Denmark: wind turbines disrupt human menstruation
Written by Mark Duchamp, World Council for Nature
The Danish press reports the case of a garden centre going out of business because of nearby wind turbines. Headaches are frequent among employees, and female workers complain of unusual bleeding and problems with their menstruation cycles. They are worried that more serious illnesses may follow and five of them recently resigned from their jobs. The owner is now closing shop for fear of being held responsible should a child be born with deformities, as happened to numerous mink puppies at a fur farm near wind turbines in Jutland (1).
Boye Jensen, the owner of Lammefjordens Perennials, is 67-year-old. He started his plant nursery 43 years ago, and it became a prosperous business with 15 employees and annual sales of 12 million krones (equiv. $ 2.1 million). He was planning to continue working for another 6-7 years, then sell the nursery. But his business is now worth nothing, causing him an important financial prejudice.
He is presently consulting with his lawyer whether he should sue Vattenfal, the company that owns the wind turbines, or the Municipality of Holbaek, which approved their installation 400-700 metres from his garden centre. He will go to court, and seek damages worth several million krones.
“Himself a neighbour to 127-metre high wind turbines since their installation three years ago, Boye Jensen has long been convinced that low frequency noise emitted by the turbines makes people ill as they do animals” (2). Then, recently, the sorry news from Kaj Bank Olesen’s mink farm came to his ears (1). This, and the resignation of several of his employees for health reasons, made him realise his business had become unviable because of the wind turbines. “The nursery owner made this hard decision after a mink breeder in Jutland was able to establish a causal link between the loss of a third of his mink puppies, deformed or stillborn, and several giant wind turbines erected nearby” (2).
The story made the news in Denmark (2) (3), and Member of Parliament Karina Adsbøl expressed her concerns to the Minister of Health at a Parliamentary hearing. The Minister, typically, replied by addressing other, less important issues mentioned by the MP, and ignored the important ones, i.e. wind turbines causing birth defects in animals forced to live near them, and disrupting women’s menstruation cycles (4).
The World Council for Nature (WCFN) is calling attention to the fact that, as occurred for tobacco, asbestos, thalidomide etc, governments are siding with private financial interests in ignoring or denying the existence of obvious health problems linked to wind turbines. As is the case for the millions of birds and bats killed yearly by the turbines’ blades, mendacious studies are published by unscrupulous consultants, and by professionals and universities happy to oblige their benefactors. Hypocrisy is rampant, species are fast disappearing from our skies, and thousands of windfarm neighbours are being submitted to torture. The word is not an exaggeration: sleep deprivation is indeed a recognised form of torture.
In Denmark as elsewhere in the world, many country dwellers are suffering, particularly since the apparition of the mega turbines (1 MW and over), which emit more infrasound as they grow bigger. This may explain why the complaints are becoming more strident. But how much longer can this suffering be ignored, or even denied by health authorities? Some countries, like Canada or Australia, have commissioned studies into the matter of noise emitted by windfarms. But the studies’ scope and methodology condemn them to failure, perhaps intentionally. What is really needed is:
1) an epidemiological study, and
2) the measurement of low frequency sound (including infrasound down to 0.1 Hz), inside the homes of windfarm victims, at night, windows closed, when the wind is blowing from the direction that is causing problem.
Most importantly, as a precaution, no mega turbines should be erected less than 10 km from habitations until such time as these studies are completed, published and analysed. There is indeed compelling evidence that infrasound travels much further than other sounds, and tortures sensitive people in their homes at distances of 10 km and more. Shorter distances could be temporarily set for smaller turbines, in proportion with their generating capacity.
WCFN calls upon the Danish government to intervene in favour of victims. A wealth of evidence is available, including peer-reviewed studies, which warrants applying the precautionary principle without delay (5). Children are particularly at risk – even unborn ones, as suggested by the evidence presented in this release.
WCFN’s primary goal is the conservation of biodiversity. A sane and responsible human population is the single most important factor towards that end. Our interest in human health is therefore justified from a logical perspective, among others.
A letter is being addressed to the Danish government concurrently.
(2) – Translation of the article from the Nordvestnyt (North West News) on the closure of the garden center:
(3) – Garden centre story mentioned in one of Denmark’s leading newswpaper, Jyllands-Posten (the Jutland Post):
(4) – Video: a Member of Parliament, Karina Adsbøl, addresses her concerns to the Minister of Health, mentioning the deformities at the mink farm and the menstruation problems at the garden center:
(5) – Waubra Foundation: http://waubrafoundation.org.