California's Palm Springs Wind Farm
Sleep and learning disorders, migraines, dizziness, and other problems possible.

Many recent DailyTech stories have focused on the world's growing reliance on wind power, along with efforts to reduce the noise pollution resulting from the large farms.

However, a new study suggests that living near a wind farm can cause serious health problems; including causes sleep disorders, difficulty with equilibrium, migraine headaches, panic attacks, and other issues.

The research was conducted by Dr. Nina Pierpont, who says the culprit is the effect on the inner ear by low energy noise from the turbines.  Learning disorders and child behavioral problems were also noted in her results.

Pierpont graduated from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and also holds a doctorate in population biology from Princeton. She surveyed ten families from five different nations, all which had lived close to a large wind turbine for at least four years.

Of the families in her study, eight moved out of their homes, unable to cope. According to Pierpont, all eight soon recovered their health.

A prior study last year by British physician Amanda Harry entitled "Wind Turbines, Noise and Health" studied 39 families. It found similar results, with stress, anxiety, depression, tinnitus, migraines, and other problems resulting from living near a wind energy farm.

Pierpoint calls the effects "wind turbine syndrome". She is currently writing a book entitled, "Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on the Natural Experiment." It is scheduled for publication next month

Windmills have long been criticized for destroying pristine views of nature. Denny Wade, who lives a quarter-mile from Oregon's Willow Creek wind farm, says he moved there for the view of Mount Hood. "Now, the view that it had is all windmills".

Wade is more concerned though about the effects on his health. He's vulnerable to migraine headaches; a class of people Pierpont says is particularly susceptible to windmills.

The existing 72 MW Willow Creek farm is soon expected to be joined by a 909 MW farm in the neighboring county of Gilliam. "Man, this whole country is going to be windmills," Wade opines.

The Wades dropped their plans to build a new retirement home in the area, and are now trying to sell their property.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wind farms are the nation's fastest growing source of energy, with 20% of the nation's power expected from wind by the year 2030.

Sherry Eaton, who also lives near the Willow Creek project, says she "started to cry" when she saw the first turbine being built.

Eaton commutes 90 miles a day so her family can live in a quiet desert setting.

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