Wind Turbine Syndrome

The Wind Turbine Syndrome is an alleged condition suffered by people living close to wind turbines. The syndrome was invented by Dr. Nina Pierpont in 2009 as propaganda against what a handful of anti-wind energy advocates refer to as "Big Wind." It has zero evidence supporting it, and its main proponents are people who don't want tall metal structures visible from their house and the American fossil fuel industry through organisations they support financially.

The symptoms of the Wind Turbine Syndrome are claimed to be internal pulsation, quivering, nervousness, fear, a compulsion to flee, chest tightness and tachycardia — increased heart rate[1].
Research has been done into the effect that wind turbines can have on people. Acoustic engineers have measured the output from turbines and reported them to be within acceptable limits. A non-systematic study of the literature into the health effects of turbines was conducted and revealed that there were no side effects beyond "annoyance," something that in itself is not a physiological or psychological illness[2].

However, as the current research stands, WTS probably does not exist outside the realms of the nocebo effect[3], possibly enhanced by the lingering effects of NIMBY – Not in my backyard.

The nocebo effect is a relative of the placebo effect: it occurs when an individual's expectation of negative effects generates or even aggravates those effects. A scientific study concluded that the windmills were in your mind[4].

[1] Pierpont: Are wind farms a health risk? US scientist identifies 'wind turbine syndrome' in The Independent – August 02, 2009
[2] Roberts et al: Wind turbines: is there a human health risk? in Journal of Environmental Health - 2013
[3] Farboud et al: 'Wind turbine syndrome': fact or fiction? in Journal of Laryngology and Otology - 2013
[4] Rubin et al: Possible psychological mechanisms for "wind turbine syndrome". On the windmills of your mind in Noise Health - 2014

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