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Published on February 9th, 2009 | by Ariel Schwartz


Are Wind Turbines Making Japanese Citizens Sick?

February 9th, 2009 by  

The idea that wind turbines can cause health problems isn’t new, but now a fresh crop of complaints is appearing in Japan. Asahi Shimbun reports that over 70 people living near turbines in the country have supposedly fallen sick due to a mysterious “wind turbine disease”.

Japanese residents are complaining of headaches, dizziness, and insomnia, and while no one is sure of the cause, the Environment Ministry suspects it has to do with low-frequency sounds produced by wind turbines.

Similar complaints have come from people living close to air-conditioning equipment and factory boilers— both of which also produce low-frequency sounds of 100 hertz or less.

The Environment Ministry is examining research showing a potential link between wind turbines and health in order to determine a plan of action. Japan currently has over 1,400 turbines.

Photo Credit: NREL 

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

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