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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

UW doctor: No evidence that wind turbines cause health problems

From a presentation to the Public Service Commission Wind Siting Council by Jevon D. McFadden, MD, MPH:

General Conclusions
􀂄Evidence does not support the conclusion that wind turbines cause or are associated with adverse health outcomes
􀂄Gaps remain in our knowledge of the impact that wind energy may have on human health
􀂅Potential positive and potential negative impacts
􀂄Passionate analyses, whether by proponents or opponents of wind energy development, may be subject to significant bias, which compromises credibility

Recommendations
􀂄Encourage concerned individuals to report symptoms or illness to a healthcare provider
􀂄Encourage health officials to continue to assess new evidence as it becomes available
􀂄Recommend involving affected individuals in siting process

Shadow Flicker
􀂄Wind turbine rotor frequencies
+Average 0.6–1.0 Hz
+Max 3 Hz (at 60 rpm)
+National Research Council: “Harmless to humans”
􀂄Photosensitivity epilepsy
+1/4,000 individuals
+Sunlight, TV are common precipitants
􀂄Flickeringlight most likely to trigger seizures
+5–30 Hz

Noise & Health —Conclusions
􀂄Chronic exposure to high levels of sound
+Hearing loss
+Altered physiological processes
􀂄Long-term health effects of chronic exposure to low level sound not well characterized
􀂄Noise sensitivity is important determinate of responses to noise
􀂄Response to moderate levels of sound affected by cognitive appraisal of sound source

Dr. McFadden lists the following affiliations at the beginning of his presentation:

􀂅Centers for Disease Control and Prevention —Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer
􀂅United States Public Health Service —Lieutenant Commander
􀂅Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health
􀂅University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine and Public Health, Department of Population Health Sciences —Adjunct Assistant Professor

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