Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

March 17, 2013

Letters to the Editor: March 17, 2013

Wind farm not worth the risk to county

An international company Juwi’s has proposed Prairie Breeze Wind Farm Project, which comprises a cluster of 94 industrial wind turbines in Prairie and Liberty Townships in Tipton. Concern led me, as a physician, to do online research on health hazards that arise from industrial wind turbines.

In Europe, industrial wind turbines have been used for decades, and a number of health studies have been done. There has been growing evidence in Europe as well as in the U. S. that a considerable amount of low-frequency noise (infrasound) emitted by the commercial wind turbines causes undesirable effects on the human body. The symptoms of what is referred to as “wind turbine syndrome” include headaches, ear pain, ringing in the ear, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, uncomfortable internal pulsation, poor concentration, sleep disturbance, anxiety and depression. These effects may appear immediately and may resolve upon getting out of range of turbines.

As opposed to smaller wind turbines, these nearly 500-feet-tall industrial-size wind turbines have large turning blades (almost 160 feet) which cause significant pulsating air pressure changes in the surrounding area. The epidemiological studies have shown that people who live within 1.4 to 2.0 km (0.9 to 1¼ miles) from turbines are at risk for developing adverse health effects.

The problem with infrasound is that it can be carried over a distance and it is transmitted through the structural walls. Pulsating internal organ sensation can be intermittent and variable in magnitude, so the human body cannot get use to it. Pulsations are often strong enough to cause frequent nighttime awakenings. Ear pressure/pain may be similar to what is experienced on airplanes. The effect is ongoing, day and night, and it is physically and psychologically stressful.

Studies to date have not defined at what distance from the wind turbines potential adverse health effects will become negligible. A significant number of people in the community who live near these may be exposed to potential health hazards.

We are changing something “green” and “natural” (wind) into something not green (ever-fluctuating, pulsing air pressure field).

Industrial wind energy production is a new type of environmental pollution that is sweeping our country in the name of “green energy.”

Our community should not give up our valuable environment and should not expose ourselves to unnecessary health hazards for a monetary compensation. What good is the money if no one wants to or can live here because the industrial wind turbines have taken over our land? We have many ways to enrich our community, but this is not one of them.

Mika Fujii, M.D., Kokomo

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