The widespread adoption of SMART meters in residential and commercial buildings happened rapidly over the past 10 years. Now, more information is being uncovered about its actual safety, and it’s time that information is uncovered.
These devices offer real-time monitoring and reporting of electricity, gas, and water consumption, promising a more sustainable and eco-friendly future. However, as the deployment of SMART meters continues to expand, so do concerns about potential health hazards to humans and threats to the ecosystem.
Beyond their undeniable advantages, critics argue that SMART meters emit electromagnetic radiation, commonly referred to as radio-frequency (RF) radiation, which has raised concerns about its impact on human health. A growing body of research suggests that prolonged exposure to RF radiation may lead to various health issues, including headaches, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and even a heightened risk of certain cancers. As the adoption of SMART meters becomes ubiquitous, many individuals are questioning the long-term consequences of these devices on their well-being.
But it’s not just the human population that faces potential risks. The ecological implications of SMART meters also merit serious attention. These devices enable constant two-way communication between consumers and utility companies, allowing the latter to remotely control energy consumption in real-time. While this undoubtedly leads to greater efficiency in energy distribution and consumption, it also raises concerns about privacy, data security, and the potential for misuse. Additionally, the increased dependence on SMART meters may lead to a higher demand for rare-earth metals, contributing to environmental degradation and the exploitation of limited natural resources.
As the debate over SMART meters continues, it is crucial to strike a balance between technological progress and safeguarding human health and the environment. This article will delve into the existing research and explore both sides of the argument, shedding light on the potential health dangers to humans and the risks posed to our fragile ecosystem. By understanding the complex interplay between technology and its impact, we can make informed decisions about the adoption and regulation of SMART meters to ensure a sustainable and healthy future for all.
Smart Meters, Smart Technology, Smart Grid – These are terms that are now part of our everyday language. But, what do they even mean? For starters, SMART is an acronym that stands for Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology.
History of the Smart Meter
Smart Meters are among the first of these SMART technologies to be rolled out to the public. They are being used to measure the amount of electricity, water and gas that is being consumed in homes and businesses.
In 2009, the first batch of Smart Meters were installed in the US. They were part of the Smart Grid Investment Grant program that was established by Congress to ‘modernize the way the country transmitted and distributed its electricity’.
In 2015, roughly 18 million Smart Meters were installed in the United States. The funding to do this was supplied by the federal government. By 2021, over 111 million Smart Meters had been installed, with 88% having been installed on residential properties.
The Smart Grid
Smart Meters create what is being called the Smart Grid. Before Smart Meters, analogue Meters were used. These Meters had no wireless capacity and needed to be read periodically by a real person whose job it was to come by your home and jot down your Meter reading. You were then charged based on these readings.
In an effort to utilize technology to simplify these readings, real people were gotten rid of and Meters that transmitted data wirelessly back to the utility companies were installed. They emitted a one way signal that was picked up by the utility company’s van when it was driving through your neighborhood.
Smart Meters function differently than the previous wireless Meters. They send out two-way wireless transmission to neighboring Smart Meters. These transmissions are then sent to local nodes in the area.
From here, they are sent to the utility company. What this does is create a continuous grid of electromagnetic radiation in neighborhoods – aka the Smart Grid.
The Internet of Things (IOT)
This Smart Grid is the foundation for the Internet of Things (IOT). The Internet of Things is just as its name says, it is the electronic connection of physical things in the physical world to each other. Smart Meters are part of making this connection work. Their wireless transmissions go from your fridge to your stove to your dishwasher to your washing machine to your blender…and so on. Usage data is collected and transmitted back to the utility company.
Smart Meter Radiation
Smart Meters emit microwave radiation, also called radiofrequency (rf) radiation. Microwave radiation is biologically active radiation that is able to penetrate into our bodies.
It is the same type of radiation emitted by cell phones and Wi-Fi. By communicating with neighboring Smart Meters, a dense layer of of electromagnetic radiation is created. Peer reviewed studies have linked electromagnetic radiation with cancer and DNA damage.
