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Singer on vibro-acoustic disease and geothermal drilling

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Sydney Ross Singer | Medical Anthropologist & Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease Director

Hawaii is about to go from the good vibrations of our tropical paradise, to the bad vibrations of geothermal well drilling and operation.

Geothermal drilling, venting, and steam turbine operations all produce Low Frequency Noise, or LFN. These pose a threat to health, causing what is known an Vibro-Acoustic Disease, or VAD.

All noise is actually vibrational energy, and the frequency of the vibration determines its impact on the body. Low frequency noise, from 20-500 Hz, includes sound you cannot hear, and these are the most harmful to health.

The vibration of low frequency noise essentially shakes the tissue structures of the body, causing inflammation and thickening of the extracellular matrix.

Over time, this causes heart disease, stroke, lung disease, cancer, and mental problems, including cognitive problems, rage, epilepsy, depression, and suicide.

And it’s not just geothermal activity that poses a LFN threat. Windmills are also known sources of LFN pollution and VAD.

While some people are more susceptible than others to developing VAD from low frequency noise, it is a very common condition. However, it is often ignored by developers who only consider middle and high frequency noises that people can easily hear.

When residents have complained about breathing problems that they associate with geothermal activity, Vibro-Acoustic Disease may have contributed to their problems. VAD damages the lungs.

In healthy lungs, the airway is lined with tiny hairs, called cilia, that help clear the lungs of dust, debris, mucus, and fluid, and these cilia are literally cut apart by the vibration of low frequency noise, impairing the ability for the lungs to clear. Loss of these cilia may also makes the impact of sulfur dioxide pollution and vog more severe.

So it’s not just about the noise we can hear from geothermal activity being a health problem and a nuisance. Low frequency noise impacts all of the body, and this leads to all sorts of diseases.

It also affects animals, and may impact the habitat for endangered species. Critical habitat may be impacted by LFN, even if located miles away.

The County Council will meet 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2 at the Pahoa Community Center to receive public testimony on Bill 292, banning nighttime geothermal well drilling.

I support Hawaii County Council Bill 292, and further ask that the County Council include an analysis of LFN and VAD in their investigation of the potential health impacts of geothermal and wind energy activities.

I encourage health research to include an assessment of VAD in people who have been chronically exposed to these LFN, such as those working at the plant and those living near enough the plant to experience the LFN.

In addition, there should be monitoring of LFN at critical habitat locations within the reach of geothermally and windmill produced LFN.

One Response to “Singer on vibro-acoustic disease and geothermal drilling”

  1. hotinhawaii says:

    Hotinhawaii/Director of Center for Study of Whackjobs and Pseudoscientific Pontificators. How does this man continue to get media exposure? Enough is enough.


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