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Echoes > 2015 > The "irreparable harm to physical and psychological health" from infrasounds of wind turbines is now proven




Sarah Laurie BMBS
PO Box 7112
Banyule VIC 3084

For wide distribution and posting please.   
March 28 2015

The home in Falmouth USA where these measurements were taken was also the subject of the injunction issued by Justice Muse in December 2013 to prevent irreparable harm" to physical and psychological health.  

The  "irreparable harm to physical and psychological health" from infrasounds of wind turbines is now proven

Le «préjudice irréparable à la santé physique et psychologique" des infrasons d'éoliennes est maintenant prouvé

Falmouth, Mass.(USA) Judge Muse Decision to Shut Down Wind Turbines Causing Irreparable Harm
USA Falmouth, Massachusetts le juge Muse a pris la décison d'arrêter les éoliennes car  elles causent un préjudice Irréparable à la santé humaine

That judgement is here: 

The attached acoustic report gives an idea of their exposures.


Full report




Waubra Foundation - 1st February, 2015





1. Background

  • Turbines create “waste energy” in the form of airborne pressure waves (sound) and ground-borne pressure waves (vibration).
  • Noise is that part of the sound frequency spectrum which is audible, but “noise” is also defined by psychoacousticians as “unwanted sound”.
  • The strength (sometimes expressed as a loudness in the case of noise) of the sound is measured in decibels (“dB”).
  • The wavelength of individual sound waves is a measure of the distance between the peaks of the pressure waves. The speed of sound divided by the wavelength gives the frequency of the sound and is expressed in hertz (Hz).
  • Where the frequency of the sound waves is below 20 Hz, the distance between the waves is relatively long, and the general term for this portion of the frequency spectrum is known as infrasound. Infrasound is only audible at very high levels (dB). However it can be damaging to the human body at levels well below audibility.
  • Impulsive infrasound from a variety of industrial sources has long been known to have the potential to be harmful to humans, especially with chronic exposure. For example, human and animal studies have shown infrasound directly causes both physiological stress,i and collagen thickening in a variety of tissues including cardiac valves, arteries, and pericardium which themselves lead to a variety of cardiovascular diseases.ii
  • Infrasound persists for much greater distances than audible sound and, unlike audible sound, penetrates well insulated building structures (including double glazing) with ease; and often increases the impact by resonating within the house, like a drum.iii iv This occurs, regardless of the source of sound & vibration energy. Penetration of buildings and amplification via resonance can also occur from sound and vibration from natural sources such as earthquakes and thunder.
  • Standards for wind turbine noise pollution in Australia are set in audible decibels (“dBA”) outside houses.v Use of dBA excludes accurate measurement of frequencies below 200 Hz, including both infrasound (0 – 20 Hz) and low frequency noise (20 – 200 Hz). These Standards do not require infrasound (either within or outside homes) to be predicted in planning submissions nor to be measured in the required compliance testing to the planning permit noise conditions. Most jurisdictions do not require wind turbine generated low frequency noise to be predicted or measured either (unlike other sources of industrial noise). In fact most noise measuring instruments and microphones are unable to measure accurately in the infrasound range, especially below 8 Hz, and some Standards explicitly specify the use of equipment which cannot measure infrasound.
  • Wind turbines produce infrasound along with audible noise. The more powerful the wind turbine the greater the proportion of infrasound and low frequency noise emitted,vi which then increases significantly if the turbines are sited too close together, now common practice in Australia.vii Most newer wind turbines are now 3 MW or 3.5 MW, compared to 2MW at Cape Bridgewater.
  • By the use of different sound meters and microphones, and in narrow (frequency) bands it is quite possible to identify and measure infrasound specifically from wind turbines, in the field. This unique “wind turbine signature” has now been demonstrated by the acoustic consultants involved in the Health Canada Studyviii and by Professor Colin Hansen’s team at Waterloo,ix in addition to Mr Cooper’s measurements at a number of locations in Australia prior to, and including, the Cape Bridgewater Acoustic Investigation.
  • Increasing numbers of residents living within 10km of wind turbines have suffered, and are still suffering, severe adverse health impacts since the wind turbines started operating.x xi Many have left their homes repeatedly, and eventually permanently, to live in greatly diminished financial circumstances, as their homes are no longer habitable or saleable. Some residents become too unwell to work. Wind turbines are not the only source of impulsive infrasound and low frequency noise causing severe health damage. The same pattern of identical serious adverse health effects, sleep deprivation and home abandonments, sometimes out to similar distances are being reported by neighbours to other known sources of infrasound and low frequency noise, at open cut coal mining (eg Hunter Valley in New South Wales), underground mines with large extractor fans (eg Lithgow, in New South Wales), gas turbine power stations (eg Uranquinty, in New South Wales, Port Campbell in Victoria) and numerous other sources (eg Tara gas field in Queensland).xii
  • Wind power projects and other energy generating noise polluting industrial developments involve very large sums of money in construction, in revenues and in the case of industrial wind turbines - public subsidies. It is not uncommon to find companies with large investments and large cash flows going to great and improper lengths to maintain their cash flows.
  • The wind industry has never been asked to prove that their machines are safe, unlike other products on the market. When queries are raised about impacts on neighbours, the industry and its supporters trigger the “Four Ds” of denial, dissemble, delay and destroy the messenger, despite the wind industry being well aware of the seminal research by Dr Neil Kelley and NASA which established direct causation of symptoms from impulsive infrasound and low frequency noise from wind turbines and other sources in the 1980s, by both field and laboratory research.xiii

