Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Classic “Communicated” Disease

Credit: iStockphoto

Credit: iStockphoto

By Simon Chapman

Is there any evidence that wind farms cause illness in the community?

Simon Chapman is Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney. This article is reproduced from The Conversation (

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

At the beginning of this year I started collecting examples of health problems some people were attributing to wind turbine exposure. I had noticed a growing number of such claims on the internet and was curious about how many I could find. Within an hour or two I had found nearly 50 and today the number has grown to an astonishing 155.

I have worked in public health on three continents since the mid-1970s. In all this time, I have never encountered anything in the history of disease that is said to cause even a fraction of the list of problems I have collected.

The list of 155 problems includes “deaths, many deaths”, none of which have ever been brought to the attention of a coroner. It includes several types of cancer, and both losing weight and gaining weight. You name it. Haemorrhoids have not yet been named, but nothing would surprise me.

Many of the problems are those which affect large proportions of any community: hypertension (high blood pressure), mental health problems, sleeping difficulties, sensory problems (eyes, hearing, balance), and learning and concentration difficulties. Every day in Australia many hundreds of Australians receive their first diagnosis with these problems, and most live nowhere near wind farms.

So is it reasonable to suggest that all these problems – or even a fraction of them – are caused by wind turbines?...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.