Peer-reviewed study shatters claims that wind turbines are “safe”

Link found between infrasound emitted by wind turbines and complaints of “unbearable sensations” by residents

 In a groundbreaking study at Pacific Hydro’s Cape Bridgewater wind farm in the state of Victoria, Australia’s leading acoustical engineer Steven Cooper found that a unique infrasound pattern, which he had labelled “Wind Turbine Signature” in previous studies, correlates (through a “trend line”) with the occurrence and severity of symptoms of residents who had complained of often-unbearable “sensations”. These include sleep disturbance, headaches, heart racing, pressure in the head, ears or chest, etc. as described by the residents (symptoms generally known as Wind Turbine Syndrome (WTS), or the euphemism “noise annoyance” – ed). (1)
The acoustician also identified “discrete low frequency amplitude modulated signals” emitted by wind turbines, and found the windfarm victims were also reacting to those.

The Wind Turbine Signature cannot be detected using traditional measuring indexes such as dB(A) or dB(C) and 1/3 Octave bands, concludes his study. Narrowband analysis must be used instead, with results expressed in dB(WTS).
 He suggests medical studies be conducted using infrasound measurements in dB(WTS) in order to determine the threshold of what is unacceptable in terms of sound pressure level.
The findings are consistent with the official Kelley studies published in the US more than 30 years ago, which showed that infrasound emitted by early, downwind turbines caused sleep disturbance and other WTS symptoms (2). These studies were shelved, upwind turbines were designed, and the regulatory authorities simply trusted the wind industry’s assertion that the new models did not emit dangerous infrasound. The Cooper study now proves they were wrong.
Another conclusion of his study is that the Danish method used for measuring low-frequency “noise annoyance” near wind farms is inadequate. So are the wind turbine noise standards applied to wind farms in Victoria, Australia and New Zealand, known as New Zealand Standard 6808. Just as inadequate are all other standards regulating “annoyance” near wind farms around the world. They simply don’t take infrasound into account.
The Waubra Foundation, Dr Sarah Laurie, Dr Nina Pierpont, Dr Robert McMurtry, Ms Carmen Krogh, Dr Michael Nissenbaum, Dr Chris Hanning, Dr Jay Tibbetts, Dr Sandy Reider, Dr David Iser, Dr Amanda Harry and scores of other medical practitioners and researchers from around the world are vindicated by this benchmark study, as are the residents reporting WTS symptoms themselves, many of whom have had to regularly or permanently abandon their homes.
Regarding the future, Steven Cooper recommends that further studies be conducted in order to establish “a threshold to protect against adverse impacts.” (1)
He also writes: “the vibration surges described by some residents as disturbance during the shutdown could be attributed to wind gusts exciting resonances of the blades/towers and requires further investigation“. (1)
This is a turning point. The wind industry can no longer claim that their machines do not emit enough infrasound to affect residents, nor that health professionals publicising the problems and calling for further research are causing the suffering, nor that wind farm victims are causing their own woes (the often-used argument that “it’s all in their heads” – i.e. the “nocebo effect”). Yet the wind industry and its abettors had clung to that straw despite the numerous accounts of ill-effects on animals. (3)

Mark Duchamp
+34 693 643 736


(1) Cooper study (released Jan 21 2015):

(2) Neil D. Kelley study, (1985):

(3) 1600 miscarriages at mink farm/:  


Windfarms and birth defects:

See also:

The statement from the residents who participated in the Cooper study:    

Peer review of the Cooper study by acoustician Dr Bob Thorne PhD:

Letter (peer review) from Robert Rand to Steve Cooper – 21 Jan 2015:  

Letter (peer review) from Stephen Ambrose to Steven Cooper – 22 Jan 2015:

Radio interview of Steven Cooper:  

Dr Sarah Laurie’s comprehensive testimony on the health effects of wind turbine sound and vibrations:

21 Peer Reviewed Articles On the Adverse Health Effects of Wind Turbine Noise:

TV podcast on the Cooper study:

3 comments to Peer-reviewed study shatters claims that wind turbines are “safe”

  • Murmur

    Sorry, this study does not show that nocebo doesn’t play a part in supposed effects of wind farms: all the participants can see or hear if the turbines are in operation; the small number of participants (a problem in its own right) include people who had protested against the development, a group other studies have found are more likely to report “effects”…That is nocebo effects have not been controlled for in the study design.