The $30 million 2018 study conducted by the US National Toxicology Program determined that microwave radiation as emitted by cell phones caused cancer and DNA damage. In 2013, a study was published that found that 97.6% of people felt they experienced adverse health symptoms after the installation of a Smart Meter on their home.
Almost 45% felt that the Smart Meter caused them to become electrically sensitive.
Smart Meter Radiation Symptoms
Exposure to radiation can cause various types of adverse effects in people. Some of the most common complaints when it comes to Smart Meter radiation exposure are:
- Heart Palpitations
- Skin Rashes
- Skin Burning
- Facial Flushing
- Needles & Pins in extremities
- Sinus Problems
- Nose Bleeds
- Menstrual Cycle Changes
- Eye Pain
- Recurrence of Cancer
Daniel Hirsch, who is a retired director of the Program on Environmental and Nuclear Policy at the University of California, Santa Cruz, says that Smart Meters expose people to more radiation than even cell phones.
“…rather than the cell phone being 100 times more exposure than a Smart Meter, the Smart Meter turns out to be roughly 100 times more exposure than a cell phone.”
Mr. Hirsch’s findings are that with Smart Meter radiation the entire body is being bathed in the radiation, while cell phone radiation is more targeted towards the area of the body that the cell phone is in close proximity to.
Smart Meters Are Worse for Children
Children are a vulnerable segment of the population. Their bodies are smaller and still developing, which puts them at a greater risk when it comes to Smart Meter radiation. Studies have shown the the radiation from Smart Meters penetrate into children’s bodies deeper.
It can affect organs, such as the brain, in a more direct way than it can for adults. A 2018 published study found that the highest body absorption rate for radiation was in the child model when it was exposed to Smart Meter radiation.
Utility companies have continuously played down the amount of radiation pulses Smart Meters produce. While they say the Smart Meters send the transmission of electrical data out maybe 3 or 4 times a day, researchers have found otherwise.
Bill Bathgate, who is an engineer and has studied Smart Meters, found that they transmit a sharp pulse every 3 to 7 seconds. According to Bathgate, “it’s constantly pulsing all day”.
When an investigation was done in the state of California, it was determined that Smart Meters could pulse up to 192,000 times a day. Each of those pulses sends out a strong wireless signal, transmitting data to a neighboring Meter.
Pulsed radiation can penetrate deeper into the body than non-pulsed radiation, according to several studies. Even Smart Meter manufacturers are aware of the potential health risks involved with exposing people to this type of radiation continuously.
Itron, who manufactures Smart Meters, let shareholders know that there could be problems when it comes to their product.
“We may face adverse publicity, consumer or political opposition, or liability associated with our products…We may be subject to claims that there are adverse health effects from the radio frequencies utilized in connection with our products.”
As we navigate the challenges and concerns surrounding Smart Meters and the Smart Grid, ensuring the health and well-being of individuals remains a top priority. One approach to enhancing protection against electromagnetic radiation (EMF) exposure is through the use of effective EMF protection solutions like taking Radiate 21.
Protect yourself from the harmful effects of EMF radiation emitted by cell phones, tablets, and other ‘smart’ devices. Choose Radiate 21 – the ultimate EMF protection formula that harnesses the power of four of the most potent ORAC antioxidants in the world.
These powerful antioxidants work to safeguard your body against the oxidative and free radical damage caused by EMF radiation. Radiate 21 helps promote overall health and wellness while protecting your DNA, cells and mitochondria with a wide range of high powered ORAC antioxidants and adaptogens.
As we progress towards a smarter, more energy-efficient future, let us remain vigilant in addressing the challenges and concerns that arise. By embracing responsible innovation, fostering collaboration between stakeholders, and prioritizing public health, we can unlock the full potential of Smart Meters and the Smart Grid while ensuring a sustainable and EMF-safe energy landscape for generations to come. Together, let us build a future where technology and well-being go hand in hand, creating a harmonious and connected world for all.