Irish scientists link them to cancer, stroke and heart attacks
Wind turbines ‘too near family homes’
By Leah McDonald
WIND farms can contribute to people getting diseases such as cancer and heart attacks, two leading Irish health experts have warned.
They say that noises emitting from turbines lead to sleep deprivation that can cause cancer and heart disease, along with a number of other illnesses.
Professor Graham Roberts, head of the Department of Endocrinology at University Hospital, Waterford, and Professor Alun Evans, an expert in public health at Queen’s University, Belfast, met Alan Kelly yesterday to warn the Environment Minister that the current guidelines in Ireland are a cause for alarm.
The rules allow turbines and power lines as close as 500 metres to a family home, while international standards demand they should be at least 2km away.
Prof Evans, recently wrote a report pointing to ‘serious adverse health effects associated with noise pollution generated by wind turbines’.
The risks were due to sleep disturbance and deprivation with loud noise being one of the main causes.
He pointed out that sleep deprivation is associated with memory impairment in children and disturbed cognitive function in adults.
He told the Irish Daily Mail yesterday that distances between homes and turbines should be increased.
He said: ‘The bad effects of low frequency noise has been known for at least 40 years, the thing is 500 metres does not protect people. It is insufficiencies.’
He warned that there is evidence that the ‘infrasonic signatures’ that cause the damage can be picked up from 50 miles way, adding: ‘It is a serious problem. It doesn’t affect everyone the same way. Something like a quarter of people are more susceptible.’