2. The Purpose of the Cape Bridgewater Acoustic Investigation

The purpose of the investigation was simply to find out what was causing the symptoms and sensations, resulting in sleep disturbance and health damage, reported to Pacific Hydro between 2009 and 2014 by the residents of three homes sited between 600 – 1600 metres from wind turbines sited at the Cape Bridgewater Wind Project in Victoria, Australia.xiv





Eoliennes : infrasons et troubles de la santé sont corrélés

Une étude australienne établit la relation entre infrasons émis par les éoliennes et les troubles de santé ressentis par les riverains.


La relation de cause à effet est confirmée : les infrasons émis par les éoliennes sont en relation directe avec les troubles et les sensations souvent insupportables perçus par les riverains. C’est ce que révèle une étude menée par l’ingénieur en acoustique australien, Steven Cooper, dans le parc éolien de Pacific Hydro à Cape Bridgewater (Etat de Victoria). Les résultats montrent la corrélation entre un patron d’infrasons, qu’il a baptisé « signature acoustique de l’éolienne » et l’apparition et la gravité des symptômes ressentis par les victimes. Troubles du sommeil, maux de tête, tachycardie, pressions dans la tête, dans les oreilles ou la poitrine… Il est avéré que les symptômes réunis sous le nom de syndrome éolien (SE) résultent des effets néfastes des infrasons mais aussi « des signaux discrets à basse fréquence modulés en amplitude » identifiés par l’acousticien comme étant d’autres facteurs perturbateurs.

Opter pour d’autres indices de mesure

Le référentiel de mesure fait toute la différence pour détecter les infrasons. En effet, pour capter la « signature acoustique » de l’éolienne, il faut utiliser l’analyse de bande étroite, avec des résultats exprimés en dB (WTS). Les indices de mesure traditionnels tels que dB (A) ou dB (C) et les bandes d’un tiers d’octave ne sont absolument pas adaptés. De fait, toutes les normes actuelles qui réglementent les nuisances près de parcs éolienssont inappropriées puisqu’elles ne prennent pas en compte les infrasons.

La nécessaire réforme des réglementations 

Les résultats de cette étude corroborent les études de Kelley**,publiées aux États-Unis il y a plus de 30 ans, montrant que les infrasons émis par les premiers modèles d’éoliennes, aux pales sous le vent, étaient à l’origine des troubles du sommeil et d’autres symptômes du SE***. Elles confirment enfin ce qu’un scientifique français, automaticien, Vladimir Gavreau, avait découvert dès les années 60. Ce précurseur avait en effet établi le lien existant entre les symptômes (lipothymies, migraines et nausées) survenus parmi les membres du personnel de son propre laboratoire et les infrasons émis par un ventilateur à cadence lente.

L’étude Cooper donne raison à de nombreux docteurs et chercheurs qui par le monde ont tiré la sonnette d’alarme. Les autorités réglementaires ont bien voulu croire l’industrie éolienne quand elle affirmait que les nouveaux modèles n’émettaient pas d’infrasons dangereux. Elles ne peuvent plus ignorer leurs effets dorénavant.

video eolienne


Dear All
Steven Cooper's Cape Bridgewater report has finally been made public
the link to the actual report is here:

The link to the resident's public statement is here: 

The following article was on the front page of the Australian newspaper, in prime position up the top.  It is Australia's only national newspaper.
Please circulate widely, repost the links, story and the resident's public statement.

