Wind Turbines — Good For The Environment, Bad For Your Health?

Wind turbines, often grouped into wind farms, are becoming more common.  From a distance, wind turbines don’t seem like much of a big deal as they quietly spin away.  But if you live near one?  Completely different story.  People who live near wind turbines have various complaints about the turbines, including light from turbines (both artificial and sunlight reflecting off of the blades), a strobe or flicker affect as light from the rising or setting sun passes through the blades, noise (described in various ways, such as a constant hum, a rumble, or a repeated “whooshing” sound caused by the spinning blades), and vibrations from the massive turbines.

People who live near wind turbines report physical harm and adverse health effects, including the inability to sleep and repeated awakening during sleep, headaches, dizziness, stress and tension, extreme fatigue, diminished ability to concentrate, nausea, and other physiological cognitive effects.  Some health professionals attribute the adverse health effects to low frequency and sub-audible infrasound and/or impulse noise created by and emitted from wind turbines.  One such doctor is Nina Pierpont, who has coined the phrase “wind turbine syndrome” to describe the group of symptoms commonly seen with people who live near wind turbines.

These issues create the possibility of private nuisance or personal injury lawsuits regarding wind turbines.  Those claims allow people to seek money damages as well as injunctive relief.  To date, there haven’t been that many lawsuits  by neighbors of wind turbines, but that number is expected to grow.  The results so far have been a mixed bag for neighbors, with some successes and some failures.

For additional information, please see my earlier posts about noise nuisances and light nuisances.  Please feel free to give me a call if you’d like to discuss a possible claim involving nuisance or personal injuries caused by a wind turbine.


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