Wind Turbine Syndrome: a communicated disease

By Simon Chapman AO, Emeritus Professor, School of Public Health, University of Sydney.

Twitter: simonchapman6

Electrophobia has a long history

• ”more than 30 years after Thomas Edison invented the incandescent bulb in 1879 and soon afterwards installed a lighting system in a business section of lower Manhattan, barely 10% of American homes were wired. Even after the First World War that percentage rose only to 20%”

• Science, May 10 1889: “A new disease, called photo-electric opthalmia, is described as due to the continual action of the electric light on the eyes. The patient is awakened in the night by severe pain around the eye, accompanied by an excessive secretion of tears.”

Telephones: A cause of ear troubles:


British Medical Journal 1889, Sept 21: pp671-725.

Causes included: “wireless telegraphy, science, steam power, newspapers and the education of women; in other words modern civilization”. Since then the following have been added: televisions, microwave ovens, electric blankets, computer screens, powerlines, WiFi, smart meters, wind turbines.

Growth in mobile phones & the flat-line incidence rate for brain cancer, Australia 1982-2017:

Wind Turbines

Is there anything not caused by wind turbines?

Lung cancer, skin cancer, haemorrhoids, gaining weight, losing weight, disoriented echidnas, symptoms of anxiety…

Psychogenic illness: “worrying yourself sick”

“Infections … if you fear them, you call them upon you.”- Francis Bacon (1561 –1626)

What is uncontested about WTS (Windturbine syndrome):

•The direct causation hypothesis would predict that all wind farms should affect some people. BUT in stead, a small minority of wind farms have a small minority of residents who claim to be affected.

•The great majority of complaints occur in English-speaking nations, despite the proliferation of wind farms in Europe, China, and many other non-English speaking nations.

•Ontario (English-speaking) has a history of complaints. Quebec (French speaking) next door has had very few complaints

•Wind farms with a history of being targeted by opposition groups are more “affected” by wind turbine syndrome. Just 6 farms of 78 wind farms in Australia have had 73% of all complaints

•Those with negative views about wind farms are more likely to report symptoms than those with positive views

•Those being paid to host turbines very rarely complain, suggesting that the drug “money” may be a powerful preventive

•Claims about only “susceptible” individuals get symptoms (like those who get motion sickness while others don’t) struggle to explain why there are apparently no susceptible people in, for example, all of Western Australia or Tasmania, where there are wind farms but zero records of health complaints

•Claims about “over 40” Australian families having to abandon their infrasound affected homes have never been validated, with those making the claims saying that many of the “windfarm refugees” do not want publicity.

•While some complain of acute effects within minutes of exposure, the first known complaints about wind farms date from 2002. But many wind farms were operational for many years prior to 2002. So why were there no reported acute effects occurring in those years?

•Not a single clinical case report of WTS in any peer reviewed journal

•Experimental subjects randomised to be exposed or not exposed to negative news footage about wind farm harms and then exposed to infrasound and sham infrasound show that prior exposure to anxiety producing messages increases reporting of symptoms, even to sham infrasound.

Complaints to Australia’s National Wind Farm Commissioner in 37 months to Dec 2018: Across 37 months that the office has been open, it has received 283 complaints about wind farms:

•65 (23%) about 11 operational wind farms

•191 (67%) about 51 proposed wind farms

•27 (10%) which did not specify any existing or proposed farm

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