Dr. Nina Pierpont was a long-term campaigner against wind farms near her home who conducted a minor and very poorly constructed health survey. This survey was the basis for her self-published book which coined the phrase, “wind turbine syndrome.” This “syndrome” is widely referenced by people campaigning against wind turbines. Pierpont claims that wind turbines cause tinnitus, dizziness, heart-palpitations, nausea, tingling, and loss of sleep, among several other symptoms. However, the book is deeply flawed.

Pierpont interviewed 23 people by phone. They were chosen by advertising through anti-wind groups that blamed wind farms for their health issues. Pierpont also accepted statements about an additional 15 household members without speaking to them and did not assess health histories of the participants outside of verbal statements by people surveyed. She hypothesized a connection of infrasound and created 60 pages of charts, graphs, and tables, a level of statistical analysis far beyond anything supportable by the data. The symptoms she identified are very commonly found in the general populace.

There have been 22 literature reviews on wind turbine health and many point-specific studies on wind turbine noise, vibration, infrasound, and shadow flicker, conducted by public health doctors and scientists, acousticians, epidemiologists, and related specialists. The studies considered Pierpont’s book along with other published literature. In every case, they found that her work was lacking in credibility. Recent major reviews have been conducted in Ontario, Massachusetts, Oregon and Australia with the same results. 

In October of 2013, Pierpont attempted to gain expert witness status at the Adelaide ERT wind farm hearing in Ontario. She wrote:

I will attempt to teach the representatives of NextEra and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, as well as the members of the Tribunal, enough about brain and ear physiology and pathophysiology, population-level studies in free-living organisms, and medical interviewing that they can understand the wind turbine-associated health issues.

Pierpont has no expertise from education or experience in “brain and ear physiology and pathophysiology, population-level studies in free-living organisms, and medical interviewing.” Her evidence included her self-published book, which along with her testimony, was dismissed.

Posted by Energy and Policy Institute