In Part One of his series, The Falmouth Experience: The Trouble With One Town’s Wind Turbine, WGBH radio reporter Sean Corcoran spoke to Neil Andersen, a Falmouth resident who says the nearby wind turbine has had catastrophic effects on his health. Here’s more of their conversation, plus a series of photos of the log Andersen and his wife keep of the noise and its effects on them.
Neil Andersen sits in his kitchen. Andersen says the noise from the wind turbine near his Falmouth home has caused emotional and physiological problems for he and his wife.
Neil Andersen: We knew there was a turbine going over there, we were not notified of any meetings or any type of concerns. In other words, there was no input from this residence.
I am an energy conservationist, I’ve had my own passive solar building company for 35 years. I was actually looking forward to that turbine being erected there. Although when it went up it was quite astounding the size of it.
I was proud looking at it from this viewpoint until it started turning. And it is dangerous, Sean. Headaches. Loss of sleep. And the ringing in my ears is constant. Never goes away. That started probably in May. It’s a constant reminder of that thing. I can look at it all day long, and it does not bother me. It’s quite majestic. But it’s way too close.
Sean Corcoran: How long after it started to spin did you start feeling some sort of symptoms?
The sign at the end of the Andersens' driveway, which is just over 1,000 feet away from the turbine.
Myself, it took me about a month and a half, maybe two months, to manifest all the symptoms. First it was the pressure in the head. The ears popping for no reason at all. Trying to get the water out of your ears and there was no water there. My wife, the first day, she feels it and notices it, and she feels it and notices it every day.
People talk about the noise, it gets loud. It gets jet-engine loud from this point right here. But the noise is the minimum component of that turbine. There is a pressure involved that gets into your ear, like you’re climbing at altitude in an airplane and your ears pop.
And there is a low-frequency pulse that particularly drives me crazy and some of the neighbors around here. It is a once-per-second low-frequency pulse, and it messes up your vestibular organs in your inner ear. And gives you a sense of off-balance and vertigo.
We both have signs of these symptoms. Headaches. My wife gets headaches three or four times a week, she wakes up with a headaches. She’s actually sleeping in a back bedroom right now with earplugs and a white noise machine trying to mask the sound. But it is really not doing any good because the sound just comes right through the windows, right through the insulation, right through the earplugs. And the pulse is right there.