Transmitting smart meters are being installed nationwide on gas, water, and electrical services, driven in part by funding for the Smart Grid Program approved as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
This is of great concern because the exposure to microwave and radiowave radiation from these meters is involuntary and continuous. The transmitting meters may not even comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) "safety" standards (see http://sagereports.com/smart-meter-rf/). However, those standards were initially designed to protect an average male from tissue heating (cooking) during a brief exposure. These standards were not designed to protect a diverse population from the non-thermal effects of continuous exposure to microwave and radiowave radiation. Therefore, these "safety" standards were not designed to protect the public from health problems under the circumstances which the meters are being used. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has called for a moratorium on the installation of transmitting utility meters on the basis that:
"Chronic exposure to wireless radiofrequency radiation is a preventable environmental hazard that is sufficiently well documented to warrant immediate preventative public health action."
"The current medical literature raises credible questions about genetic and cellular effects, hormonal effects, male fertility, blood/brain barrier damage and increased risk of certain types of cancers from RF or ELF levels similar to those emitted from “smart meters”. Children are placed at particular risk for altered brain development, and impaired learning and behavior. Further, EMF/RF adds synergistic effects to the damage observed from a range of toxic chemicals. Given the widespread, chronic, and essentially inescapable ELF/RF exposure of everyone living near a “smart meter”, the Board of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine finds it unacceptable from a public health standpoint to implement this technology until these serious medical concerns are resolved. We consider a moratorium on installation of wireless “smart meters” to be an issue of the highest importance."
The transmitting meters most often being used transmit continuously, every few seconds. This is picked up by a receiver and logged by the utility. You are exposed to the transmissions from all the meters within transmitting range. The meters often have a range of over 2 miles. Thus, the exposure is continuous and the "safety" standards the meters comply with are irrelevant to the situation. Please read this letter from the Radiation Protection Division of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the limitations of the FCC standards.
Some transmitting meters transmit at less frequent intervals, however, they still seem to be causing health problems. This could be due to the still elevated levels of radiowaves and microwaves in the neighborhood because of all the neighbors transmitters. Remember, many, many meters are transmitting at these intervals. (One person with a meter transmitting hourly reports waking at the time it transmits.)
The transmitting meters can also put high frequencies directly on home and building wiring. This can happen deliberately through signaling to electrical loads or inadvertently through poor engineering. Poorly engineered meters can cause electrical pollution by putting the transmitted signal directly on home wiring or by the way they draw power to operate. Signals in the range of 30 to 60 kHz have been measured and result from poor engineering in the way the meters obtain power from the electrical grid in order to operate. Taking the steps on the Solutions page can help alleviate symptoms being caused by the meters. Meters could be properly engineered so that they would not be highly electrically polluting. Whether deliberate or inadvertent, studies are finding high frequencies on building wiring is related to a host of health problems. Milham and Morgan found a dose-response relationship between high frequencies present on building wiring and cancer. Removing high frequencies on building wiring has improved MS symptoms, blood sugar levels, asthma, sleep quality, teacher health, headaches, ADD, and numerous other health problems. (Visit Research page to see papers.) Technical papers provide a solid electrical and biomolecular basis for these effects. A recent paper by Ozen, showed that transients induce much stronger current density levels in the human body than does the powerline 60Hz signal. A technical paper by Vignati and Giuliani discusses the authors' findings that high frequency communication signals on power lines also induce much stronger electrical currents in the human body than a low frequency signal of the same strength. The induced currents disturb normal intercellular communications. This causes harmful short-term and long-term effects. Please see the Technical page for information about properly measuring the high frequencies on building wiring that are causing health problems. There is also a simple meter that lay people can use to easily measure most high frequencies on building wiring.
The additional electrical pollution from the transmitting meters is also greatly exacerbating the ground current problem. Please see the Introduction page for more details about ground currents.
