Safety Advice for Electromagnetic Fields


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What is a Smart Meter?

From Ecological Options Network:

"Smart" Meters Exposed (cruzconcern):

Testimony from Winifred (

Recent attention in the EMF community has been focused on wireless-emitting Smart Meters, also known as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). Smart meters are advanced utility meters, which typically use wireless radiation to transmit data on electricity, gas, or water usage back to the utility. Electricity smart meters can be distinguished from analog meters by the display, which uses digits instead of dials. Opposition aross the United States, as well as worldwide, has been growing.

Contrary to what is commonly claimed, many smart meters transmit wireless radiation continually and at high levels reported to exceed typical home wireless appliances. In some locations, the transmissions may be more than once per second, at levels said to be as much as 10 to 100 times that of a cell phone. One report from PG&E found approximately 10,000 signals a day on average and a peak power of 2.5 Watts. This power level exceeds the radiation of most home wireless devices, as you can see from the Distance page. It also exceeds recommended safety standards such as that of the Bioinitiative Working Group and the Seletun Scientific Statement. Much of these signals are said to be for the maintainance of the wireless mesh system itself, as opposed to the actual transmission of utility usage data.

While utilities no longer have to send meter readers to check readings on analog meters, this benefit comes at the price of continual wireless radiation. On top of the smart meters, appliances would also be outfitted with transmitting antennae, as part of the smart grid plan.

Health Effects of Smart Meters

Many people who live in areas with smart meter rollouts have become seriously ill as a result of their exposure. Symptoms may include "headache, sleep disruption, restlessness, tremors, cognitive impairment, and tinnitus, as well as increased cancer risk and heart problems such as arrythmias, altered heart rhythms, and palpitations." See a list of common health symptoms associated with smart meters. For some buildings, a large number of smart meters may be concentrated in one location, and may result in greater exposure to residents living near this location. Some individuals are especially unfortunate to receive a higher exposure if they live near a relay meter or if they have a smart meter on the opposite side of the wall from their bedroom. However, even those with smart meter radiation from neighboring homes have reported health effects.

Other Talking Points on Smart Meters

Besides posing a health risk, smart meters also pose concerns for privacy, security, fire, and increased billing rates. The following are some problems with smart meters that have been raised:

For more talking points, see Orlean Koehle's 30 Talking Points Against Smart Meters.

Variations in Exposure Levels

Keep in mind that one's exposure level and duration of exposure may vary depending upon many factors including the following:

Depending on one's personal situation, the pulse might vary from once every 5 minutes to once every second or more.

Local Government Response

56 California cities and counties, 15 Michigan cities, and 53 British Columbia cities have moratoriums or resolutions against the smart meters due to public concerns which include health, fire safety, security, privacy, and increased costs to customers. Other protests are also occurring in Maine, Illinois, Vermont, Maryland, Michigan, Canada, and Australia, to name just a few places. Smart meters are being deployed rapidly and stealthily around the world. Orlean Koehle explains that the smart grid is part of the United Nations Agenda 21 and likens the smart grid to an old plan for technocracy.

Smart meters have been installed in many places, against homeowners' wishes, and those who refuse them have had to lock their meters to prevent stealth installations. More can be read from the links below.

Safety Measures Taken for Smart Meters

The following are some measures that people have suggested out of concern for the various risks of smart meters:

It is important to understand one's legal rights. What the utility policy mandates or says is law, may not be what the government really requires.

Further Resources

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