Is Big Ole making us all sick?

As a kid I was told not to talk to strangers, but maybe my parents should have warned me about the evil of wind turbines. 

The debate is ongoing, although so far fruitless, as to whether wind turbines can cause health problems to nearby residents. According to a recent court case in France, potential symptoms include headaches, nausea, sleep problems, night terrors, tinnitus, irritability, anxiety, concentration and memory problems, and issues with equilibrium and dizziness. These symptoms are believed, but not proven, to be caused by infrasound, which is a sound lower in frequency than 20 Hz. An adult human voice is anywhere from 85 to 255 Hz. The Plaintiff couple in France, Christel and Luc Fockaert, won their case and were awarded €110,000 after claiming their health declined from having lived near wind turbines for years. Don’t bother googling how to sue St. Olaf though, because their case seems to be an isolated one. They claimed their ailments mostly originated from the loud noise and flashing lights of the wind turbines, which do not particularly affect the residents of St. Olaf College. Additionally, scientists have found that turbine sickness symptoms are often caused by psychological reasons rather than a physical issue. Ultimately, it’s more likely the stress of finals giving you a headache rather than St. Olaf’s beloved powerplant.

 

antone1@stolaf.edu

Bekki Antontelli is from 

Wellesley, Mass.

Her major is computer science.

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