A study by Fiona Crichton from the University of Auckland, titled “How the power of suggestion generates wind farm symptoms”, has found that the fear mongering over wind turbine syndrome actually causes the symptoms – not the wind turbines themselves.
Increased numbers of people reporting symptoms linked to turbines could be explained by public warnings about health effects triggering the complaints; a phenomenon known as the nocebo effect. This occurs because such information can create health concerns and related symptom expectations, priming people to notice and negatively interpret common physical sensations and symptoms.
The phrase “Wind Turbine Syndrome” is used to describe the negative health effects that some people supposedly suffer when they live near wind turbines and wind farms. ReNew Economy notes that since 2003, 18 different research reviews have shown that most of these “effects” are actually just related to the social and psych factors pertaining to news that the sufferers read or were exposed to. Professor Simon Chapman from Sydney University has stated that any sickness is “more likely to be caused by people getting alarmed at the health warnings circulated by activists.” Crichton’s new research just backs up the previous studies.
The new report stated that the control group in the study, which did not see videos about how wind turbines can affect one’s health, had no symptoms whatsoever. The group that were exposed to the video showed signs of the “syndrome” afterwards.
In this study, we exposed 60 participants to ten minutes of infrasound and ten minutes of sham infrasound (silence), within a listening room designed for subjective listening experiments. Prior to the listening sessions, half of the participants (high expectancy participants) watched a DVD presentation which contained television footage, available on the internet, in which people living in the vicinity of wind farms recounted their experience of symptoms that they believed to be caused by wind farms.
Discussion within the community about the alleged health effects of wind farms may trigger the symptoms about which residents are concerned. Steve Abraham
The remaining participants (low expectancy participants) viewed a DVD in which experts put forth the scientific position that exposure to infrasound generated by wind turbines would not cause symptoms. Before and during each ten-minute exposure session participants rated their experience of 24 physical symptoms, such as dizziness, ear pressure, and headache.
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