Nurses for Safe Renewable Power

Looking for a healthy environment for everyone

The litany of health complaints

As you know, both Health Canada’s study (underfunded at $1.8 million) on the health impacts from exposure to the noise and infrasound produced by large-scale wind power generators, and the Renewable Energy Technologies and Health (RETH) study through the University of Waterloo are in the early stages right now, with results anticipated over the next few years. The Province of Ontario continues to approve large-scale wind power projects and is anticipated to reopen FIT 2.0, the second phase of its subsidy program for wind projects, within the next few months.

The ethics of this situation are the topic for another post, but for today, we will recount the ongoing work of health researcher Carmen Krogh, who is routinely providing the reports of ill health from Ontario residents to the federal Minister of Health and the lead investigator for the Health Canada study.

Here is the latest report on an Ontario family.

On reading this, and the other reports, we have difficulty controlling our temper as the realization of the complete inaction of health authorities, and health care organizations such as the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario* and physicians’ organizations. We understand that it was part of the strategy of the huge corporate wind power lobby to co-opt the health care groups into believing that the rush to wind power was about health and the environment, but really, at this stage, it is time to read what is going on and make a stand for Ontario’s rural and small urban residents, who are not willing   subjects in this experiment.

Here is a letter to the Minister of Health.

November 23, 2012
Dear Minister Aglukkaq,
Re: Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study
Attached is a noise report relating to a family in close proximity to industrial wind turbines.
The Weaver/Rooney family is one of those for which a pre- and post-turbine submission was forwarded to Health Canada “Health Canada submission_November 23 2012 FINAL” and “Pre_Post_Wind turbine submission_Updated February 4 2013” respectively.
The family is reporting serious health effects that are associated with the start-up of the facility in December 2012.
A noise study was conducted and the results indicate “that the IWT generated noise does not comply with the MOE noise guidelines ~50% of the time and that SPL’s are above the predicted “worst case” ~59% of the time.”
The family started journal December 26, 2012 and have maintained it to date. The attached contains extracts for the period of time that that the noise measuring equipment was set up at the family residence. The journal records the quality of life and health problems experienced by the family [see attached Appendix B of the report].
The journal documents many negative sleep events where one or both members of the family could not sleep. In some cases, sleep medication was required or members had to sleep away from their home.
The World Health Organization states [1]:
The serious effect of sleep deprivation was forwarded to Health Canada. The message was entitled “March 9 2013 Research Update – Wind Turbine Noise Study and sleep deprivation” and it advised about the Möller-Levet et al (2013) study [2].
Insufficient sleep and circadian rhythm disruption are associated with negative health outcomes, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive impairment, but the mechanisms involved remain largely unexplored. Twenty-six participants were exposed to 1 wk of insufficient sleep (sleep-restriction condition 5.70 h, SEM = 0.03 sleep per 24 h) and 1 wk of sufficient sleep (control condition 8.50 h sleep, SEM = 0.11). Immediately following each condition, 10 whole-blood RNA samples were collected from each participant, while controlling for the effects of light, activity, and food, during a period of total sleep deprivation. Transcriptome analysis revealed that 711 genes were up- or down-regulated by insufficient sleep. Insufficient sleep also reduced the number of genes with a circadian expression profile from 1,855 to 1,481, reduced the circadian amplitude of these genes, and led to an increase in the number of genes that responded to subsequent total sleep deprivation from 122 to 856. Genes affected by insufficient sleep were associated with circadian rhythms (PER1, PER2, PER3, CRY2, CLOCK, NR1D1, NR1D2, RORA, DEC1, CSNK1E), sleep homeostasis (IL6, STAT3, KCNV2, CAMK2D), oxidative stress (PRDX2, PRDX5), and metabolism (SLC2A3, SLC2A5, GHRL, ABCA1). Biological processes affected included chromatin modification, gene-expression regulation, macromolecular metabolism, and inflammatory, immune and stress responses. Thus, insufficient sleep affects the human blood transcriptome, disrupts its circadian regulation, and intensifies the effects of acute total sleep deprivation. The identified biological processes may be involved with the negative effects of sleep loss on health, and highlight the interrelatedness of sleep homeostasis, circadian rhythmicity, and
A second document by Bernert and Joiner on suicidal risks associated with sleep disturbances was provided [3].
A growing body of research indicates that sleep disturbances are associated with suicidal ideation and behaviors. This article (1) provides a critical review of the extant literature on sleep and suicidality and (2) addresses shared underlying neurobiological factors, biological and social zeitgebers, treatment implications, and future directions for research. Findings indicate that suicidal ideation and behaviors are closely associated with sleep complaints, and in some cases, this association exists above and beyond depression. Several cross-sectional investigations indicate a unique association between nightmares and suicidal ideation, whereas the relationship between insomnia and suicidality requires further study. Underlying neurobiological factors may, in part, account for the relationship between sleep and suicide. Serotonergic neurotransmission appears to play a critical role in both sleep and suicide. Finally, it remains unclear whether or not sleep-oriented interventions may reduce risk for suicidal behaviors. Unlike other suicide risk factors, sleep complaints may be particularly amenable to treatment. As a warning sign, disturbances in sleep may thus be especially useful to research and may serve as an important clinical target for future suicide intervention efforts.
The family’s living environment has been altered by the imposition of an industrial wind energy facility in proximity to their home. This was done without their consent. Within a short period of time, both members are reporting serious health effects and there is no remedy except to remove the source by leaving their home.
The attached submission cites a newspaper article which reports that Canada has invested 10 Billion dollars in a green concept and more investment is pending.
There has been limited investment to resolve or remedy the issues with the exception of a $1.8 million dollar investment in a Wind Turbine noise study that will be completed in 2014 and will not be definitive.
The family asks “Will an economic policy take precedence over health? What actions will Health Canada take to provide health protection for its citizens?”

Respectfully submitted for the Weaver/Rooney family,

Carmen Krogh, BScPharm
Killaloe, ON, K0J 2A0

[1] World Health Organization (2011) Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise
[2] Carla S. Möller-Levet, Simon N. Archer, Giselda Bucca, Emma E. Laing, Ana Slak, Renata Kabiljo, June C. Y. Lo, Nayantara Santhi, Malcolm von Schantz, Colin P. Smith, and Derk-Jan DijkEffects of insufficient sleep on circadian rhythmicity and expression amplitude of the human blood transcriptome Published online before print February 25, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1217154110
PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) February 25, 2013 201217154

[3] Rebecca A Bernert and Thomas E Joiner Sleep disturbances and suicide risk: A review of the literature Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2007 December; 3(6): 735–743. PMCID: PMC2656315

*In a stunning development recently, the RNAO has moved to disassociate its members from the national body, the Canadian Nurses Association or CNA. CNA was in favour of the health research being done by Health Canada, and shares concerns about the growing reports of ill health due to exposure to the environmental noise produced by wind power generators.



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2 thoughts on “The litany of health complaints

  1. linda on said:

    Here’s another recent study that might surprise:
    “Traffic noise increases risk of diabetes”

    • Thank you.
      One of the comments made by people living in cities in response to complaints from people living with the environmental noise and vibration produced by wind turbines is, “We live with noise all the time, and we’re not sick!”
      Maybe you are.
      Lots of studies have documented the effect of environmental noise from traffic and airports on health; the World Health Organisation produced a report on the burden of environmental noise exposure in 2011.

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