The objectives of the Smart Grid Program can be accomplished without transmitting meters and without using other technology such as high frequency communication over power lines, which are also harmful to human health. It simply requires that meters be selected that are properly engineered to meet the needs of the program without using dangerous technology. Multi-rate billing and other sophisticated metering options do not require that the meter transmit. Models are available that download periodically on phone lines, dedicated communication lines, or are read by a reader the meter reader carries. Dedicated communication cables can be used to shut off or allow on certain power consuming electronics such as air conditioners. It is essential that only meters that do not transmit or put high frequency signals on building wiring are approved for the Smart Grid Program. At this time, however, it is important to know that many new appliances are being outfitted with transmitters that transmit continuously and cannot be turned off. Be sure to ask detailed questions if you are purchasing new appliances.
The un-safeness of the "safety" standards for the continuously transmitting smart meters is apparent from the reports of health problems ranging from headaches to poor sleep to heart palpitations that begin after their installation.
Transmitted microwave and radiofrequency radiation also have the potential for causing serious long-term health consequences, even for those who do not notice overt symptoms. The majority of independent studies report similar results: impairment of cellular communication, DNA breakages, increased stress proteins, etc. Read about it in Disconnect Studies targeting cellphone and cordless phone usage are finding increased risk of brain tumors. Children seem to be particularly vulnerable. Exposure to radiofrequency radiation has also been linked to an increased risk for cancer, including lymphoma, leukemia, brain tumor (cellphones), melanoma, parotid gland tumors, and breast cancer RISKS OF CARCINOGENESIS FROM ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION OF MOBILE TELEPHONY DEVICES. A review of studies performed prior to 2007 is available at http://www.bioinitiative.org. A recent public health study provides particularly strong evidence that we should be concerned about continuous exposure to transmitted microwave radiation. It can be found in a paper published in Pathophysiology (Volume 16, Issue 1, June 2009, Pages 43-46) Apparent decreases in Swedish public health indicators after 1997-Are they due to improved diagnostics or to environmental factors?. The authors looked at trend lines in data collected by the Swedish government and found that the introduction of cellphone technology nationwide in 1997 coincided with the beginning of an accelerating deterioration of several health indicators. Specifically, the rates of prostate cancer, brain tumors, melanomas and lung cancers in the elderly all increased dramatically. So did deaths from Alzheimer's disease, traffic accident injuries, sick leave rates, and percentage of infants born with heart problems. This paper is short and well worth reading. We should resolve the public health questions before introducing further public exposure to microwave radiation, particularly involuntary continuous exposure.
Radiowave and microwave radiation are not just a problem for people, they are causing serious problems for animals of all types and plant life as well. Please visit http://www.hese-project.org/hese-uk/en/issues/emr.php?id=bees and http://www.hese-project.org/hese-uk/en/issues/ for more information.
I will be sending updates regarding the issue of transmitting smart meters out to my email list. You may join the list by typing "join email list" in the subject heading when you email the Webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will also be updating the website.
If you do not have a transmitting smart meter and do not want one for health reasons, in addition to contacting your utility and Public Service Commission or Public Utility Commission in writing, please do the following:
(I am in the process of adding to this list. Please join my email list by typing "join email list" in the subject heading when you email the Webmaster at email@example.com or check back for additional important actions you can take.)
- Spread the word about the public health threat posed by transmitting smart meters. Link to http://www.electricalpollution.com/smartmeters.html on your Facebook or MySpace page, if you have one, notify your friends online via email, or write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper - it is likely to be published.
- Install a permanent sign on/near your meter(s) asking that no transmitting meter be installed. (Temporary signs seem to easily get "lost" or "blow away".) See picture. This one utilizes vinyl lettering.
