Health Experts Caution About Smart Meters

Sept. 19, 2012 - PRLog -- Fifty-four experts on the health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have called for “use of common sense and the development and implementation of best practices in using these technologies in order to reduce exposure and risk of health hazards.”  

These scientists and medical professionals who come from twenty countries have published hundreds of peer-reviewed studies on the health effects of EMFs.

Following are excerpts from the open letter they signed, "Smart Meters: Correcting the Gross Misinformation":

•   “the mass deployment of smart grids could expose large chunks of the general population to alarming risk scenarios without their consent.”

•   “many scientists and medical experts urgently recommend that measures following the Precautionary Principle be applied immediately — such as using wired meters — to reduce biologically inappropriate microwave exposure. We are not advocating the abolishment of RF technologies, only the use of common sense and the development and implementation of best practices in using these technologies in order to reduce exposure and risk of health hazards.”

•   “the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency radiation as a 2B, possible human carcinogen“

•   “Children are especially at risk.”

•   “While the specific pathways to cancer are not fully understood, it is scientifically unacceptable to deny the weight of the evidence regarding the increase in cancer cases in humans that are exposed to high levels of RF/microwave radiation”

•   “more than 1,000 studies done on low intensity, high frequency, non-ionizing radiation, going back at least fifty years, show that some biological mechanisms of effect do not involve heat. This radiation sends signals to living tissue that stimulate biochemical changes, which can generate various symptoms and may lead to diseases such as cancer.”

•   “this energy can cause DNA damage indirectly leading to cancer by a combination of biological effects.  Recent publications have documented the generation of free radicals, increased permeability of the blood brain barrier allowing potentially toxic chemicals to enter the brain, induction of genes, as well as altered electrical and metabolic activity in human brains upon application of cell phone RF/microwaves similar to those produced by smart meters.”

•   "High frequency EMFs such as the microwaves used in cell phones, smart meters, Wi-Fi and cordless ˜DECT” phones, appear to be the most damaging when used commonly."

•   “authorities are worried about the growing number of citizens who say they have developed electrohypersensitivity (EHS), especially since for many of them, the symptoms developed after the installation of such meters."

•   “adverse neurological effects have been reported in people who sustain close proximity to wireless meters, especially under 10 feet”

•    “Wireless smart meters typically produce atypical, relatively potent and very short pulsed RF/microwaves whose biological effects have never been fully tested. They emit these millisecond-long RF bursts on average 9,600 times a day with a maximum of 190,000 daily transmissions and a peak level emission two and a half times higher than the stated safety signal”

• “People in proximity to a smart meter are at risk of significantly greater aggregate of RF/microwave exposure than with a cell phone, not to mention the cumulative exposure received by people living near multiple meters mounted together, pole-mounted routers or utility collector meters using a third antenna to relay RF signals from 500 to 5,000 homes.’’

•   “RF levels from various scenarios depicting normal smart meter installation and operation may violate even the out-of-date US public safety standards which only consider acute thermal effects."

•   “caution is warranted because the growing variety of RF/microwave emissions produced by many wireless devices such as smart meters have never been tested for their potential biological effects.”

Dr. David Carpenter, founder of the University of Albany (NY) School of Public Health, drafted the original letter with input from experts from many countries. The letter was just updated and signed by many additional scientists and medical professionals from all five continents. In the U.S., co-signers include researchers at Columbia University, Michigan State University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Colorado, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Washington.

In addition to the need to take precaution, we need research to develop safer technologies to reduce our exposure to electromagnetic radiation from wireless devices including smart meters, Wi-Fi, and cell phones. The Federal government needs to step up and fund a major research initiative independent of industry to prevent conflicts of interest. This research could be supported by a small fee of 50 cents per year assessed on each cell phone.

The open letter, a list of the 54 experts who signed it and their affiliations, and links to supplementary resources are available at:


Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.. Director, Center for Family and Community Health,
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley

André Fauteux, Editor, La Maison du 21e siècle magazine, Sainte-Adèle, Quebec 450 228-1555
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