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Anti-wind group seizes on noise frequency study
1 October 2005
Low frequency noise -- or infrasound -- has resurfaced as an issue for UK wind power after anti-wind farm pressure group the Renewable Energy Foundation distorted the findings from a study by Keele University into the effect of wind turbines at Dunlaw on the Eskdalemuir seismic array in the Scottish Borders. REF is questioning the risk to human health from vibrations from wind farms and quotes from the study: "When the wind farm starts to generate (even) at low wind speeds, considerable infrasound signals can be detected at all stations out to circa10 kilometres." REF's concerns have been picked up by the Scottish press. But Peter Styles, a professor, and Sam Toon, who led the Keele University research, refute the "misconceptions" arising from REF's interpretation of their findings. They complain in a letter to the Scotsman newspaper that to give the impression that vibrations can be felt at a distance of ten kilometres is "highly misleading." They continue: "The levels of vibration from wind turbines are so small that only the most sophisticated instrumentation and data processing can reveal their presence and they are almost impossible to detect," adding: "This is at levels far below that at which humans will detect the low frequency sound. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that infrasound has an impact on human health."
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