REPLY from Professor Ryan TAYLOR to Paul HARRIS of Pioneer Green
Professor Taylor is an Associate Professor of Biology and Bioacoustics at Salisbury University and is also a Research Associate for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Apartado 0843-03092 Balboa, Ancón, Republic of Panama.
February 23, 2015
With regards to your Feb 22nd piece in the Daily Times, you made the claim that there is scientific consensus that wind turbines do not affect human health or sleep. I asked for a list of your 20 peer-reviewed studies and it turns out that you don’t have a list of 20 peer-reviewed studies. On the other hand, there are 30+ peer-reviewed studies that indicate wind turbines affect nearby residents when placed in proximity to homes. These studies include noise measurements, surveys, and auditory physiology studies that demonstrate noise effects on hearing. I’m hardly “ignoring an extensive body of scientific research”, nor have I “picked and chosen facts.” If any consensus exists in the scientific literature, it is that turbine noise influences nearby residents (see list below).
You also attempted to discredit me by suggesting I am only an expert in frog behavior. An important focus of my lab is using frogs and bats (which are acoustic specialists) to address questions regarding vertebrate and human auditory perception. If you read my Science, 2013 paper, I address this directly. I use animal models to address questions that are not feasible with direct human testing. So claiming that I lack expertise because I study frogs is like claiming a medical researcher who conducts experiments in mice is not qualified to discuss human disease.
In addition, at the University, I teach courses in Human Anatomy & Physiology for students majoring in the health professions (pre-med, nursing, etc.). So yes, I am well-versed in human auditory physiology and perception.
Finally, you end your article by effectively blaming the victim. This is the same type of tactic that the cigarette industry used for so many years.
I am copying the county commissioners on this correspondence because it is important that they see that your claims of “scientific consensus of no harm” are not true. See the list of full peer-reviewed studies highlighting potential problems with Industrial Wind Turbines.
cc: Somerset County Commissioners
References: Wind Turbine Noise
1) Nissenbaum, M.A., Aramini, J. J., Hanning, C. 2012. Effects of industrial wind turbine noise on sleep and health. Noise & Health, 14:237—243.
2) Shepherd, D., McBride, D., Welch, D. Dirks, K.N., & Hill, E.M. 2011. Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health-related quality of life. Noise & Health, 13:333—339.
3) Moller & Pedersen. 2004. Hearing at low and infrasonic frequencies. Noise & Health. 6:37—57.
4) Bian & Watts. 2008. Effects of low-frequency biasing on spontaneous otoacoustic emissions: amplitude modulation. J. Acoustical Society of America. 123:887—898.
5) Leventhall, H.G. 2004. Low frequency noise and annoyance, Noise & Health. 6:59—72.
6) Alves-Pereira, M. & Branco, N.A.A.C. 2007. Vibroacoustic disease: biological effects of infrasound and low frequency noise explained by mechanotransduction and cellular signaling. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 93:256-273.
7) Dommes, E., Bauchnect, H.C., Scholz, G., Rothmund, Y., Hensel, J. & Klingebiel, R. 2009. Auditory cortex stimulation by low frequency tones – an fMRI study. Brain Research. 1304:129—137.
8) Farboud, A., Crunkhorn, R. & Trinidade, A. 2013. Wind turbine syndrome: Fact or fiction? Journal Laryngology & Otology. 2013:1—5.
9) Hanning, C.D. & Evans, A. 2012. Wind turbine noise seems to affect health adversely and an independent review of evidence is needed. British Medical Journal. 344:1527
10) Harrison, J.P. 2011. Wind turbine noise. Bulletin of Science, Techology & Society. 31:256—261.
11) Hensel, J. Scholz, G., Hurttig, U., Mrowinski, D., Janssen, T. 2007. Impact of infrasound on the human cochlea. Hearing Research. 233:67—76.
12) Janssen, S.A., Vos, H. Eisses, A.R. & Pedersen, E. 2011. A comparison between exposure-response relationships for wind turbine annoyance and annoyance due to other noise sources. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 130:3746—3753.
13) Krogh, C.M.E. Industrial wind turbine development and loss of social justice? Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society. 31:321—333.
14) Lee, S. Kim, K. Choi, W. & Lee, S. 2011. Annoyance caused by amplitude modulation of wind turbine noise. Noise Control Engineering. 59:38—46.
