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Impact of wind farms on the health of communities. Cases from the Netherlands and Brazil.

Today is Thursday, January 11, 2024.


Among the points of attention regarding equipment that generates renewable energy, much is said about the materials.


Both how to get them and what to do with the equipment at the end of their life cycle. In fact, the same goes for electric cars and their batteries. Remember here "15 companies working to recycle wind turbines, solar panels and batteries".


Today we are going to address an issue relating to wind energy that is still little discussed: its impact on health.


Yes, there are points of attention, especially in the case of onshore wind farms, built on land, in contrast to offshore farms, on the high seas, further away from people.


Among the main impacts is the noise caused by the towers' propellers, practically uninterrupted from the start of operation.


In the Netherlands, where the maximum established noise level is 47 decibels, around 55,000 homes are currently located less than a kilometer from a wind turbine. Many living nearby complain of headaches, dizziness and sleep disturbances.


In fact, a Dutch article mentions that in 2020, a couple in France won a court case complaining about health problems due to nearby wind turbines. The French court recognized the term “turbine syndrome”, although this thesis is little accepted in other countries, including the Netherlands itself.


The same Dutch article indicates that “the government recognises that locals experience serious nuisance from wind turbines … and appropriate measures must be taken to limit this ... But a tailor-made approach is necessary because every case is different.”


Click on the image below for the study "Health research options around wind turbines explored (Dutch report, English abstract)" sponsored by the Dutch government.


There is also a "Vragen en antwoorden Gezondheidseffecten windturbines" only in Dutch. It stands for "Questions and Answers on Health Effects of Wind Turbines".


Finally, the harmfulness of using plastic and epoxy coatings on wind turbines started also to be studied by the Dutch.


The Brazilian article is based on the testimony of families in rural Pernambuco State who claim that wind farms have profound social and environmental impacts. There is even a video (In Portuguese) "Dia Mundial do Vento: conheça os prós e contras da energia eólica". Click here for article "Energia limpa, mas nem tanto: os parques eólicos que abalam vidas em Pernambuco", by the portal BrasildeFato.


And here for the article "A lot of hot air? Controversy grows about wind turbines’ impact on health", by the portal DutchNews.





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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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