12 April 2017
Smart Meters and Cell Damage from Pulsed Electromagnetic Radiation - Our Health Risk?
by Lynne Wycherley, theecologist.org, 11 April 2017
'Smart meters' looked like a great idea, writes Lynne Wycherley, giving us more control over our energy use. The downside? They emit as many as 14,000 short bursts of intense microwave radiation a day, disrupting cellular electrochemistry and causing health symptoms from migraine to tinnitus, insomnia, dizziness, anxiety, chest pain, palpitations and memory loss. Now a growing number of 'electro-sensitives' have had enough!
As early as 2012, environmental health Professor David Carpenter, founder of Albany School of Public Health, and author of 370 peer-reviewed publications, issued a public letter on the plausible toxic risks of intensive, pulsed-microwave smart metering.
His letter Smart-meters: Correcting the Gross Misinformation was rapidly signed by 50 international health experts.
"We, the undersigned ... have co-authored hundreds of peer-reviewed studies on the health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) ... Mass deployment of smart grids could expose large chunks of the general population to alarming risk scenarios ...
"More than a thousand studies done on low intensity, high frequency, non-ionizing radiation going back at least fifty years, show ... biochemical changes which ... may lead to diseases."
Noting, among other risks, the free-radical / cellular / genetic harm recorded in many recent papers on wireless exposure - and the relative potency of smart-meters' pulses - he adds: "Prolonged exposure ... may eventually lead to cellular malfunction ... With both cell towers and smart meters, the entire body is immersed by microwaves."
Though his letter needs updating (see Belpomme, for example, below) he and his signatories are correct in signalling that all of us in the Green movement - activists, politicians, energy suppliers, families - have been given a sanitised version of long-term EMF health risks, including from high-density smart metering. At worst, equivalent to Big Tobacco's "smoke it baby! there are no risks!"
The International Appeal to the United Nations
Though there is no world consensus on the degree of risk arising from pulsed-microwave pollution (RF-EMFs), it is salutary that most independent EMF scientists are voicing caution. And their numbers are rising rapidly.
In an unprecedented step, 190 precautionary scientists launched an appeal to the United Nations (2015, ongoing) to seek progressive, healthy alternatives to high-SARS phones / tablets and the piercing pulsed microwaves from smart meters, plus similar rollouts.
"Now is the time to ask serious questions about this emerging environmental health crisis", their video warns, before offering some strong medicine:
"We have created something that is harming us and it is getting out of control! ... Wireless utility meters, and cell towers, are blanketing our neighborhoods with radiation... BIOLOGICAL facts are being ignored ... International standard setting bodies are not acting to protect the public's health." [Emphasis as per the published transcript]
In its call for cleaner, safer, ways forward, the International EMF Scientist Appeal is undeniably 'Green'. Yet how many of us are fully aware of its call? Today, it carries 224 signatories from 41 nations; all have peer-reviewed research in the field, and none - to their credit - have been cowed or co-opted by the multi-billion dollar Big Telecoms industry: a colossus whose turnover has begun to rival that of fossil fuels.
Standard-setting bodies with documented conflicts of interests, meanwhile, continue to stifle reform - not least in the UK: see the shocking exposé of AGNIR, for example, by UK neuroscientist Dr Sarah Starkey. Plus French documentary Microwaves, Science & Lies, and the recent letter of no confidence in the EMF wing of the World Health Organisation.
People testifying to harm
Within months of PG&E's (Pacific Gas & Electric) Californian smart-meter rollout, over 2,000 health complaints were filed. Harsh headaches, dizziness, tachycardia, insomnia, tinnitus; in desperation, some householders fled their homes, while others slept in their cars.
Let's not forget that PG&E is the energy giant first exposed by Erin Brockovich for dumping hexavalent chromium.
As wave after wave of people have attested to similar problems from US and Canadian rollouts - many testifying to no prior inkling of smart-meter problems (as here /here) - court cases have arisen. Biophysics professor Andrew Marino, an authority on physiological reactions to 'weak' EMFs, gave lengthy evidence in defence of impacted residents.
Eviscerating outdated exposure standards, he concluded "coercing the complainants to endure... such exposure ... amount[s] to involuntary human experimentation." In addition health risks from "the type of electromagnetic energy emitted from smart meters ... are heightened in the very young, the very old, and in those with pre-existing diseases and disorders."
Case histories, echoing others around the world, include, for example, 84-year old Dr Georgetta Livingstone (Michigan). When her meter was fitted, she was hit by unexpected sharp pains in her body, headaches, violent head-to-toe rashes, insomnia, intense itching, depression and anxiety. With no remission, it seems, until her meter was finally removed. (Notice Professor O Johansson: skin reactions to EMFs). Such testimonies, however contested, may offer us helpful clues.
IT professionals are among those testifying to impacts. Silicon Valley consultant Jeromy Johnson (see his TED talk) and his wife, a GP, were axed by headaches, insomnia, and palpitations.
In Smart meters, the opposite of green, hosted by Green editor Rob Sidon, Johnson notes that if we connect everything wirelessly to smart meters we risk "filling our homes, our children, and ourselves" with RF microwaves emerging as subtly bioactive. (See, e.g., harm to insects from all 'weak' sources tested: Margaritis et al 2013). "How can a technology be considered sustainable if its byproduct harms not only humans but plants, insects and animals?"
Problems have also emerged in Australia, and beyond. In her peer-reviewed paper, Dr Federica Lamech, GP (Victoria), shares 92 in-depth patient case histories. Smart meters, it seems, were 'the last straw' in wireless exposure, tipping them into full-blown electrosensitivity - a syndrome now hallmarked, it seems, by toxic and inflammatory biomarkers, and impaired brain blood-flow (Belpomme 2015-2016: nearly 700 lab-verified cases, Paris).
Lamech herself was stricken "with palpitations, chest pain, insomnia, dizziness, inability to concentrate, memory loss and fainting spells. I [later] found out it was [when] the smart meters were remotely turned on."
Professor Dariusz Leszczynski, biochemist, notes it is normal to have a bell-curve of responses to environmental toxins, and pulsed RF, his field, is no exception. If so, how can we, as Greens, find ways to support the human rights of adults / children at the 'unlucky' end of the spectrum?
Dr Isaac Jamieson, who advises the EU on bio-sustainability, analysed (1, 2,) how Big Energy smart-metering can infringe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially birthright to health.
Eyes on stalks: the corporate hijack of smart-metering