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14 February 2018

Canada: New Brunswick Power Defends Smart Meters against Claims of Public Health Risk

Roger Richard, left, and Daniel LeBlan are challenging NB
Power's plan to install smart meters across the province.
(Robert Jones/CBC News)
Environmentalist Daniel LeBlanc questioned whether sending RF "signals in all directions" in a neighbourhood might cause harm to those with "electromagnetic sensitivity. Many researchers internationally have come to the conclusion that low-intensity radiofrequencies are a health concern and a risk to developing cancer over the short or long term," said LeBlanc. "Was this research considered?"

NB Power defends smart meters against claims of public health risk
By Robert Jones, CBC News
14 February 2018

Environmentalist raised concerns of radiofrequency emissions during EUB hearings

NB Power mounted an aggressive defence of the safety of smart meters Tuesday during an all-day examination of the issue in front of the Energy and Utilities Board.

The utility argued the meters emit a fraction of the radiofrequency (RF) emissions of regular household items and pose no risk to public health.

"A cellphone you hold close to your head gives you 12,000 times more emissions than a smart meter would when you stand two metres away," said Jacqueline Duda Lemmerhirt, an NB Power consultant from Maine, during questioning by Daniel LeBlanc.

LeBlanc, a well-known New Brunswick environmentalist and former Petitcodiac River Keeper has been assisting St. Louis de Kent dentist Roger Richard challenge NB Power's plan to introduce smart meters based on health concerns around radiofrequencies emitted by the devices.

'Electromagnetic sensitivity'

Lemmerhirt and other NB Power witnesses explained that smart meters installed on homes in a neighbourhood communicate to each other by radio transmission and will hop, skip and jump power consumption data from one to another back to central "collectors" mounted periodically on power poles. The collectors then send the data back to NB Power.

LeBlanc questioned whether sending RF "signals in all directions" in a neighbourhood might cause harm to those with "electromagnetic sensitivity."

"Many researchers internationally have come to the conclusion that low-intensity radiofrequencies are a health concern and a risk to developing cancer over the short or long term," said LeBlanc. "Was this research considered?"

NB Power is in front of the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board in Saint John for a 12-day hearing in part seeking permission to spend $122.7 million to install 350,000 smart meters provincewide.

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