Well, there have been heated emotional arguments on both sides of this issue, many based on too little information. What we can’t argue with, however, is science—independent scientific research and reports—and there is much available to us now, telling us about the dangers of Smart Meters.
Independent Research on Smart Meter Radiation
For example, take the report an independent research team recently publishe that bases its conclusions on clear evidence of Smart Meter dangers.
The conclusions of the research team include the fact that Smart Meters often may not even comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) safety standards. And these standards in themselves are insufficient for measuring smart meter radiation levels.
The report also outlines how FCC standards, set back in 1996, were based on studies with healthy 6’2”, 220 lbs men exposed for short periods of time—very different from the situation with Smart Meters, in which women, children and people in fragile health are continuously exposed to the radiation, often from more than one smart meter.
Furthermore, the regulations only tested for thermal damage—and the health risks researchers are finding are from non-thermal effects. Also, other sources of radiation (such as Wi-Fi, cell phones, and other wireless devices, all present in today’s homes) were not present in the testing. For all these reasons, the report strongly cautions that smart meters are not safe.
Santa Cruz County Health Department Report
In January 2012, the Public Health Officer and County Counsel of the County of Santa Cruz wrote a report to the Board of Supervisors, outlining their analysis of health effects of Smart Meter radiation. The lengthy, detailed letter included numerous citations of evidence of health dangers from Smart Meters.
It recommends that
…it is in the best interest of public health, safety, and welfare…to adopt the…ordinance implementing a temporary moratorium on the installation of SmartMeters in or on any home, apartment, condominium or business within the the unincorporated area of the County.
UC Nuclear Policy Lecturer Dan Hirsch Report on Smart Meter Dangers
Yet another report regarding the hazards of smart meters was published by Daniel Hirsch, PhD, commenting on the Draft Report called “Heath Impacts of Radio Frequency from Smart Meters” written by the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST).
Hirsch points out that the report by the CCST doesn’t appear to answer the questions asked of it by the requesting elected officials. Also, rather than being an independent study, the CCST basically cut and pasted estimates from a brochure by the Electric Power Research Institute, an industry group—and that furthermore, those estimates were inaccurate. Indeed, he states that
The cumulative whole body exposure from a Smart Meter at 3 feet appears to be approximately two orders of magnitude higher than that of a cell phone, rather than two orders of magnitude lower.
American Academy of Environmental Medicine Recommends Avoiding Smart Meters
Calling for immediate caution regarding Smart Meter installations due to radiation health risks, a letter published by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine cites a number of peer-reviewed, double-blinded, placebo-controlled research in humans, and concludes that
“…significant harmful biological effects occur from non-thermal RF exposure, showing causality.”
It further states its opinion that the installation is irresponsible and calls not only for a moratorium on installation, but also immediate relief to those requesting it, including the return of analog meters.
The literature cited in the letter raises serious concerns about the levels of RF and ELF exposures emitted by Smart Meters. The board also states that the existing FCC guidelines for RF safety that have been used to justify installation of Smart Meters only look at thermal damage and are obsolete since many up-to-date studies show metabolic & genetic damage from RF & ELF below the level of intensity which heats tissues.
Other Studies on the Effects of Wireless Radiation
A comprehensive report published by 29 independent scientists, researchers, and health policy professionals from 10 different countries, the Bioinitiative Report documents clear evidence that numerous health issues are created by exposure to radiation from wireless devices.
An article in the scientific journal Pathophysiology in 2007 by C. Sage and D. Carpenter outlines in detail the reasons for concern about wireless radiation. They cite studies linking non-thermal radiation to
- Brain tumors
- Alzeimer’s and ALS
- Breast cancer
- DNA damage, breakage of blood-brain barrier
- Altered immune function
- Memory and learning deficits
They conclude that
The rapidly expanding development of new wireless technologies and the long latency for the development of such serious diseases as brain cancers means that failure to take immediate action to reduce risks may result in an epidemic of potentially fatal diseases in the future.
So, are Smart Meters Dangerous?
How much more evidence do we need? Certainly there is enough at this point to warrant great concern. We need to see that people claiming to have health symptoms since the installation of their Smart Meters are actually the “canaries in the mine”. Symptoms in healthier and less sensitive individuals will probably simply take longer to appear.
At the same time, if you are concerned, there is the option of simply getting Smart Meter radiation protection, and the whole matter of smart meter dangers can be dropped. The controversy will likely go on for some time—as will the controversy about the dangers of cell phone radiation. But with the probable dangers of both, why wait to see who is eventually proven “right”?
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