adverse health effects wind turbines, federal Minister of Health, Health Canada, Health Canada brochure, Health Canada study results, Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety, Minister of Health Canada, wind farm, wind farm infrasound, wind farm noise, wind power, wind power lobby, wind turbine noise
Wind Concerns Ontario has sent a letter to the federal Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, expressing concern about the mailing of a promotional brochure connected to the Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health study. The study results were released in a summary (no peer review, no actual report or paper) last November, but the brochure was not sent out until February 2015, by Canada Post Unaddressed Admail. The timing is unusual, coming so long after the study results release, and coinciding with Ontario’s new procurement process for large renewable power projects. It is also very unusual for a research team to create and release a brochure. That brochure is misleading, Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson said in the letter to the Minister. “It’s not true, as the brochure says, that there are no health effects from the wind turbine noise and infrasound–there are, and the study summary says that. It says 16.5 percent of people studied who live within 1 km of a turbine were experiencing distress,” Wilson said. Wind Concerns Ontario met with Health Canada/Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety staff the day after the study results were released, and advised that the draft brochure not be released. “We told them that the disclaimer on the brochure, which explained that the study results were ‘preliminary’ and unreviewed, was not prominent enough,” Wilson said. “We also asked why they weren’t going back into the study communities in person, as is normal practice for scientific research teams, rather than sending a brochure.” Wind Concerns said that the study summary, and now the brochure, strain the credibility of Health Canada and the federal government in Ontario. “The fact is, the conclusion being promoted in the brochure from this study–that there are no health effects–does not coalesce with the real-life experience in Ontario communities,” Wilson said. “The people of Ontario were hoping that their federal health department would pull out all the stops to find a reason for the many, many reported health problems related to wind turbine noise—instead, they got short shrift in this study, and now an unnecessary and misleading, taxpayer-funded promotional brochure that functionally supports the wind power development industry.”
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