In my post “What the Electric Company Doesn't Want You to Know – Smart Meters EXPOSED”, I told you that I didn't know much about Smart Meters until I got the notices in my mail about their upcoming installation in our city.
Now, I did know enough to know that when I get a notice about new technology and it's called “Smart” that I should look into it.
Typically when something has the name “smart” on it that means someone wants me to think I'm dumb if I don't get it.
Know what I mean?
Well, as I shared, I wasn't happy about what I learned.
I found out that these Smart Meters have some problems:
– No proven energy savings
– Exorbitant Costs associated with opting out
– Personal Safety Issues
– Legal and Constitutional Issues
I wasn't happy.
I didn't know what to do. The meter installers were coming soon and I didn't want a meter.
So I started reaching out to others and reading a ton to figure out what my options were.
One of the people whom I turned to is Lloyd Burrell. Lloyd runs the incredibly helpful website called Electric Sense. He himself became very ill due to EMF (electromagnetic frequencies) and so he set out to get healed and to teach others about the dangers.
That's a lot of why us health bloggers do what we do.
We have seen first hand what can happen. We've been there. It wasn't fun.
So we got (or are getting) ourselves out of health messes and are trying to inform others so that they can be as healthy as possible too.
I sent Lloyd and email telling him of my quandary and asked him what I should do.
Here is his gracious response, in the form of a blog post.
I am sure this will bring up many questions for all of you. Feel free to ask in the comments section and hopefully Lloyd will be by to respond.
“Smart Meters are Coming to Your Neighborhood. What Should You Do?
Adrienne wrote to me with the following question, “Our electric company just informed us that they are coming to install smart meters and we need to pay $69 one time & $10 monthly to avoid it.
I am trying to figure out the best thing to do.
1. opt out.
2. allow it and shield it”
I said I’d love to answer it. Here’s my answer.
Is Adrienne Right To Be Concerned?
Smart meters are a great ‘polarizer' of opinion. Either you’re totally indifferent about them, which many people are, or you’re dead against them.
A growing number of people fit into the latter category.
Some people are so against them they’re willing to go tom what might seem extraordinary lengths to protect their property from the installation of a smart meter.
There are been a few high profile cases.
Notably that of Jennifer Stahl and Malia “Kim” Bendis, two Naperville moms, who refused point blank to have smart meters installed on their homes. Things came to a head when both mothers were arrested in their own homes, in front of their families, for refusing to allow the local electric utility to install the smart meters on their homes.
In another case, Thelma Taormina, a lady from Texas took advantage of her Second Amendment rights when employees from her local utility tried to forcibly install a smart meter on her home in Harris County. The utility employees reportedly physically assaulted Mrs Taormina, which prompted her to brandish a firearm to defend her property.
These are not isolated incidents.
What’s All the Fuss About Smart Meters?
This might all seem like a storm in a teacup but there are some very serious issues behind smart meter installations.
To understand these issues you need to understand how these smart meters work. They work in different ways. That’s to say different utility companies utilize different technologies. But generally speaking smart meters and smart grid systems track and record details of customers’ energy usage, be it water gas or electricity, and transmit this information to back to utility companies wirelessly.
In some parts of the world smart meters are mandatory.
There are various issues at play here.
Problems with Smart Meters
Infringement of privacy is one of them. Smart meters relay detailed information about times and amounts of utility usage. Your utility company will know when you’re home or away and have detailed information on your consumption habits. This raises all sorts of questions about not just privacy, but security, safety and householder health.
It’s this last point which is the most perplexing. Because smart meters are synonymous with electromagnetic field (EMF) pollution.
EMFs are these invisible forces which exist in our environment. EMFs have existed since electricity was invented. But concern began to grow with the advent of the wireless revolution.
Cell phones, cordless phones, computer tablets, WiFi, Bluetooth, smart meters, what do all these devices have in common? EMFs. That’s OK because these EMFs are safe, right? It’s not what the studies say.
What Do The Studies Say?
When you buy a cell phone or use a wireless router, it’s probably never occurred to you that you’re exposing yourself to any kind of danger.