    The point about not using dbA and the like as measurement tools is a good one and wind farm developers are very weaselly in using those measures when they should know their limitations.

    The strap line on this piece is completely hyperbolic as this very limited study, using a sample size so small it has no statistical power, and not controlling for any number of possible confounding factors cannot show what is claimed.

  • Clint

    It clearly shows that the low frequency noise that devices emit can be heard as modulation in rooms comparable to the wavelength. Every acoustic engineer knows this but many have decided to ignore it as they like to make money from doing 1 – the original wind farm, developers noise survey and then 2 – get paid again to represent them at appeal.
    Nice work if you can get it but you have to be unethical, greedy and a member of the institute of acoustics.

  • Drake

    I saw this on Facebook.

    WIND FARMS v. WILDLIFE – The shocking environmental cost of renewable energy.

    Following article published in UK Spectator by Clive Hambler, a lecturer in biological and human sciences at Oxford university who specialises in species extinction……..

    Wind turbines only last for ‘half as long as previously thought’, according to a new study.

    But even in their short lifespans, those turbines can do a lot of damage.

    Wind farms are devastating populations of rare birds and bats across the world, driving some to the point of extinction.

    Most environmentalists just don’t want to know. Because they’re so desperate to believe in renewable energy, they’re in a state of denial.

    But the evidence suggests that, this century at least, renewables pose a far greater threat to wildlife than climate change.

    Though I started out neutral on renewable energy, I’ve since seen the havoc wreaked on wildlife by wind power, hydro power, biofuels and tidal barrages.

    The environmentalists who support such projects do so for ideological reasons. What few of them have in their heads, though, is the consolation of science.

    Environmentalists are urging us to adopt technologies that are hastening this process. Among the most destructive of these is wind power.

    In Australia, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is threatened with global extinction by wind farms.

    In north America, wind farms are killing tens of thousands of raptors including golden eagles and America’s national bird, the bald eagle.

    In Spain, the Egyptian vulture is threatened, as too is the Griffon vulture — 400 of which were killed in one year at Navarra alone.

    Norwegian wind farms kill over ten white-tailed eagles per year and the population of Smøla has been severely impacted by turbines built against the opposition of ornithologists.

    Bats are what is known as K-selected species: they reproduce very slowly, live a long time and are easy to wipe out.

    This is why they are so heavily protected by so many conventions and regulations: the biggest threats to their survival are made by us.

    And the worst threat of all right now is wind turbines.

    A recent study in Germany by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research showed that bats killed by German turbines may have come from places 1,000 or more miles away.

    This would suggest that German turbines — which an earlier study claims kill more than 200,000 bats a year — may be depressing populations across the entire northeastern portion of Europe.

    Some studies in the US have put the death toll as high as 70 bats per installed megawatt per year: with 40,000 MW of turbines currently installed in the US and Canada. This would give an annual death toll of up to three -million.

    Why is the public not more aware of this carnage?

    First, because the wind industry (with the shameful complicity of some ornithological organisations) has gone to great trouble to cover it up — to the extent of burying the corpses of victims.

    Second, because the ongoing obsession with climate change means that many environmentalists are turning a blind eye to the ecological costs of renewable energy.

    What they clearly don’t appreciate — for they know next to nothing about biology — is that most of the species they claim are threatened by ‘climate change’ have already survived 10 to 20 ice ages, and sea-level rises far more dramatic than any we have experienced in recent millennia or expect in the next few centuries.

    Climate change won’t drive those species to extinction; well-meaning environmentalists might.