Geoffrey Leventhall, Wind Industry Darling Duly Unmasked

[Editors Note: Geoffrey Leventhall, the long time darling of the wind industry, and Wind Turbine Syndrome denialist has finally been rightfully unmasked by a careful reading of his own comments, testimony, and claims. Skillfully dissected by Sarah Laurie of the Waubra Foundation, Leventhal’s own observations are shown to actually support Dr. Nina Pierpont’s findings in her report called Wind Turbine Syndrome published in 2009–namely, that very low frequency sound emitted by industrial turbines is a direct cause of adverse health affects such as nausea, dizziness, tinnitus and sleep disturbance.]

Leventhall, G. Comments NHMRC June 2011: “Wind Turbine Syndrome” symptoms the same as “noise annoyance”

NHMRC Workshop, 7th June 2011, Canberra

In his comments to the NHMRC at this workshop in June 2011,UK Acoustician, and invited speaker Professor Geoffrey Leventhall stated that “Wind Turbine Syndrome” symptoms are the same as “noise annoyance” symptoms, and that he had known about them “for years” and that they were caused by exposure to audible noise, but not infrasound. 

There was no dispute about the very real existence of the same symptoms described by Dr Nina Pierpont.

Interestingly some of the symptoms which Professor Geoffrey Leventhall calls “noise annoyance” are symptoms which have also been noted by the researchers who have investigated and reported on vibroacoustic disease, also caused by chronic exposure to infrasound and low frequency noise eg nosebleeds.

Further Background

The disagreement between Professor Leventhall and Dr Pierpont on this occasion arises from the cause of those symptoms. Professor Leventhall attributed the cause to stress from severe annoyance caused by exposure to the audible noise, and disputed the role of infrasound. Dr Pierpont hypothesised in her 2009 study that infrasound was directly causing the symptoms she called “wind turbine syndrome”.

The Kelley / NASA research in the 1980’s, rediscovered in July 2013, demonstrated a direct causal link between impulsive wind turbine generated INFRAsound and low frequency noise and the “annoyance” symptoms reported by residents living near a gas fired power station and a single wind turbine (Kelley 1982, Kelley 1985). The “annoyance” symptoms included sleep disturbance and body vibrations. These Kelley / NASA research findings are in accordance with Dr Pierpont’s hypothesis when it is realised that when engineers are talking about “noise annoyance” or “annoyance” symptoms, the symptoms are identical to those of “wind turbine syndrome”.

Professor Leventhall’s statement to the NHMRC Workshop is important, because many people do not realise that “annoyance” when used by acoustic engineers and “wind turbine syndrome” are referring to the same symptoms. It is also important because Professor Leventhall has agreed that stress can be caused by audible noise. Chronic stress damages health, as does chronic sleep deprivation, and both can be caused by excessive audible noise.

Dr Pierpont was unaware of the Kelley research until 2013.

Professor Leventhall knew about the NASA / Kelley research in January 2011, five months prior to this NHMRC Workshop, but chose not to share that important NASA research with the NHMRC Workshop participants, and in particular the NASA/Kelley research finding that INFRA sound which was inaudible had caused some of the “annoyance” symptoms. Read more…

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