Epilepsy risk? 'Pants on Fire!'

“Pants on fire!” is the verdict from Politifact Rhode Island, which recently investigated the question of whether shadows from rotating wind turbines can cause seizures.

Among comments from experts Politifact consulted:

– Shadow flicker “can be a nuisance to people living near a wind-energy project,” but its frequency “is harmless to humans.” (National Academy of Sciences)

– Some patients may experience a brief spasm if they see the sun coming through the trees, “but these seizures are usually readily controlled by medication. I do not tell these patients not to drive in the forest! … [T]he risk from sun coming through a wind turbine would be very small — the person would first have to be looking at the sun, not just at a turbine, and most of us know not to look at the sun directly. . . . We cannot use this as a reason not to erect wind turbine farms.”

– “They're using the epileptic community. It's clever and it's nonsense, and I find it personally offensive.”

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