15) Pedersen, E. & Waye, K.P. 2004. Perception and annoyance due to wind turbine noise—a dose-response relationship. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 116:3460—3470.
16) Pedersen, E. & Waye, K.P. 2007. Wind turbine noise, annoyance and self-reported health and well-being in different living environments. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 64:480—486.
17) Pedersen, E. & Waye, K.P. 2008. Wind turbines—low level noise sources interfering with restoration? Environmental Research Letters. 3:1—5.
18) Pedersen, E. 2010. Health aspects associated with wind turbine noise—Results from three field studies. Noise Control Engineering. 59:47—53.
19) Salt, A.N. & Hular, T.E. 2010. Responses of the ear to low frequency sounds, infrasound and wind turbines. Hearing Research 268:12—21.
20) Salt, A.N. & Kaltenbach, J.A. 2011. Infrasound from wind turbines could affect humans. Bulletin of Science Technology & Society. 31:296—302.
21) Salt, A.N. & Lichtenhan, J.T. 2014. How does wind turbine noise affect people? Acoustics Today. 10:20—28.
22) Salt, A.N., Lichtenhan, J.T., Gill, R.M., & Hartsock, J.J. 2013. Large endolymphatic potentials from low-frequency and infrasonic tones in the guinea pig. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 133:1561—1571.
23) Schomer, P.D. 2013. Comments on recently published article, “Concerns about infrasound from wind turbines.” Acoustics Today. 9:7—9.
24) Shepherd, D., McBride, D., Welch, D. Dirks, K. & Hill, E.M. 2011. Evaluating the impact of wind turbine noise on health-related quality of life. Noise & Health. 13:333—339.
25) Waye, K.P. & Öhrström, E. 2002. Psycho-acoustic characters of relevance for annoyance of wind turbine noise. Journal of Sound and Vibration. 250:65—73.
26) Waye, K.P., Clow, A., Edwards, S., Hucklebridge, F., & Rylander, R. Effects of low frequency noise on cortisol response to awakening and subjective sleep quality. Life Sciences. 72:863—875.
27) Hansen, K., Henrys, N., Colin, H., Doolan, C., & Moreau, D. 2012. Wind farm noise- what is a reasonable limit in rural areas? Proceedings of Acoustics. 2012:1—8.
28) Kugler, K., Wiegrebe, L., Grothe, B., Kössl, M., Gürkov, R., Krause, E., & Drexl, M. 2014. Low-frequency sound affects active micromechanics in the human inner ear. Royal Society Open Science. 1:140166.
29) Salt, A.N., DeMott, J.E. 1999. Longitudinal endolymph movements and endocochlear potential changes induced by stimulation at infrasonic frequencies. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 106:847—856.
30) Wisz, C.J., Lehar, M., Hiel, H., Glowatzki, E. & Fuchs, P.A. 2012 Synaptic transfer from outer hair cells to type II afferent fibers in the rat cochlea. Journal of Neuroscience. 32:9528—9536.
31) Dallos, P. 1986. Neurobiology of cochlear inner and outer hair cells: intracellular recordings. Hearing Research. 22:185—198.
References: Bat Kills, Wildlife Noise & Economics
1) Baerwald, E.F., D’Amours, G.H., Klug, B.J., and Barclay, R.M.R. 2008. Barotrauma is a significant cause of bat fatalities at wind turbines. Current Biology. 18:R695—696.
2) Barclay, R.M.R., Baerwald, E.F. & Gruver, J.C. 2007. Variation in bat and bird fatalities at wind energy facilities: assessing the effects of rotor size and tower height. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 85:381—387.
3) Boyles, J.G., Cryan, P.M., McCracken, G.F. & Kunz, T.H. 2011. Economic importance of bats in agriculture. Science. 332:41—42.
4) Horn, J.W., Arnett, E.B. & Kunz, T.H. 2008. Behavioral responses of bats to operating wind turbines. Journal of Wildlife Management. 72:123—132.
5) Arnett, E.B., et al. 2008. Patterns of fatality of bats at wind energy facilities in North America. Journal of Wildlife Managment. 72:61—78.
6) Barber, J.R., Crooks, K.R., Fristrup, K.M. The costs of chronic noise exposure for terrestrial organisms. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 25: 180—189.