The Influence Of Sound On The Human Body

gerrit rietveld academie 432 hz optimum
The Organ Of Balance And The Influence Of Sound On The Human Body

The human ear can only hear between 20Hz and 20kHz, and it was proven that what you cannot hear as a human, because it is simply too high : ultrasonic sound, or too low to hear : subsonic sound is recorded on the record.

The subject of the frequencies that we can’t hear, but apparently do feel, even though our ears don’t let our brain hear it, it still gets translated through our body. Our ‘hearing’ doesn’t stop where we can’t hear it anymore, it’s much more complicated then that. Just because we don’t hear it anymore doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, and doesn’t mean we are not still perceiving it in another way. Read more about Sound And The Influence Of Sound On The Human Body

Dr Mariana Alves-Pereira

How To Test For The Effects Of Low-Frequency Turbine Noise

Dr Maria Alves-Pereira: explains why turbine generated low-frequency noise is so annoying inside homes.

Dr Mariana Alves-Pereira of the Lusofona University in Portugal, has degrees in physics, biomedical engineering and a PhD in environmental science. Her team has been researching vibroacoustic disease since 1980 – initially focused on the low frequency noise (LFN) that impacted aeronautical technicians.

Late in 2013, Dr Alves-Pereira presented a case study from Portugal where a family was found to be exposed to LFN caused by the operation of nearby wind turbines (2006-2013). On-Off testing showed the increase in LFN inside the home was indeed associated with turbine operation. Medical tests showed the people who were living inside the home had impaired brain function in relation to responding to stimuli as well as their control of breathing.

In the balance of the post we’ve set out the transcript of Dr Alves-Pereira’s presentation and the slides she relied on (for the full presentation, watch the video below. (Source: Read More)

LFN (Low Frequency Noise) and Health with Mariana Alves-Pereira

Dr. Kouwen’s explains how Industrial Wind Turbines Shatter Environmental Guidelines


Dr. Kouwen’s groundbreaking work over the past year has revealed that the Ontario Ministry of Environment’s noise limits are being exceeded a majority of the time near industrial wind turbines (IWT’s) at locations in Grey Highlands, ON, Canada. Furthermore it appears the MOE model is flawed and “substantially underestimates” wind turbine noise. We spoke with Dr. Kouwen about his methodology and ongoing work.

Dr. Nick Kouwen is introduced at the 20:00 minute mark of the interview. Click to Listen to Dr. Kouwen’s interview on infrasound and wind turbines

Read more about Dr Nicholas Kouwen

What you cannot hear CAN affect you.
The American Wind Energy Association state that a scientific panel they sponsored concluded that :

“Subaudible, low frequency sound and infrasound from wind turbines do not present a risk to human health.”

The erroneous assumption made by this committee was that effects of low frequency sound can only be mediated through hearing, so that if infrasound could not be heard then they could not possibly affect human physiology.

Such an assumption is absurd and does not apply to other sensory systems of the body.

We know there are countless things we cannot TASTE that can harm us. Tetrodotoxin (puffer fish poison), salmonella and cholera toxin are some examples of things we can’t taste that can sicken or kill us.

We know there are many things that we cannot SMELL that can harm us. The lethal dangers of breathing carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide are well established.

We know there are things that we cannot SEE that can harm us. It is well established that ultraviolet light is invisible, yet it can make someone’s life miserable, with skin burns and eye damage if they are exposed to excessive amounts. (Source: What you cannot hear CAN affect you)

Super-Large-Scale Flow Visualization with Snow

Particle Image Velocimetry is a technique to measure turbulence long used in wind tunnels for small scale testing. Using this technique to measure turbulence in the field on full-scale structures has proved to be very difficult and has been thought by some to be impossible. In February 2013, Eolos researchers demonstrated the ability to visualize large scale turbulent structures using natural snowfall. (Source: Super-Large-Scale Flow Visualization with Snow)

Duke Energy’s Shirley Wind Turbines Declared a “Human Health Hazard”


At the October 14, 2014 Brown County Board of Health meeting, a motion was unanimously approved declaring the Shirley Wind turbines a “Human Health Hazard”. The text of the unanimously approved motion reads:

“To declare the Industrial Wind Turbines at Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County, WI. A Human Health Hazard for all people (residents, workers, visitors, and sensitive passersby) who are exposed to Infrasound/Low Frequency Noise and other emissions potentially harmful to human health.”

The decision was based on a report of a year-long study conducted by the Enz family with assistance from Mr Rick James to document acoustic emissions from the wind turbines including infrasound and low frequency noise, inside homes within a radius of 6 miles of the Shirley Wind turbines. (Source: Read more and also read The Waubra Foundation article: Duke Energy’s Shirley Wisconsin Wind Development a “Hazard to Human Health” Declares Brown County Board of Health)

Analysis of Low Frequency and Infrasound at the Shirley Wind Farm.

