Study links wind turbines to illness

Nov. 2, 2012 at 10:30 AM
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LONDON, Ontario, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Opponents to wind farms who allege health risks have their first scientific support in a peer-reviewed study linking proximity to turbines to illness.

An article, published in the "Noise and Health" journal, gave optimism to some people in rural and agricultural southwestern Ontario, where wind farms are proliferating despite resistance from residents, the London (Ontario) Free Press reported.

The scientific journal addressed a study done in Maine by Canadian epidemiologist Jeffery Aramini that suggested people living within a mile of wind turbines experienced more sleep deprivation and mental health issues than those further away.

"The reality is that some people are getting sick," Aramini said. "As a public health person, I can't wrap my head around [government inaction]."

Opponents in Ontario have been rebuffed for several years by the provincial government and health officials, who said there was no scientific basis for health concerns.

Esther Wrightman, who leads one local opposition group near Strathroy, Ontario, called the report a breakthrough.

"I view it as a huge step forward. It definitely gives credibility to our case," she said.

Chris Forrest of the Canadian Wind Energy Association played down the journal's report.

"The balance of scientific, medical and human experience to date clearly demonstrates that sound from wind turbines does not adversely impact human health," he said.

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