The existence of “Wind Turbine Syndrome” has been debunked by Australia’s Climate And Health Alliance (CAHA).
The Alliance, a coalition of health care stakeholders whose membership includes the Australian Council of Social Service, Royal College of Nursing Australia, World Vision and Doctors for the Environment Australia, has released a statement in regard to claims of adverse health effects associated with human exposure to wind turbines.
Based on advice from the organisation’s scientific advisory group, CAHA‘s position reaffirms renewable energy generation such as wind power “provides a safe and healthy alternative to fossil fuels”.
“There is no credible peer reviewed scientific evidence that demonstrates a link between wind turbines and direct adverse health impacts in people living in proximity to them,” CAHA Convenor Fiona Armstrong said.
“In contrast, Australia’s current energy generation that relies on the burning of fossils fuels such as coal and gas is not only contributing to climate change but (particularly in the case of coal) also poses significant threats to human health.”
Ms. Armstrong also highlighted the financial damage occurring due to the nation’s continued love affair with coal.
“It is estimated that the harm to health from emissions from Australian coal-fired power stations is costing the Australia community $A2.6 billion annually. Together with the health damage from fossil fuel powered transport emissions, this amounts to an annual health bill of almost $6 billion, as well as contributing to more than 1000 deaths each year.”
CAHA’s statement comes at an important time for the wind industry; with the sector facing hostility from various corners in some states. In a recent example, earlier this month South Australian Opposition leader Isobel Redmond vowed to ban wind farms within 2 kilometres of any residence in addition to the Liberal’s policy of a ban on wind farms within 5 kilometres of townships.
According to Wikipedia, In 2011 the British Acoustics Bulletin published its 10th independent review of the evidence on wind farms, finding yet again that “annoyance has far more to do with social and psychological factors in those complaining than any direct effect from sound or inaudible infrasound emanating from wind turbines.”
While opposition to wind farms in rural areas may seem high based on the media’s apparent fascination with the topic, a recent study by the CSIRO claims the actual number of people living in these regions who are opposed to wind farm development is a minority.