- Send your legislators and regulators both state and national these reports on the health risks posed by transmitting meters
- Work toward getting an opt-out program in your state. Precedent has been set in Maine for each state having such a program. See the following press release for information about the decision in favor of requiring an opt-out program:
Maine Public Utilities Commission orders Central Maine Power Company to provide opt-out program - http://www.skeltontaintorabbott.net/news/85/77/Skelton-Taintor-Abbott-Wins-Landmark-Smart-Meter-Case.html. Other states are also now working on opt-out programs including: Vermont, Michigan, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Washington D.C., Wisconsin, Naperville, Illinois and California
- Opt-out programs should be easier to obtain because, in spite of the hype, transmitting meters are not helping to save energy. See this press release from the Connecticut Attorney General stating that they have asked that the Department of Public Utility Control terminate the Connecticut smart meter program on those grounds after a pilot study showed that there were no energy savings http://www.ct.gov/ag/lib/ag/press_releases/2011/020811clpmeters.pdf. Ask your attorney general to do the same. Please also pass this on to environmental groups and others pushing this program on the basis of energy savings. Using energy consumptive devices to do the job of a non-energy consumptive device does not save energy.
- It is far more energy efficient to transmit data over fiberoptic cables, or even copper wires than to transmit it wirelessly, according to a Swiss study wireless transmission takes 3 times as much energy. It is essential that those pushing transmitting meters see this information.
- Use this brief, but thorough outline of the full scope of the public health threat posed by exposure to high frequencies from electrical pollution and from transmitters to educate your legislators and other professionals concerned with public health about the threat and the solutions. Click here for more information on how to be most effective.
- Use the Smart Grid Background document and the Smart Grid Opt-out documents prepared by Sage Associates about the Smart Grid System being used by some utilities in California to educate yourself and others and to take action. These documents are geared specifically for people who are on those utilities in California. However, they may be useful to others as well. Please feel free to pass them on.
- Modify and use handouts available at http://emfsafetynetwork.org/ to raise awareness about this public health threat. Others have successfully used this information to call for a moratorium on transmitting smart meter installation in their area. See http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/26/BU871C79IM.DTL&type=business for an article on the fight in Sebastopol, CA, USA.
- Email the small file size poster about the public health threat posed by transmitting utility meters or print and post it in your community. Use the large file for better resolution, if necessary.
If you already have a transmitting meter and it is causing you health problems, please:
- See the Solutions page for steps you can take to reduce your exposure to radiofrequencies. Often reducing your exposure to all sources makes you more able to tolerate the sources over which you have no control. In the Transmitters section, there are now instructions for shielding the transmitting meters to protect your health while you work toward getting them removed.
- Use this information to educate your physician and obtain a letter supporting your need to retain or regain your non-transmitting utility meters. This information may also give them the documentation they need to make the diagnosis of Radiofrequency Sickness. The only cure for which is to remove the source(s) of exposure.
- "A Basic Summary of the Neurological Effects of Radiofrequency Sickness"
- No, Your Patient Is NOT Crazy Information for doctors on radiofrequency sickness, diagnosis, mechanisms, and treatment. This is more generalized than the write-up above. Hopefully, this will help you get the support from your doctor as you work to clean up your environment and regain your health.
- Use the following references to educate your physician about the very immediate and serious effects transmitted radiofrequency radiation can have on your heart.
- This reference is relatively short with a good definition of radiofrequency sickness and shows that these symptoms do in fact occur close to transmitters. R. Santinir, P. Santini, P. Le Ruz, J. M. Danze, and M. Seignel. Survey Study of People Living in the Vicinity of Cellular Phone Base Stations, Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, Vol.22, No.1, pp.41-49, 2003
- A sample letter could be as simple as the letter below (I recommend changing and personalizing it to fit your situation, obviously.):
My patient, ****, began suffering symptoms of radiofrequency sickness shortly after installation of the transmitting smart meter on her/his home. Radiofrequency sickness is caused by overexposure to radiofrequency radiation (cite article(s)- see above) and is resulting in her/his case from the exposure being caused by your meters. Please immediately remove the meter and replace it with non-transmitting induction-type watt hour meter/non-transmitting mechanical gas/water meter so as to prevent her/his health from deteriorating further.