A Cooperative Measurement Survey and Analysis of Low Frequency and Infrasound at the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County, Wisconsin

wind victims Ontario analysis lfn

“What you can’t hear, can hurt you”

The purpose was to determine whether infrasound was present in the homes of three families in the footprint of the Shirley Wind project (owned by Duke Energy). These families have reported adverse health effects since the wind turbine utility commenced operation. Two have been forced out of their homes. They report experiencing symptoms of the type associated with wind turbine syndrome. These families are my clients and they offered to act as intervener’s in another Wisconsin case, Highland Wind which is in the application hearing phase. 50 affidavits were filed by them and other residents near the utility describing adverse health effects and home abandonment for the eight turbine Shirley Wind project (see video below) using Nordex N100 2.5 MW wind turbines.

The above graph shows that wind turbine noise is present outside and inside the residence. The SPL – dB (Sound Pressure Level – decibel) scale on the left hand side of the graph shows low frequency noise levels approaching 80. This is considered a noise level similar to an alarm clock or hair dryer. (Source: Analysis of Low Frequency and Infrasound at the Shirley Wind Farm)

Adverse Health Effects from Industrial Wind Turbines


Negative Health Effects of Noise from Industrial Wind Turbines: Some Background – Part 1

This post, the first of a three-part series, provides a broad overview of the topic. The second installment will review the major research findings linking low-frequency noise and infrasound from industrial wind turbines with effects on health and quality of life. Part three will discuss the relationship between various health effects and the processing of infrasound by the ear and brain.[1]

By Jerry Punch, PhD, and Richard James, INCE, BME

Cary Shineldecker was skeptical about the wind project the Mason County, Michigan, planning commission was considering for approval. His home, two miles from Lake Michigan, was located in an area where nighttime noise levels were around 25 dBA, with only occasional traffic and seasonal farmland noises. (source: Read More )

The Negative Health Impact of Noise from Industrial Wind Turbines: The Evidence – Part 2


Today’s post, the second of three installments, reviews the major research findings linking low-frequency noise and infrasound from industrial wind turbines with effects on health and quality of life.[1]

By Jerry Punch, PhD, and Richard James, INCE, BME

Jerry Punch, PhD

Evidence that industrial wind turbines (IWTs) negatively impact human health is vast and growing. Although that evidence acknowledges that the exact exposures needed to impact health and the percentage of the affected population are still unknown, there is indisputable evidence that adverse health effects (AHEs) occur for a non-trivial percentage of exposed populations. Here, we give an overview of that evidence.[2]

Wind turbine noise is not known to cause hearing loss. Interestingly, though, individuals who have hearing disorders may be more susceptible than persons with normal hearing to AHEs from wind turbine noise, and people who are deaf can suffer the same ill effects as those who have normal hearing when exposed to wind turbine noise. The latter finding supports the view that infrasound, not just the audible whooshing, low-frequency noise emitted by wind turbines, is the cause of many of the health complaints. (source: Read More )

Adverse Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbine Noise: How the Ear and Brain Process Infrasound – Part 3


This article, the final of three installments, discusses the relationship between various health effects and our current understanding of the processing of infrasound by the ear and brain.[1]

Jerry Punch, PhD

By Jerry Punch, PhD, and Richard James, INCE, BME

As noted in the second installment of this series, Dr. Geoff Leventhall, a co-author of the 2009 AWEA/CanWEA report, attributes the health complaints of people who live near industrial wind turbines (IWTs) to psychological stress, but does not acknowledge that IWTs can be detrimental to health because infrasound and low-frequency noise (ILFN) emitted by wind turbines are largely inaudible to humans. He stands on the argument, therefore, that what we can’t hear can’t hurt us.

We know that things we cannot see, touch, taste, or smell can hurt us, so why is it unreasonable also to believe that what we can’t hear might also hurt us? (source: Read More )

2MW MOD-1 Turbine installed.
To trial industrial-level wind energy generation in the US, the 5th operational wind turbine is installed near Boone, North Carolina.

12:00 AM
September 1, 1979

First complaints received from a dozen families within a 3km radius of turbine

Much to everyone’s surprise, complaints were made by some residents (see dots on image for location). The annoyance was described as an intermittent “thumping” sound accompanied by vibrations. .. A “feeling” or “presence” was described, felt rather than heard, accompanied by sensations of uneasiness and personal disturbance. .. The “sounds” were louder and more annoying inside the affected homes. .. Some rattling of loose objects occurred. In one or two severe situations, structural vibrations were sufficient to cause loose dust to fall from high ceilings, which created an additional nuisance. (Source: Read More)

Have you heard the one about infrasound?

what is wrong with industrial wind turbines (IWT s)
This is no joke!

Was it some sophisticated listening technology or the peer pressure which enabled a group of four acoustic experts to hear the pressure waves?

The investigation was conducted without the co-operation of the windfarm operator at Duke Energy’s problematic Shirley Wind project in early December. It was at the behest of environmental lobby group Clean Wisconsin, but thanks to the intervention of attorneys Anne Bensky and Peter McKeever for the citizen’s group Forest Voice and attorney Glenn Reynolds for the Town of Forest it was decided that instead of relying solely on wind industry and Wisconsin Public Service Commission favourites, Hessler Associates Inc., the noise testing included independent acoustics experts, Dr. Bruce Walker (Channel Islands Acoustics), Dr. Paul Schomer (Schomer and Associates Inc.) and with experience measuring infrasound inside homes, Robert Rand (Rand Acoustics) funded independent of the PSC by the people of Forest, Wisconsin, who also engaged Richard James, to provide additional analysis testimony on the testing results..