Why would you? Everyone's got a cell phone and wireless, right?
Well, wireless smart meters emit pulsed microwave radiation 24/7. The official line is that these low-level non-ionizing EMFs are safe. That’s to say there is so little power involved that there is no thermal effect (i.e. no heating) and therefore you’re OK.
However, there are now thousands of studies which show very clearly that there are potentially very serious adverse biological effects that can arise from these low-level exposures. And I’m talking about serious peer reviewed studies, that’s to say studies that have been replicated by different scientists and scrutinized in depth.
One of the most serious reviews of this scientific literature that has been carried is the BioInitiative Report, published first in 2007, again in 2012 and updated just a few weeks ago. The BioInitiative Reports are published by an international working group of scientists, researchers and public health policy professionals. The BioInitiative Working Group is sounding the warning alarm.
Wireless smart meters emit radio frequency or microwave radiation. This radio frequency radiation is able to penetrate walls, metal, and concrete. It can also penetrate our bodies. The biological effects linked to these exposures are numerous, DNA damage, disturbed immune system, blood brain barrier damage, oxidative damage, and more.
In 2011 the World Health Organization classified the type of microwave radiation emitted by smart meters as a possible human carcinogen. Brain tumors, cardiovascular disease, ADHAD, Leukemia and a myriad of other disease are linked to these exposures.
What Should You Do?
Should you opt out?
Or should she allow the Smart Meter to be installed and then shield it?
Opting out comes at cost. For Adrienne, it's a one-time fee of $69 plus approximately $10 a month.
How does this compare to the cost of shielding? It’s difficult to say exactly.
Shielding is a long involved process, which requires specialist equipment and materials. The starting point is to obtain measurements with a radio frequency meter. There are several RF meters on the market, all of which are not suitable. You need an RF meter with a good degree of accuracy and sensitivity. Ideal choices are the Cornet ED78S or the Acoustimeter AM10. Then you need to take readings. Its important to be methodical, write down your readings in a logbook.
From Adrienne – I am looking into more options that might mitigate the effects of the EMFs from the Smart Meter and other devices.
Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining
You’ll soon realize, as soon as you switch your RF meter on, that the smart meter is not the only problem. Your cordless phone, WiFi, your burglar alarm, many homes have numerous wireless devices all emitting just as much RF radiation as your smart meter, if not more. This is the positive side of the smart meter issue; it encourages you to clean up the electro pollution in your home.
In terms of actual shielding, it’s difficult to shield fully. The only way to shield RF radiation 100% effectively is with a Faraday cage type structure, that’s to say creating a sealed enclosure. It’s often difficult to fully enclose your smart meter because of where it’s installed, against your wall or a neighbor’s wall. So this usually means shielding your home with special shielding paint or wallpaper. The way to proceed with shielding is to shield then take readings with your RF meter, then shield again if necessary and take readings again and so on.
The Real Choice
Even if you do opt out of having a smart meter installed on your property you will still be zapped to a certain degree by the radiation from your neighbor’s smart meters and by the smart grid. The reality is you don’t have any real choice. Once smart meters are introduced in your neighborhood you will be exposed. This is the injustice of the situation.
What You Can Do
The smart meter roll out is jolting people into action. I encourage you to take action.
Minimize your exposure by opting out, but also get wise on this issue.
Have a good look round your home. Do you really need all those wireless devices? Can you change a laptop from WiFi to ethernet? Turn off WiFi at night?
2. Get a Meter
Buy or rent an RF (radio frequency) meter, then you will see what you’re exposing yourself to.
This EMF meter is a good option that you can use to evaluate and mitigate your exposure.
3. Get a Smart Meter Shield
Hopefully you don't have a smart meter, or if you do, you can try to get it removed from your house. If you aren't able to do that, here's a Smart Meter Shield that can help protect you from the EMFs it is emitting.
Don’t take my word on all this. Do your own research. You might want to join or form an activist group locally to make others aware of the problem and get the utility company to change their policy.
Get smart about smart meters, use the smart meter roll-out as an opportunity to do something positive.
What do YOU plan to do?