- Your physician may want to use the comment submitted by Daniel Hirsch, UC Santa Cruz Nuclear Policy Expert, to the California Council on Science and Technology to support their assertion of harm. It details modeling flaws and concludes that microwave radiation levels emitted by transmitting meters being used in California are far in excess of utility claims. The comment can be found at http://www.ccst.us/projects/smart2/documents/letter8hirsch.pdf
- Find out if the transmitting meter you have or would have is UL approved. Many transmitting meters have not been UL listed. Many state and local ordinances require UL listing in order for it to be legal to install. Please take a moment to write down the manufacturer, model information, serial number, and any other identifying from your transmitting utility meters. Then search the Underwriters Laboratory database at http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/cgifind.new/LISEXT/1FRAME/index.html or call them at 1.877.854.3577 in the US. (Phone numbers to contact in other countries can be found at http://www.ul.com/global/eng/pages/corporate/contactus/ ) If you speak directly to UL, which would be a good idea if you do not find your meter in the database, please get the name of the person you speak to, please also note particulars of the conversation and the date it occurred.
If you find that your meters - electrical, water or gas - have not been tested and approved, it may give you, your town, city, county, or state a basis to require removal of the meters. Please check into the relevant laws under "electrical"...
When you have done this, please relay what you have found - Meter type, manufacturer, model information, serial number, and any other identifying from your transmitting utility meters, whether it is UL approved - along with approval numbers, where you live - town and state is fine, and your utility to the EMR Policy Institute so it can be collected and tabulated. Please send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Transmitting meter UL Approval information" in the subject heading so that they can independently compile the UL approval information.
UL listing generally indicates fire safety, among other things. Smart meters in CA have caused fires according to this article.
- Please file a written complaint with your PSC/PUC, both the federal agencies listed below, the New York State Public Service Commission, and then send a copy of those complaints to Consumer Reports and the EMR Policy Institute at email@example.com with "Transmitting Smart Meter Complaint" in the subject heading so that they can independently compile the complaints. (Please be prepared to give product information, including manufacturer and model number, and health symptoms.) If the product is not UL listed, please be sure to include that information.
- Food and Drug Administration - The FDA regulates electronic consumer products that emit radiation (such as microwave ovens and video monitors and cellphones and other wireless devices). You can file a complaint through the Medwatch Program on their website at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/medwatch-online.htm or by calling 1-800-FDA-1088. The same program that regulates medical devices, regulates consumer products that emit radiation.
An FDA report can also be filed using the form found at this link: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Forms/UCM236066.pdf If you have been injured by the radiation emissions from Smart Meters (aka AMR or AMI electric, gas, or water utility meters), or any other EMF or wireless device, please complain to the FDA using this form also! Click on the link above, download the form, and mail it to the FDA (address on the form). You can do this if you live in other countries if your meter was made in the USA or by a U.S. company.
Let's get the FDA to investigate Smart Meters and other EMF hazards.
- Consumer Product Safety Commission - The Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for taking dangerous products off the market. You can file a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 1-800-638-2772 or https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx.
- NYS State Public Service Commission - Even persons who are not residents of NY State can file a complaint with them about AMR, transmitting, or "smart" utility meters. This can be done by emailing them at: firstname.lastname@example.org with "Smart Grid Case # 10E0285 Complaint Dangerous "smart" Meter" in the subject line or by filing a complaint at http://documents.dps.state.ny.us/public/MatterManagement/CaseMaster.aspx?MatterCaseNo=10-E-0285 using Case # 10-E -0285
- Consumer Reports - Consumer Reports is an independent nonprofit concerned with product safety. They are one of the most influential non-governmental product safety organizations. It is essential to getting their attention focused on this issue that they receive notice of safety problems caused by the transmitting meters so please go to http://custhelp.consumerreports.org/cgi-bin/consumerreports.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php. This is their email contact form. You will need to select Consumer Reports Magazine, Share an experience, Reporting a safety issue in the successive pulldown menus.
