Microwave - and other forms of electromagnetic - radiation are major (but conveniently disregarded, ignored, and overlooked) factors in many modern unexplained disease states. Insomnia, anxiety, vision problems, swollen lymph, headaches, extreme thirst, night sweats, fatigue, memory and concentration problems, muscle pain, weakened immunity, allergies, heart problems, and intestinal disturbances are all symptoms found in a disease process the Russians described in the 70's as Microwave Sickness.
Monday, March 05, 2012
GUEST VIEWPOINT: Moratorium needed on smart meters over health concerns
The Eugene Water & Electric Board could consider funding in May or June for districtwide “smart” wireless utility meters in homes and businesses. Time is of the essence for a public, multidisciplinary discussion of the potential medical and financial consequences of this radio frequency technology — and whether EWEB’s ratepayer-owners want it.
EWEB has been conducting a smart meter pilot project. Many participants in the pilot project are EWEB employees. It is vital to include ratepayer-owners in decisions about a full implementation of smart meters, because all of them will be affected. Adverse effects on customers’ health and pocketbooks could occur, based on experiences in other locations.
Increasingly, questions arise whether smart meters are safe, affordable or provide economic benefits to ratepayers. Utility bills can increase dramatically if time-of-day electricity pricing is adopted.
Concerns about overbilling, reliability, safety, cyber-security and privacy exist. Opting out is complicated and costly for those who decline this digital technology.
The greatest potential risk involves health. Complaints surround serious health issues — including long-term exposure to radio frequencies.
The board of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine is an international association of physicians and health professionals providing clinical research since 1965. Last month, it adopted a resolution (rgne.ws/zawYXg) to halt the use and further installation of wireless smart meters “based on a scientific assessment of current medical literature. ... Chronic exposure to wireless radio frequency radiation is a preventable environmental hazard that is sufficiently well documented to warrant immediate preventative public health action.”
The academy filed the resolution in support of an ongoing class action lawsuit. The suit, filed last October against California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Co., alleges that wireless smart meters compromise health. (Read the original complaint online at rgne.ws/xcWj3Q.) Malfunctions and severe health complications from smart meter radiation exposure have been reported, and many California counties and municipalities have prohibited their use.
“The literature raises serious concerns regarding the levels of radio frequency (3 kilohertz to 300 gigaherts) or extremely low frequency (300 hertz) exposures produced by ‘smart meters’ to warrant an immediate and complete moratorium on their use and deployment until further study can be performed,” the academy asserts.
The academy highlights the fact that existing Federal Communications Commission guidelines for radio frequency safety, used to justify smart meter installation, consider only thermal tissue damage. These guidelines are considered obsolete by numerous scientists and medical professionals, since many modern studies show metabolic and genomic damage from radio frequency and extremely low frequency exposures below the level of intensity that heats tissues. This exposure level is known as non-thermal.
In 2002, the Environmental Protection Agency stated that FCC limits for non-thermal radio frequency radiation were not proved safe in long-term exposures. Cumulative and synergistic effects — those that persist and compound over time and those that occur when factors join to produce effects greater than the sum of their separate effects — are also crucial.
Smart meters also can be combined with radio frequency-enabled home appliances, resulting in greater exposure.
The academy’s resolution warns of “medically and biologically significant effects of radio frequency and extremely low frequency at lower densities. These effects accumulate over time, which is an important consideration given the chronic nature of exposure from smart meters.” It also “adds synergistic effects to the damage observed from a range of toxic chemicals.”
Quoting the academy, “Current medical literature raises credible questions about genetic and cellular effects, hormonal effects, male fertility, blood-brain barrier damage and increased risk of certain types of cancers from radio frequency and extremely low frequency levels similar to those emitted from ‘smart meters.’ Children are placed at particular risk for altered brain development, and impaired learning and behavior.”
The academy’s conclusion — relevant to public stewards whose priority should be safeguarding the health of children — is that “given the widespread, chronic, and essentially inescapable extremely low frequency and radio frequency exposure of everyone living near a ‘smart meter,’ ” the academy “finds it unacceptable from a public health standpoint to implement this technology until these serious medical concerns are resolved.”
Given the knowledgeable review by environmental medicine physicians and professionals, it would be prudent for EWEB to acknowledge such warnings and declare “a moratorium on installation of wireless smart meters,” as the academy recommends, “until these serious public health issues are resolved.”
EWEB’s Integrated Electric Resource Plan estimated a five- to 20-year surplus of electric energy. Why rush to add more radio frequency radiation to 88,000 homes and businesses?
The utility should use this breather time to gather data, including outcomes of pending lawsuits, and to allow interactive discussion to enable better informed decisions. Ratepayer-owners should insist that EWEB provide more balanced information before it is too late.
See EWEB.org for information on how to contact the utility’s commissioners and staff.
Kathy Ging, a member of Families for Safe Meters, is co-founder of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, Southwest Oregon Chapter. She has been a real estate agent in Oregon for 26 years.