is WILLFUL ignorance.

Within a few days of leaving home and moving to a wind turbine-free area, all my wife’s symptoms have disappeared and her energy has returned - she felt like a new person. She was only home for 1 week before she had to leave again for health reasons.

These observation adds weight to my account above that the infrasonic noise pollution emitted by the newly erected turbine was probably responsible for her severe symptoms and hasty departure. When we discussed these repeatable observations with her doctor on her return, he said there had to be an environmental reason for my wife’s health problems.

Many people like my wife have to endure state sanctioned torture inflicted by infrasound noise pollution emissions by industrial wind turbines (IWTs) because the wind industry has buried NASA’s research for a good 30 years. The industry continually dismisses this body of detailed research because they claim that wind turbine designs have changed.

A Brief history of the start of the "modern" wind industry:

The first reported complaints about wind turbine noise pollution arose in 1979, shortly after a single large wind turbine was erected in N Carolina, USA. This led to 9 years of thorough research and field studies headed by NASA and several other institutions to investigate the source of those complaints. The head researcher was physicist Dr Neil Kelley.

The NASA led research proved a number of points:

  1. LFN and ILFN noise pollution emissions from wind turbine was the source of the complaints reported by people.
  2. Certain frequencies were responsible for health problems reported by people.
  3. Cumulative exposure to LFN/ILFN resulted in increased sensitivity and progressively worsening health problems.
  4. Buildings amplify noise indoors at their resonant frequencies, exacerbating problems of wind turbine noise pollution emissions.

Dr Kelly presented a paper to the wind industry at a conference in San Francisco in Oct 1987, advising the industry how to minimise exposure of wind farm neighbours to LFN/ILFN emissions. The wind industry and buried this information for over 25 years before it was unearthed by some Australian researchers a couple of years ago.

Dr Neil Kelly also informed the wind industry, in 1987, that the use of A-weighted readings would be the worst standards to use to afford reasonable protection to people’s health and use of their amenities.

Yet, 9 years later in the UK in 1996, ETSU-R-97 adopted standards that ignored all the above research. Based on this evidence, the wind industry has clearly demonstrated that it is reprehensible and morally bankrupt - a colossal fraud. With all the research conducted by NASA, it is no wonder that the wind industry continues to fight tooth and nail to avoid having to measure noise emissions in the LFN/ILFN spectrum, and also doing their utmost to discredit the 9 years of thorough research headed by NASA and Dr Kelley.

If you want to get a bit more general background, the following post will give you a very clear and succinct historical picture of the development of the wind industry.
Also read the timeline embedded in the above blog:

- it contains a very succinct summary of who knew what and when in relation to the development of the wind industry - it is eye opening if you don’t already know the full facts. What I outlined above is demonstrated in the timeline, which contains links to supporting documentary evidence.

The burden to the British National Health Service caused by health problems related to chronic exposure to LFN/ILFN emissions will grow significantly over the next 10-20 years. Read about this 1 case in Portugal (2 Euronoise documents attached.) and see the list of symptoms that will develop over time in response to chronic exposure to LFN/ILFN. These clinical symptoms of VAD (Vibroacoustic Disease) were derived from 30 years of research By Dr Alves-Pereira et al on the health of aircraft engineers. They have found the same symptoms developing in some wind farm neighbours (see the 2 Euronoise documents).

Alves-Pereira VAD clinical symptoms

The wind industry has steadfastly declined to conduct any research to prove that their machines are safe - they know what the results would be. Kelley et al have done the requisite research very thoroughly, and more recent work at the Shirley wind farm in Wisconsin (report attached) and Steven Cooper in Australia have verified some of Kelley’s research.

Some Australian farmers lambing near industrial wind turbines have reported lambing rates as low as 5-7% (down from an average of 85%). And have observed foetal defects for the first time in their long farming lives.
(See: for several witness accounts from the 2015 senate inquiry in Australia)

If you need further evidence that LFN/ILFN noise pollution emissions from industrial wind power are dangerous, I am more than happy to supply more documents to you.

I would like to ask 1 question of the WHO:

  1. Under what circumstances would the WHO condone torture?

If, after all the evidence I have presented, the WHO do not reform their European noise guidelines, the WHO would be complicit in condoning state sponsored torture by refusing to afford adequate protection to law abiding citizens living in their own homes. Convicted and suspected terrorists already have more human rights than law abiding people living in their own homes.