- Special Litigation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice
To file a complaint, write the Special Litigation Section (SPL) explaining the situation about which you are complaining, with as much detail as possible. If you are aware of similar incidents involving others, please include that information as well. SPL does not have legal authority to represent individuals. In most of SPL’s work, a single incident of mistreatment will not be sufficient to start an investigation. Please include information on how to contact you if we need further information (such as an address, telephone number and e-mail address). Also, do not include original documents as we cannot guarantee their safe return. You can send information to:
Special Litigation Section
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Special Litigation Section
Washington, D.C. 20530
The Section can be reached by telephone: (202) 514-6255 or toll-free at (877) 218-5228.
If you are disabled, or becoming disabled by the exposure, please see information below about filing disability related complaints. I was told that filing a complaint with the Special Litigation Section does not preclude filing a complaint under the ADA.
- EMR Policy Institute - Please send a copy of the complaints filed with the FDA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to the EMR Policy Institute at email@example.com with "Transmitting Smart Meter Complaint" in the subject heading so that they can independently compile the complaints. This is not a substitute for filing complaints with the FDA or the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
It is very important that you file a written complaint with your PSC/PUC. Written complaints often get handled differently and often state statutes require that the PSC/PUC open an official inquiry if a certain number of complaints on the same topic are received.
The Americans with Disabilities Act
Information about the ADA can be found at www.ADA.gov. Amendments at the beginning of 2010 have expanded the scope of the ADA.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, so this does not constitute legal advice, just a list avenues and options you may want to explore. You may need to consult a lawyer specializing disability law in order to fully protect your rights.
Those of you who have been diagnosed with a disability that is related to your exposure to radiofrequency radiation or are disabled by radiofrequency sickness may have additional options for places to turn to. Local Centers for Independent Living may be able to offer some assistance. In spite of the fact that there was an article in the the NCIL newsletter about radiofrequency sickness and transmitting smart meters (http://www.ncil.org/resources/radiofrequencyarticle.html), you should count on having to educate your local CIL. The article that ran in the NCIL newsletter may help, as might the information above for physicians. They may be able to help give guidance and support in dealing with the utility companies.
If after a written request for reasonable accommodation - e.g. monthly self-reporting, verified during mandated meter checks annually or every six months (you will need to check your state PSC or PUC statues to check the requirements) - your utility and PSC are denying your request, you can file a complaint with the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights ADA Division. (Requests for Accommodation should be made in writing so they are replied to in writing so you have the documentation you need to proceed. If possible they should be accompanied by a doctor's letter. You will need to address the request in writing both to the utility and the PSC/PUC either sequentially or simultaneously before proceeding.)
Please be sure to include documentation of the denial of reasonable accommodation, doctors letters, and research articles documenting the existence of detrimental biological effects.
Complaints against public entities are Title II complaints. The PSC/PUC and municipal utilities should fall into this category. Title II complaint forms can be found at: http://www.ADA.gov/t2cmpfrm.htm
Complaints against a private business (publicly regulated private utilities) are Title III complaints and can be filed by emailing them to ADA.firstname.lastname@example.org, if you all use "Transmitting Meter Complaint" in the subject heading they will be more obviously related. Information about filing a Title III complaint can be found at http://www.ADA.gov/publicat.htm#Anchor-TitleIII-11481
The volume of complaints is often used to determine the extent of a problem so please do file a complaint if the PSC/PUC and utility will not accommodate you or if the accommodation is burdensome. (High fees for a service that would be free if the request were made for other reasons could seem discriminatory and burdensome.)
Please also send a copy of complaints filed with the Justice Department to the Disability Rights Education Defense Fund (www.DREDF.org) at email@example.com, again, if you all use "Transmitting Meter Complaint" in the subject heading they will be more obviously related. DREDF works on both legislation and litigation, as they deem fit so they are very important to get up to speed.
They will not stop installing these meters unless complaints are filed. Check back or join the email list for further steps you can take.
You may join the list by typing "join email list" in the subject heading when you email the Webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The only known cure for Radio Wave Sickness is to stop being exposed to high frequencies.
Please see the Solutions page for a list of steps you can take to reduce your exposure to high frequencies in your home and the Take Action page for other ways you can help restore a safe EMF environment to the world.