Turbines may well blow an ill wind over locals, ‘first’ study shows

Environment Editor


PEOPLE living near wind farms face a greater risk of suffering health complaints caused by the low-frequency noise generated by turbines, a groundbreaking study has found.

The study by acoustics expert Steven Cooper is the first in the world in which a wind turbine ­operator had fully co-operated and turned wind turbines off completely during the testing.
It opens the way for a full-scale medical trail that may resolve the contentious debate about the health impact of wind farms.
Funded by wind farm operator Pacific Hydro, the study was conducted at Cape Bridgewater in southwest Victoria where residents have long complained about headaches, chest pains and sleep loss but have been told it was all in their minds.
As part of the study, residents living between 650m and 1.6km of the wind turbines were asked to ­diarise what they were experiencing, including headaches, pressure in the head, ears or chest, ringing in the ears, heart racing or a sensation of heaviness.
Their observations were separated into noise, vibration and sensation using a one to five severity scale.
“The resident observations and identification of sensation indicates that the major source of complaint from the operation of the turbines would appear to be related to sensation rather than noise or vibration,” the report says. “For some residents experiencing adverse sensation effects, the impact can be exacerbated by bending over rather than standing, with the effect in some cases being reported as extremely severe and lasting a few hours.”
Mr Cooper said it was the first time that sensation rather than audible noise had been used as an indicator of residents’ perception of nearby wind turbines.
The report found offending sound pressure was present at four distinct phases of turbine operation: starting, maximum power and changing load by more than 20 per cent either up or down.
Mr Cooper said the findings were consistent with research into health impacts from early model wind turbines conducted in the US more than 20 years ago.
The relationship between turbine operation and sensation demonstrated a “cause and effect”, something Pacific Hydro was not prepared to concede, he said.
Survey participant Sonja Crisp, 75, said the first time she experience discomfort from the wind turbines, “it was like a thump in the middle of the chest.
“It is an absolute relief, like an epiphany to have him (Mr Cooper) say I was not crazy (that) when I am doing the dishes I feel nausea and have to get out of the house.”
David Brooks, from Gullen Range near Goulburn, NSW, said health concerns from wind farm developments were not confined to Cape Bridgewater.
The findings should be used as the basis for a thorough health study of the impacts from low frequency noise, he said. “Until this is done, there should be a moratorium on further wind farm developments,” he said.
Pacific Hydro and Mr Cooper agree that more widespread testing is needed. Andrew Richards, executive manager external affairs at Pacific Hydro, said: “While we acknowledge the preliminary findings of this report, what they mean at this time is largely unclear.
“In our view, the results presented in the report do not demonstrate a correlation that leads to the conclusion that there is a causal link between the existence of ­infrasound frequencies and the ‘sensations’ experienced by the residents.” Mr Cooper said the findings had totally discounted the so-called “necebo” effect put forward by some public health ­officials, who said symptoms were the result of concerns about the possibility of experiencing them.
The Cape Bridgewater study included six residents over eight weeks in three houses.
One hearing-impaired participant had been able to identify with 100 per cent accuracy the performance of wind turbines despite not being able to see them.
Another Cape Bridgewater resident Jo Kermond said the findings had been “both disturbing and confirmation of the level of severity we were and are enduring while being ridiculed by our own community and society.”
Mr Cooper said residents’ threshold of sensations were experienced at narrow band sound pressure levels of four to five hertz at above 50 decibels.
The nominal audible threshold for frequencies of four to five hertz is more than 100 decibels. Mr ­Cooper said an earlier investi­gation into health impacts of wind farms by the South Australian EPA had been flawed by limiting the study to only one-third octave bands and not looking at narrow band analysis.
“By looking at high sensation and narrow band I have developed a methodology to undertake assessments using narrow band infrasound,” he said.
“We now have a basis on how to start the medical studies,”
Mr Cooper was not engaged to establish whether there was a link between wind turbine operation and health impacts, “but the findings of my work show there is something there,” he said.
Mr Cooper said Pacific Hydro should be commended for allowing the work to proceed.
“It is the first time ever in the world that a wind farm has co-­operated with a study including shutting down its operations completely,” he said.
Mr Cooper has coined the term Wind Turbine Signature as the basis of the narrow band infrasound components that are evident in other studies. He said the work at Cape Bridgewater had established a methodology that could be repeated very easily all over the world.
Pacific Hydro said it had conducted the study to see whether it could establish any link between certain wind conditions or sound levels at Cape Bridgewater and the concerns of the individuals involved in the study.
“Steven Cooper shows in his report, for the limited data set, that there is a trend line between discrete infrasound components of the blade pass frequency (and harmonics of the blade pass frequency) and the residents’ sensation observations, based on his narrow band analysis of the results,” Pacific Hydro said.
“However, we do not believe the data as it currently stands supports such a strong conclusion.”
The report has been sent to a range of stakeholders, including government departments, members of parliament, environmental organisations and health bodies