Concerning noise standards in the UK - ETSU-R-97:

Based on my research, I would state that ETSU-R-97 guidelines never WERE fit for purpose. The opening statement in the introduction states:

"This document describes a framework for the measurement of wind farm noise and gives indicative noise levels thought to offer a reasonable degree of protection to wind farm neighbours, without placing unreasonable restrictions on wind farm development or adding unduly to the costs and administrative burdens on wind farm developers or local authorities."

To the latter part of the aim, the ETSU regulations have been very successful.

However, ETSU standards and protocols do not afford adequate protection to people’s health and use of amenities because they were designed to NOT to measure the bulk of the noise pollution emitted by industrial wind turbines - i.e. Low Frequency (LFN) and Infrasound (ILFN). This was achieved primarily as follows:

  1. Adopting A-weighted measurements - A-weighted noise readings employ a filter which attempts to approximate the noise that hear by the "average" human ear". It does this by filtering out a large percentage of the LFN spectrum (20-200 Hz), and an even larger percentage of the ILFN spectrum (<20 Hz). The bulk of the noise emitted by an industrial wind turbine is in the LFN and ILFN frequency spectrum. See attached diagram which illustrates the effect of employing A-weighted readings.

    Noise filters effects
  2. Only predicting noise levels outdoors, AND assuming a 15 dB reduction in noise levels indoors due to attenuation (reduction in volume) by walls and windows. The standards disregard the well known experiments that proved the problem of building resonance. Every building has a resonant frequency spectrum - in the ILFN/LFN spectrum. If you have ever listened to a vibrating tuning fork - you have to have it close to your ear. However, if you place the vibrating tuning fork on a piano or box, the noise is amplified considerably, and is audible from a much further distance... this is the demonstrable effect of resonance. The use of A-weighted readings, combined with the assumed reduction in volume indoors by 10-15 dB totally disguise the known LFN/ILFN noise problems associated with building resonance. See attached graph from Shirley wind farm studies in 2013.

    Shirley wind farm LFN resonance
  3. Using time average readings - use of time averaged readings masks the amplitude modulation (pulsating changes in the noise volume). Annoyance and health problems arise, not so much from steady noise levels, but from the pulsating noise levels. The spinning blades create enormous pressure pulses, particularly when the blades pass the tower.

Further notes on ETSU-R-97:

  1. ETSU disclaimer at the front of the document:

    "This report was drawn up under the direction of the Noise Working Group. While the information contained in this report is given in good faith, it is issued strictly on the basis that any person or entity relying on it does so entirely at their own risk, and without the benefit of any warranty or commitment whatsoever on the part of the individuals or organisations involved in the report as to the veracity or accuracy of any facts or statements contained in this report. The views and judgements expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ETSU, the Department of Trade and Industry or any of the other participating organisations."

  2. ETSU recommendation to review the guidelines in 2 years time (ie. 1998)

    "The report was drafted in the light of the best information available at the time. However it is acknowledged that as more experience and information become available and as circumstances develop it may become necessary to revise and improve the contents of this report. The Noise Working Group therefore suggests this report and its recommendations are reviewed in two years time. To this end, any comments on the usefulness of the report would be most welcome, including any suggestions for improvement with any supporting evidence where possible."

    (ETSU-R-97 has never been reviewed or updated and therefore should be declared invalid or obsolete.)

  3. Since the ETSU guidelines were established in 1996, industrial wind turbines have grown significantly in size. They never WERE fit for the purpose of affording adequate protection to people’s health and enjoyment of their amenities. This means that even more of their noise emissions are in the low frequency and infrasound spectrum ... most of the noises in this spectrum are DISCARDED and/or ignored by the use of ETSU-R-97 protocols and procedures. Yet successive British governments have refused to update ETSU guidelines. Those governments are therefore complicit in condoning state sanctioned torture. (In the UN definition of torture, noise is considered an instrument of torture.)

I trust you will consider all my evidence and observations in developing better noise guidelines for protecting people’s health from infrasonic noise pollution emissions from industrial wind turbines and other sources.

Please also refer to attached documents for further details.

Emyr Griffiths

Attached documents:

A Cooperative Measurement Survey and Analysis of Low Frequency and Infrasound at the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County, Wisconsin

Clinical Protocol for Evaluating Pathology Induced by Low Frequency Noise Exposure

Low Frequency Noise-Induced Pathology: Contributions Provided by the Portuguese Wind Turbine Case

Unexplained Low Frequency Noise

Emyr Griffiths’ letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) - July 21, 2016