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Ailments in Arkwright circle back to turbines

Commentary

It often takes medical science a long time to recognize a fully documented problem. For example, as early as 1954, x-rays were known to produce cancer in newborns whose mothers were x-rayed.

Research scientist Alice Stewart’s extensive documentation of the correlation between X-rays and infant cancer was finally published in Lancet in 1956, but the medical establishment rebuffed it for another 25 years.

“It wasn’t until 1980 that the American medical organizations recommend that the practice be abandoned.” That story is told in Margaret Heffernan’s 2011 book, “Willful Blindness (Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril).” Heffernan’s next book could well document the health and ecological disaster from industrial wind turbines.

Registered nurse Evan Davis, a Villenova resident, has called attention to an increasing number of idiopathic illnesses in Arkwright: a disease cluster. Wikipedia defines a disease cluster “an unusually high incidence of a particular disease or disorder occurring in close proximity in terms of both time and geography. Typically, when clusters are recognized, they are reported to public health departments in the local area. If clusters are of sufficient size and importance, they may be re-evaluated as “outbreaks.”

In his recent testimony to the Villenova Town Board, Evan Davis said: “In the months following the Arkwright wind project (activated Sept. 8, 2018) we’ve had a major increase in referrals with idiopathic vestibular issues, syncope, migraine, seizures, and strokes.”

Davis is a case manager for a home care agency who sees patients throughout northern Chautauqua County. “We don’t have solid evidence to show direct correlation, but there’s definitely been an increase in referrals and health concerns in the Arkwright area related to these windmills.”

“I’m seeing in a lot of elderly patients what’s known a syncope or sudden loss of consciousness, in some cases related to cardiovascular. Other cases, again, idiopathic: can’t prove a reason.

But the coincidence of all this happening within three to six months of the windmills going in seems too much of a coincidence to me,” nurse Davis said in an interview (see ‘Chautauqua Updates’ on YouTube). “We’re seeing a lot of referrals in other areas, physical, occupational therapy. Many related to musculoskeletal movement issues, as I mentioned: speech, sleep disturbance, insomnia. … The World Health Organization did a study on people around the windmills and found higher levels of stress cortisol, which relates to higher incidents of depression, among other physiological symptoms.”

It’s not like this sort of information has not been available to the medical world. Dr. Nina Pierpont, Ph.D. and resident of Adirondacks area of New York, identified the many symptoms produced by industrial wind turbines in many professional papers as well as her 2009 book, “Wind Turbine Syndrome.” For years she documented cases of low frequency noise and infrasound illness that followed the introduction of wind turbines near her. People’s only recourse was to move out, sell if possible, abandon otherwise.

In his recent testimony before state Sen. Robert Ortt’s public health presentation in Buffalo on Sept. 10, acoustician Robert W. Rand (ASC, INCE) emphasized “Distance has proven to be the only reliable noise control option available for wind turbines so far. In most places there isn’t enough distance to avoid impacts.” Rand suggested four to 12 miles from residents

Chautauqua nurse Davis was surprised at how quickly the negative health effects occur, and how quickly they can be resolved: “we can see health effects in a relatively short period of time. In the case of wind turbines, symptoms present themselves over a several-week period.” He continues, “I had a patient not too far from here (who) suffered from severe dizziness, nausea and vomiting, 24 hours a day. (Physicians) tried everything they could to figure out what was causing it. There’s a procedure called an epley maneuver. It’s done by physical therapists to try to realign (inner ear) ossicles … nothing worked. Patient went on a trip; tried to get away, clear her mind. Got away from the windmills, symptoms went away; comes back home, they come back, within the day.”

“This is a controlled lab experiment where you can test on rats. We’re live subjects, and they’re experimenting on us in the real world. … If even there were just a small glimmer of something that would have an adverse effect, wouldn’t the state, wouldn’t public officials, elected officials of a town or county — they have a civic duty, even more so than a health care provider, they have a civic duty to the people and residents, to make sure that they’re safe. Why would they put monetary gains above the health of the citizens? It’s un-American.”

Roy Harvey is a Mayville resident.

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