Could Wind Energy Have Negative Side Effects?

Some medical experts believe that vibrations caused by giant wind turbines could have adverse effects on the human body.
Dozens of people in one Massachusetts town have filed lawsuits, claiming that nearby wind turbines are making them sick.

Residents have complained that the machines cause insomnia, headaches, dizziness and even nausea. 

Covenant Health's Dr. Christopher Rose says there's a couple possible medical explanations.

"One of them is that the sound [below the threshold of] our hearing, known as infrasound, can cause vibrations in our bodies," according to Dr. Rose.

And it's those vibrations that could be to blame for the negative physical reactions.

"The pressure changes from that infranoise causes changes in the physiology of the body, in the lungs, and the blood vessels, and in the brain," Rose says. "It's not proven, but that's the thought." 

And although one doctor in New York has even gone so far as to coin the term "Wind Turbine Syndrome," many question if the malady even exists.

"There's no study that says there's such thing as 'Wind Turbine Syndrome,'" Rose says. "As of right now, the CDC doesn't consider this a disease process. But, they're going to wait until there's large clinical trials that can actually prove that there is no process."

But, if the condition is turns out to be real - there might be something scientists can do to fix it. 

"They are doing research on different types of fins for the wind turbines, to create less noise and create less infrasound," Rose explains. "Now, will that be beneficial? That may tell us the story." 

Luckily, here in Lubbock, there aren't any major wind farms near residential areas. So, even if doctors can prove that Wind Turbine Syndrome is real, it shouldn't affect those in the immediate area. 


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