Queen's Park, Toronto, April 22, 2009 – Former Dean of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario held a news conference on the steps of Queen's Park Legislature today. Flanked by many victims, Dr.Robert McMurtry revealed the results of a health survey of the people now suffering many serious side effects while living near industrial wind turbines. The survey was conducted by Wind Concerns Ontario.
Of the 76 respondents in the community based self-survey, 53 people now living near different wind power plants reported that industrial wind turbines were having a significant negative impact on their lives.
The adverse effects range from headaches and sleep disturbance to tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and depression.
“If any drug had that many serious side effects it would be taken off the market or at least have warnings issued”, says Carmen Krogh, retired Pharmacist and one of the conductors of the survey.
According to Dr. McMurtry's calculations, the average distance from the turbines is 780 meters although some are as close as the current Ministry of Environment recommended setback guideline of 400 meters while others are as near as 350 meters- a setback established by the Wind Industry when it originally got the go ahead for development in Ontario.
“Why should the bar be set so low for industrial wind turbines where so many side-effects are deemed unimportant?” Dr. McMurtry asks.
Another similar survey has been carried out by Britain's Dr. Amanda Harry. Dr. Harry's survey revealed many identical responses as the one by Wind Concerns Ontario.
Recent work by Dr. Michael Nissenbaum of Maine again found the same complaints.
One person in the survey replied that on a windy day “they (turbines) can sound like a jet is coming right at you….in the winter you can hear them pulsating right through the walls”.
Another farmer says he had to move out of his home and returns only to feed the cattle. He is not the only one.
Members of Wind Concerns Ontario want to know why it is that they had to carry out their own survey to prove that there are real and serious issues surrounding wind installations in Ontario. It is clear from this survey that wind development must be stopped until an epidemiological health study has been completed by Public Health Office and the real dangers to human health from industrial wind turbines is exposed.
Dr. McMurtry and Wind Concerns Ontario demand an epidemiological study into the health impacts of industrial wind turbines before any further development of wind power in Ontario.
For more details on this survey go to www.windconcernsontario.org.
Dr. Robert McMurtry is also the founding assistant Deputy Minister of the Population and Public Health Branch of Health Canada.