Reader Rebuttal: Smart meter, a disinformation-based technology

Communities Reader Iris Atzmon rebutes Communities Dariusz  Leszczynski claim that

ISRAEL, April 16, 2012 – In his Communities column, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, writer Dariusz  Leszczynski claims that “the deployment  of  the ‘smart meters’ will add very little radiation beyond existing exposures to cell phones and cell towers. In his opinion, most likely lack of reliable information causes ‘gossip’ and ‘misinformation’ to spread.” And this, according to him, causes what he calls ‘smart meters scare’. 

In an interview with Joshua Hart, leader of smart meters opposition group  it was revealed that the group recorded the pulses of the smart meters and California utility company admitted there are up to 190,000 spikes every day emitted by the smart meter. (7.2.12, on the Power Hour radio).

But according to information that the power industry provides - one can never know this. Indeed, there is misinformation.

Blake Levitt  reported  that the U.S. utilities nor their experts could answer simple questions at  public forums:  in Sebastopol in 2010, PG&E pulled its speakers when they didn’t get the format they wanted - all questions in writing and in advance.

At a subsequent meeting, PG&E sent two experts: Michael Herz and Leeka Kheifets,  both did not know how often meters send or repeat RF signals.  They could not answer what the exposure would be for an apartment complex with banks of multiple meters, and they couldn’t answer technical questions about peak-signal strength.

If this wasn’t enough, they didn’t know the make or model of the meters so that people in the audience could look up the information. 

Is the smart meters technology evidence based?  A report of Santa Cruz county in California, from January 2012, calls the smart meters “the unproven technology” and states that “there is no scientific literature on the health risks of smart meters in particular as they are  a new technology.”   In addition, the report states that  although  the primary justification given for the Smart meters  program is the assertion that it will encourage customers to move some of their electricity usage from daytime to evening hours,  the utility company of California  PG&E has conducted no actual  pilot projects to determine whether this assumption is in fact correct.  

The large body of research on the health risks of EMFs is recognized in the report, in which it was determined  that  as  smart  meters use the  same energy spectrum as cell phones and can exceed the whole body radiation exposure of cell phones, all available  research  data can be extrapolated to apply to smart meters, taking into consideration the magnitude and the intensity of the exposure. 

The principal author of  the Lancet Oncology article about  IARC’s RF classification,  clarified in a letter which was circulated on the internet, that the IARC classification of RF as possibly carcinogenic in humans  holds for all types of radiation within the radiofrequency part of the electromagnetic spectrum including  the radiation emitted by base-station antennas, radio/TV towers, radar, Wi-Fi and smart meters.

It is often claimed about RF emitting technologies, that they stand in the FCC’s standards. If smart meters technology complies with the FCC standards, does it mean it’s safe?  According to Sage Associate’s report on smart meters,  the FCC’s safety limits have not been updated since 1992, hence it is not updated  by the latest scientific findings and developments which are the basis for public health policy.

In other words, without updating the FCC’s standard, the health policy regarding smart meters is not evidenced  based.  Moreover,  the standards address acute exposure only – this does not answer on the question what happens in the long term after chronic exposure to this radiation.

Dariusz Leszczynski wrote that we arrived at the point of no return: people will have smart meters whether they like it or not, and that any attempt to stop development and deployment of wireless technologies would cause economical catastrophe. This sounds like a sales pitch of the industry.  An article published in Australia lately clarified that “the $2.18 billion roll-out of Victoria’s electricity smart meters will go ahead because too much money has been spent to pull back.

Meanwhile no one considers the increase in electricity bills for those who have smart meters installed, in contrast  to promises on money savings. 

In the U.K, Richard Lloyd, executive director of  Which? magazine, the influential consumer’s guidance directory, said “The Energy Department should stop and review the smart meter roll-out before it becomes an £11bn fiasco”.

Officials in the U.K are taking the public resistance seriously and plan that smart meters  will be voluntary,  devising plans to allow people to reject the smart meters.  It was published that sources in the Department for Energy and Climate Change said the proposal was shelved to avoid the programme getting “bogged down” in lengthy legal disputes.  

What about the claim that the smart meters will save energy, a very green purpose:

The Telegraph exposed that an industry regulator Ofgen, predicts that the electricity bills will increase (this is what actually many people complain about, since they had smart meters installed), because of the need for investment in new power stations, meaning increase of energy consumption, while we are told that the smart meters are so good because they will save energy.  

Meanwhile the disinformation is consistent:  in Canada, Ted  Olynyk, of BC Hydro, stated that less than one percent of the public in B.C has objected to smart meters, when in fact 30 municipalities in B.C., nearly 20 per cent of the local governments, have voted on behalf of their citizens in favour of a moratorium on the installation of smart meters.

They would not agree with  Dariusz Leszczynski that smart meters is “a fact of life”.  

Dariusz Leszczynski asked who is profiting from spreading a “scare” regarding smart meters, pointing to a potential conflict of interest. It is more appropriate to ask who profiting  from the  uninformed  public. 

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from Communities Health and Science today
blog comments powered by Disqus
Iris Atzmon

Iris Atzmon is author of a 700 pages book on health and public health policy with regard to cell phones and wireless technology proliferation.


Ms. Atzmon is a student of public health, with a MA in public health.  Her interest begin with the deployment of the technology became more aggressive without receiving informed consent from the public, without informing the public on health risks. 


Contact Iris Atzmon


Please enable pop-ups to use this feature, don't worry you can always turn them off later.

Question of the Day
Photo Galleries
Popular Threads
Powered by Disqus