The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) ganged together to produce this literature review of studies on health effects of wind turbines. They paid 7 “experts” (none of whom was an epidemiologist), one of whom was the same Dr. Colby who had previously staked out his position with the Chatham-Kent Health Study. This study is also known as Colby (2009) since he was alphabetically first.
Like the earlier Colby work, this one never went into the field to see what was really going on. It was published 3 days after the release of Dr. Pierpont’s Wind Turbine Syndrome and spent a great deal of ink disparaging her book. It recognized that not much was known about some of the effects of wind turbines but then astonishingly recommended no further study.
My Critique of the AWEA/CanWEA Expert Panel
Geoff Leventhall (among others) is an acoustician with a long history of denying that infrasound (noise less than roughly 20hz) from wind turbines has any health effect on humans. The basis of his belief seems to be that since you can’t “hear” these sounds they can’t possibly affect you. As a example of his beliefs you only have to look at the AWEA/CanWEA Expert Panel Review, of which he was a member. This is roughly equivalent to a physicist (not a physician) claiming you can’t be harmed by radiation that you can’t “see”. Finally, one Dr. Alec Salt, a research member of the faculty of the Department of Otolaryngology (the ENT people) at Washington University’s School of Medicine took exception to this belief with this pretty terse statement: “The commonly held belief that low frequency sounds you cannot hear cannot affect the inner ear is incorrect.” [his emphasis] Not much room to wiggle there.
Continue reading What you can’t hear can’t hurt you?