Sarah Laurie  BMBS 


PO Box 7112

Banyule  VIC  3084

0474 050 463

Thorne, R. Congratulation on Cape Bridgewater Investigation

21 January 2014

Mr Steven Cooper
The Acoustics Group Sydney

Dear Steven

Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm Acoustic Study

Congratulations on the release of your benchmark research into the effects of wind farm activity and the measurable effects on persons living in the locale. At 235 pages for the report and 6 technical annexures (491 pages) the study cannot be matched by any previous wind farm study in Australia. The research is a unique contribution to science and is remarkable and ground-breaking:

  1. The determination of the actual physical parameters involved in the measurement, interpretation and assessment of wind farm noise (audible and infrasound) on persons is formalised and supported by extensive documentation.
  2. The development and determination of the concept of ‘sensation’ as distinct from ‘noise’ due to infrasound, low frequency sound, audible sound or vibration is ground-breaking and unique. The concept has an important place alongside standard measures such as ‘quality of life’ and psychoacoustical correlates.
  3. The obvious support from both PacificHydro and the residents is the stand-out feature of the study and it is clear from the text that the outcomes were not envisaged by yourself or the study participants at the commencement of the study. The approach taken is highly professional and supportive to both your client (PacificHydro) and sympathetic to the residents who provided you with their assistance.

The study is extremely comprehensive. Outcomes immediately apparent from an overview of the study that should become a vital part of any present and future wind farm study are:

  1. Measurement and analysis methodologies for instrumentation and uncertainty derived from the study are now the benchmark for all acoustic consultants, scientists and engineers involved in the field;
  2. The determination of a wind turbine signature at two different frequency ‘sets’ related to sensation is unique. The sensation frequencies are grouped in the infrasound 1Hz to 5Hz and low frequency 30Hz to 35Hz bands for the Repower 88 turbines. Different turbines will have different centre frequencies and sidebands at the blade pass frequency. The methodologies for determining sensation are the link-points for many other studies that did not have the access to the acoustical data and human response questionnaires developed by you for this study.
  3. Infrasound is firmly identified as a standard and normal part of the emissions of a wind farm. The character of the infrasonic emissions is identified as being measurably different from ‘ordinary’ wind; that is, infrasound generated by/from turbines consists of trains of pressure pulses and must be measured through narrow-band analysis and interpreted accordingly. Standard measures with third-octave bands and G-weighting are found to be not valid identifiers/measures of wind turbine affected wind noise;
  4. The determination of a wind turbine signature consisting of the nominal blade pass frequency and first 5 or 6 harmonics is a significant outcome from the study as these frequencies are present and measurable even in high winds.
  5. The study provides significant ‘food for thought’ for power station managers and regulators with respect to the anecdotal issues /questions / complaints of adverse health effects and sleep disturbance, annoyance and loss of amenity and wellbeing experienced by persons living near a wind farm.

The most intriguing part of your study is the set of conclusions dealing with the ‘pattern of high severity of disturbance’ experienced by the residents with the wind farm in operation. Therefore, the obvious question, based on the detail in your study, is:

Can the operation of the wind farm be modified to reduce or mitigate the disturbances experienced by the residents?

The present situation cannot continue without change.

The report has raised hard questions for PacificHydro to discuss with the residents. It is to be hoped — and expected — that support is given for the next steps of resolving the issue of adverse effects and restoring individual amenity and wellbeing to its original status prior to the operation of the wind farm.

Best Regards

Dr Bob Thorne PhD, MAAS, MIOA, FRSPH Principal

Download Dr Thorne’s letter →

The Pacific Hydro commissioned Cooper Report on Cape Bridgewater can be accessed via the Pacific Hydro website:



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