Three subject homes, at approximate distances of 1100 feet, 3500 feet and 7000 feet, were found to have measurable infra and low-frequency sound from the wind turbines with levels varying inversely with distance. The peak acoustic energy was found at the Shirley Wind’s Nordex Turbine blade passage frequency of less than 1 Hz. (Source: Read More)

Peer-reviewed study shatters claims that wind turbines are “safe”
Written by Mark Duchamp, The World Council for Nature on 26 Jan 2015

Link found between infrasound emitted by wind turbines and complaints of “unbearable sensations” by residents. aussie windfarm In a groundbreaking study at Pacific Hydro’s Cape Bridgewater windfarm 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. (Source: Read More)

Infrasound & Motion: A New Theory On Some Forms Of Motion Sickness


The most widely accepted explanation for motion sickness is sensory conflict theory. A sensory conflict happens when our inner ears sense we are moving but our eyes do not agree, or vise versa. Much research has been carried out on motion sickness. An implicit assumption has apparently always been that motion is sensed only by detecting acceleration forces on the vestibular system (inner ear).

We have recently discovered an un-deniable relationship between motion and infrasound. Infrasound is rapid fluctuations in the local barometric pressure. In homes near wind turbines, these barometric fluctuations occur anywhere from 0.5 – 5 times per second. We have discovered a previously unrecognized fundamental physical link between infrasound and motion which is that infrasound is always present with motion, it is a key ingredient. It has been previously documented that exposure to infrasound without motion can cause the same motion sickness symptoms that happen with motion. (Source: Read More)

An inconvenient study draws fire from the wind/climate coalition


On October 1st and 2nd, two leading UK newspapers wrote about a new study from the University of Munich which found a way of measuring the effects of low-frequency sound (LFS) on the inner ear (1). This is an important discovery in that it could lead to progress in the understanding of hearing loss, an impairment that affects millions of people and causes much grief.

One of the most controversial sources of LFS lies in the nacelles of wind turbines and around their huge moving blades. Yet, governments stubbornly refuse to investigate their effects on health, thus protecting the wind industry and unprotecting the citizens. (Source: Read more)

Big Wind Is Better Than Big Oil, But Just as Bad at P.R.

Nancy Shea didn’t learn about the wind farm until after she moved to northwest Massachusetts to enjoy a quiet country life. The news didn’t bother her. Shea, who describes herself as “green” and “crunchy,” favors clean and renewable energy. But just days after the 19-turbine project went online Shea sensed something wrong. She “felt kind of queasy,” one day in the kitchen. Later she woke up feeling like she had bed spins.

Shea’s husband did some research and learned about wind turbine syndrome (WTS), a condition said to be caused by “infrasound,” an inaudible low-frequency sound produced by the turbines. Sufferers complain about symptoms like insomnia, vertigo, headaches and disorientation. “It’s a hard to describe sensation, you just want to crawl out of your skin,” Shea says. (Source: Read more)

Wind Turbines and Low Frequency Noise (LFN)

Low frequency noise (LFN)

First of all, what is low frequency noise? It is noise, as the name suggests, at the lower frequencies of the audible range. It is general accepted to be within 20 to 200 hertz. Less than about 20 hertz is termed infrasound, because it is not usually audible to the human ear. ILFN (Infrasound–low frequency noise) is another abbreviation I shall use, as in some instances infrasound is comparable to LFN.

Noise that can be felt

Unlike higher frequency noise, ILFN is not just audible – it is also perceptible! [1] The human ear can hear infrasound down to a frequency of 12 hertz, after which it is perceived as single cycles of the sounds along with a sensation of pressure at the eardrums. [2] ILFN is also a useful tool in the military in the form of long range acoustic devices. [3] Various parts of the human body resonate to differing frequencies of ILFN. [4] Likewise any building structure can respond in a similar way causing annoyance and distress to the occupants. In the worst case scenario structures can collapse. [5]

As such it is not a benign phenomenon which is restricted to the aesthetics of noise – it can be very intrusive and distressing in other ways.

Noise that is selective in who it disturbs. Read more

Turbine Study Points to Infrasound

turbine points infrasound
Doctor Lynn says U.K. study finds infrasound could be cause of health side effects.

A recent report from the United Kingdom is shedding new light on low frequency sound dispersion and the overall impact on nearby residents and the environment.

Infrasound is lower than 20-Hertz in frequency, the “normal” limit of human hearing.

Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health, Doctor Hazel Lynn, tells Bayshore Broadcasting News the document suggests Health Canada and similar organizations should consider the effects of infrasound in regards to wind farms.

At 550-metres the sound pressure wave coming off of an industrial wind turbine is reduced to 30-decibels, which is no louder than the noise in your bedroom at night.

However, infrasound is dependent on atmospheric conditions such as air pressure, wind direction and cloud cover — and the lower the frequency, the further it travels. (Source: Read more)