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Forums » Home & Family » Livable Communities » Smart meters, not; Harmful and intrusive devices, yes.
Smart meters, not; Harmful and intrusive devices, yes.
posted at September 30, 2013 10:14 AM EDT
First: June 3, 2013
Last: October 13, 2013
Utility companies around the world are swapping out electric, gas and water analog utility meters and deploying pulsed radio frequency (RF) radiation Smart Meters, which are costing us money, privacy, and our health and safety.
Smart Meters, (also called AMI, or AMR) eliminate meter reader jobs and are part of the “Smart Grid”, which has been promoted as “green”. The Smart Grid is a very expensive computerized microwave network on every home and business that customers pay for. Customers and the media report serious complaints prior to or following installation of Smart Meters for a variety of reasons.
Smart Meters are a surveillance device. They are a search without a warrant. They collect detailed energy usage, for instance: when you cook, watch TV, whether you are home or not, when you turn on a light, or if you have guests. This data is very valuable because it can reveal patterns about what you do and when. California utility companies admitted they are providing smart meter data to the government and third parties.
The electric meter has two antennas. One antennae operates around 900 mhz and constantly transmits and repeats data from 500 +/- homes in a mesh network. The mesh network includes data collectors, which could be located on a lamppost, telephone pole, building or another home. They repeat the signals back to the utility via cell towers. Depending on where your home is located within the mesh network will determine how much RF radiation your meter transmits. Collectors send and receive substantially more RF radiation.
The other antennae operates at 2.4 ghz and sends RF signals into your home (or business) to collect data from “smart” appliances. Smart Grid proponents are expecting consumers will install a Home Area Network, which includes an RF interior display unit and either retrofit or purchase new RF ‘smart’ appliances. Installing these interior devices will allow the utility company to further monitor your electric usage and control the grid, by turning off certain appliances during peak use time, if needed.
The World Health Organization classifies RF as a 2B carcinogen, same as DDT and lead. Military studies here and here show pulsed RF can cause serious health problems, including tinnitus, memory loss and seizures. Thousands of studies link biological effects to RF exposure. International experts warn against RF hazards associated with smart meters.
The EMF Safety Network filed a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Application in April of 2010 asking for a moratorium on the deployment, public health hearings and an RF emissions study. In December of 2010 the CPUC dismissed the application even though no hearings were held in case. An appeal was filed in January of 2011. The CPUC denied the appeal and on July 11, 2012 we filed a lawsuit against the CPUC. In 2012 the CA court denied the lawsuit, without comment.
The CPUC and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have rubber stamped utility safety claims that the meters transmit a few times a day at 1 watt. In October of 2011, PG&E finally admitted that the electric meters send an average of 10,000 RF pulses per meter per day, at a peak power of 2 1/2 watts and a maximum of 190,000 pulses, per day.
The FCC RF safety standards are for short term thermal effects (5 and 30 minutes), and are configured for a 6 ft 2″ 200 pound male. The meters are assessed for safety compliance in isolation, not in a mesh network, in which they are designed to operate, or in combination with multiple meters, or other sources of RF, such as wi-fi, DECT phones, cell phones, cell towers, baby monitor etc. Sage Associates study found the meters can violate FCC safety guidelines in the manner deployed and operated. In addition the meters can also violate FCC safety conditions.
In California, the CPUC finally ordered Investor Owned Utilities (IOU’s) to allow customers to opt out of Smart Meters. However they are charging customers fees, calling the opt-out program a service. In Vermont customers can keep analog meters at no cost, and so can customers in Los Angeles, CA.
Reported health impacts include sleep problems, headaches, nausea, anxiety, heart palpitations, tinnitus and ear pain, concentration and memory problems, dizziness, immune, nervous and hormonal system impacts, behavior problems in children, and long term risk of cancers.
In January of 2012, the top public health official in Santa Cruz County California prepared this report, confirming Smart Meters do pose a health risk. Health Risks Associated With SmartMeters. Also in January 2012, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) sent this letter to the CPUC calling for a halt to wireless smart meters.
Vulnerable groups include people with EMF sensitivities, medical implants, compromised immune systems, children, pregnant women, seniors and the environment! If you have a pacemaker PG&E is now warning you to adhere to the SIX INCH RULE-for your safety stay 6 inches away from a Smart Meter.
Smart Meters don’t run backwards, and are therefore incompatible with solar panel installations. In 2010, PG&E reported over 43,000 Smart Meter problems of one kind or another. Thousands of complaints have been received by the CPUC for safety, RF impacts, EMF’s, opting out, moratorium, requests to remove, and for other numerous reasons.
Take Back Your Power is a full length documentary film on Smart Meters. You can watch it online (72 hour rental or purchase it). Click here to watch the film and/or see film trailers.
The following is a partial list of California groups, lawmakers, counties and cities who have called for a moratorium, the right for consumers to opt out, adopted an ordinance banning meters, requested more research on health and safety impacts, or are opposing Smart Meters: The Utility Reform Network, CA State Senator Dean Florez, CA State Assembly members Jared Huffman and Bill Monning, the County Board of Superviors of Humboldt, Lake.Marin, Mendocino, Monterey , San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, Tehama , Ventura, and the cities of Arcata, Belvedere, Berkeley, Blue Lake, Bolinas, Buelton, Calabasas, Camp Meeker, Capitola, Clearlake, Cotati, Fairfax, Fort Bragg, Goleta, Grover Beach, Lakeport, Marina, Mill Valley, Monte Sereno, Monterey, Morro Bay, Mt. Shasta, Novato, Ojai, Pacific Grove, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Richmond,Rio Dell, Ross, San Anselmo, San Luis Obispo ,San Rafael, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Sausalito, Scotts Valley, Seaside, Sebastopol, Simi Valley, Solvang, Thousand Oaks, Watsonville, Willits, and the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians, the Peace and Freedom Party, the Marin Association of Realtors, the Sonoma County Republican Central Committee, the SF Sierra Club, the Monterrey Green Party, the Alameda Greens, and the EMF Safety Network. In addition cities in the State of Maine and British Columbia Canada have passed resolutions calling for a moratorium on Smart Meters.
The campaign against smart meters for health reasons started in Sebastopol California. Here are three short videos with public comments. Are Smart Meters Smart?
Today there are action groups opposed to these throughout California, in many US states, Canada, Australia and Europe. Find one in your area.
This 173-page report “Analysis: Smart Meter and Smart Grid Problems – Legislative Proposal” by activist Nina Beety has extensive referenced information about many of the problems and risks of the Smart Meter program, with information from state, national, and international resources. Supplemental documents can be downloaded here.
WARNING: Apartment owners and managers: AOA Why “Smart Meters” Are Not Smart For You! Ellen and Tobie Cecil
Vermont Smart Meter Briefing 2012- Cindy Sage and Dr. Carpenter
The Dark Side of “Smart” Meters engineer Rob States
Smart Meter videos byEcological Options Network:
Southern California Edison briefing by the co-editor of the Bioinitiative Report, RF expert Cindy Sage: Briefing Letter on Electric Utility Smart Meters
Commentary by Blake Levitt: award-winning journalist who has specialized in medical and science writing for nearly two decades. She has researched the biological effects of nonionizing radiation since the late 1970′s. A former New York Times writer, she has written widely on medical issues for both the lay and professional audience. This piece has been updated: The Problems with Smart Grids: Dumb and Dangerous by Levitt and Glendinning.