Groundbreaking research from Germany on low-frequency “infrasound” adds to the recent body of work that is challenging wind energy proponents’ insistence that turbines are not linked to health complaints reported by those living close by.
The international project led by the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB) concludes that exposure to infrasound below the range of hearing could stimulate parts of the brain that warn of danger. It finds that humans can hear sounds lower than had been assumed and the mechanisms of sound perception are much more complex than previously thought.
The researchers do not claim the results are definitive regarding wind turbines and health impacts, and say more work is needed.
But the research builds on recent work in Japan and Iran — and investigations by NASA dating back to the 1980s — that suggests the health science of wind energy is far from decided and would benefit from further inquiry, though it is unlikely to persuade prominent wind farm advocate, Simon Chapman.
Dr Chapman, who did not respond to questions from The Australian about the German work, told a Senate inquiry into wind farms and health last month that he was not persuaded by other recent research.
“I believe there is much evidence that belief in the harms of wind farms is the cause of harm from wind farms and that those who are intent on spreading this fear are largely responsible for that harm,” he told the inquiry.