Earlier this year in Ljubljana, Slovenia, acoustics and health expert Dr. Mariana Alves Pereira explained the impacts low frequency infrasound can have on health. It’s far from pretty.
Infrasound is very low frequency (<20 Hz) and is below the threshold of human hearing. It is sensed by the human ear only as pressure waves.
Hat tip: Reader Jim Feasel
Dr. Alves Pereira has a Masters in Biomedical Engineering and a PhD in Environmental Sciences.
“It’s a problem to human health”
In her presentation she explains to the audience that because infrasound is of very low frequency, the wavelengths are very long and thus can easily penetrate thick barriers and into buildings. “This is why it’s a problem to human health.” The waves travel kilometers and are difficult to shield against.
Governments rely on inadequate measurements
The acoustic expert also describes why the dBA scale is inadequate for measuring infrasound and thus are irrelevant for their evaluation.
At the 12:30 mark she uses the example of a mink farm in Denmark located near a wind park and so is thus subjected to “acoustic pollution” from the wind turbines. Here she demonstrates how woefully inadequate the methods and measurements often used by permitting authorities for assessing acoustic pollution really are.
Neurological and cardiovascular damage
Later she illustrates how damaging infrasound can be to human health. For example aviation workers have a risk of epilepsy (a neurological problem) that is some 50 times higher than average (22:00) for the occupation and how workers had tumors, and cardiovascular disease from abnormal tissue growth caused by infrasound exposure.
At 33:09 mark, Dr. Alves Pereira presents the clinical stages of vibroacoustic disease for occupational exposures. Workers exposed to infrasound more than 10 years developed severe health damage, e.g. psychiatric disturbances, severe joint and muscle pain, blood in the urine or decreased vision, among others.
Horses near wind turbines developed “boxy foot”
At the 43:00 mark, Dr. Alves Pereira explains how at first they were skeptical of claims made by patients that infrasound had made them sick while at home. In 2000 her team began to look at the claims and found that non-occupational residents who were subjected long-term to infrasound indeed got sick.
At the 48:08 mark, Dr. Alves Pereira turns her attention to wind turbines.
In one example, in Portugal 4 wind turbines were installed within 800 meters of a home and began operation in November, 2006. Five months later in March 2007 the family members in the home were suffering serious health issues and the boy’s performance at school crashed. His energy had been sapped. The horses the family owned developed “boxy foot”.
Moreover, the previously mentioned mink farm in Denamrk suddenly saw hundreds of aborted fetuses (53:30), all caused by infrasound from the nearby wind turbines, experts suspect.
Post traumatic stress syndrome
At the 56:00 mark, Dr. Alves Pereira shows a home in Germany surrounded on two sides by wind turbines located less than 2000 meters away. When the family moved into the home, there had been only two turbines, but then came dozens of new turbines. The family was forced to convert into a bunker in a desparate attempt to shield themselves.
In Ireland a 9-year old child developed epilepsy and the 19-year old brother wound up with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) – as did the worker at the mink farm in Denmark. The house in Ireland had to be abandoned.
Dr. Alves Pereira sums up: “I know it’s kind of depressing, but these are the scientific facts what we have over 30 years of research.”