World’s first medical study of smart-meter health complaints
On 2014-12-12 à 04:04, Federica Lamech <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote :
Hi Mr Fauteux,
Thank you for your interest in the article recently published in the peer reviewed US clinical journal ‘Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine’ (Nov/Dec ’14 issue)When wireless smart meters were made ‘compulsory’ here in Victoria and their rollout gathered momentum as a result, they were very controversial here, with the ETU (Electrical Trades Union) making public statements about their worries regarding their safety and the safety of having them installed by people who were generally not qualified electricians, the media covering episodes of alleged smart meter related house fires and of people reporting a number of adverse health effects after a smart meter was installed at their home or their neighbours’ home.
Like many other Victorians, and also prompted by concerns about mine and my family’s health, I then researched information on smart meters on the internet and came across an Australian website –Stop Smart Meters Australia - that had a lot of information and also a lot of anecdotes of people relating their experience of ill health from wireless smart meters. Apart from one case, the anecdotes available did not have enough identifying information to have much value from an epidemiological perspective.
I then also noticed that the website had opened a ‘Health Register’ and ‘Legal Register’ where people could register their story and details confidentially. My curiosity led me to email the website’s managers and explain that I was a medical doctor and was interested in the data they were receiving to their registers.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of the 2 managers was a person with a bachelor of science in biochemistry and microbiology, who had researched the effects of nonionising radiation for 12 months prior to me making contact with him. I knew then that I could get effective co-operation in terms of the report’s methodology from him, given his knowledge of science and research methods. The report’s methodology is extensively explained in the full report.
The manager’s name is Steve Weller and he has given me permission to mention his name to you. He states to me that he set up the ‘health register’ on the Stop Smart Meters Australia website, for a number of reasons. He had registered his own adverse health effects from smart meters with ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) and had received no follow up; he felt that the numbers of ‘affected’ people supplied to him by ARPANSA were not accurate; he had contacted a number of Victorian government ministers, but their responses had made him conclude that they were in denial and he wanted to take steps to find out the truth. When I approached him with my idea for a ‘Case Series’, he was very happy to co-operate.
Besides the AAEM statement about the report, I received (privately) a number of positive and supportive comments on an earlier draft of the report from a number of scientists from Australia, Canada and the UK, including comment on the excellent quality of the references used.
Here’s a more recent comment by Dr David Carpenter:
“The report by Lamech is valuable for several reasons. It provides support for the possibility that a sudden increase in RF exposure — in this case from smart meters — results in the development of EHS [Electrohypersensitivity].
This observation is consistent with [other] reports … and suggests that the syndrome can be triggered in susceptible individuals by an unusual or intense exposure to EMFs and perhaps to electric current. The Lamech report also raises the important question of what characteristics of smart meters, compared with other sources of RF, may be responsible for provoking EHS.”[*] Reference: “Excessive Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields May Cause the Development of Electrohypersensitivity,”
by David O. Carpenter, (Altern Ther Health Med. 2014;20(6):pp 40-42.)
Refer to: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
With regards to Anthony Miller’s comments, I do not completely disagree with him, in fact my full report contains a paragraph headed ‘Limitations of Current Study’ in which I discuss the issues raised by Dr Miller. Although a case series can only make limited statements on the causality of correlations observed, it is, nevertheless a vital and often essential first step in formulating a new hypothesis. My conclusion is to offer a new hypothesis that ‘some people can develop symptoms from exposure to the radiofrequency fields of wireless smart meters’ and to call for the ‘establishment of a postrollout surveillance study and funding for further research into the particular effects of wireless smart meters, in conjunction with research into the short-term and long-term consequences of EMR exposure’. The study also challenges the view that smart meters are not harmful, especially when considering the symptoms described. Although often considered a nuisance effect, nevertheless “ Annoyance or discomfort may not be pathological per se but, if substantiated, can affect the physical and mental well being of a person and the resultant effect should be considered as a potential health hazard.” (ICNIRP 2002 statement). Because the registers were established and active while the rollout was actually happening, references to how people felt were based on very recent experiences, which meant that recall bias was not likely to have occurred (as it does with retrospective type studies/questionnaires). With regards to the issue of confounding factors, I have dealt with that issue at length in the report. If By ‘extraneous information’ Dr Miller is referring to people reading some concerning reports and suffering anxiety as a result (nocebo effect), a number of studies suggest that the prevalence of health complaints for sensitive people cannot be fully explained by attributions, concerns or risk perceptions (Blettner M et al, Nov 2008) and (Levallois P et al, Aug 2002.)
Finally, I take this opportunity to point out that the way the report is written and its publication in a clinical journal is aimed at informing clinicians, be they doctors, nurses, physios, chiros or naturopaths, that have direct patient contact. Issues regarding health effects of nonionizing radiation have been known and discussed for more than half a century now and failure to consider the impact of this environmental factor on human health has the potential to lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate management of patients, which, in turn would have considerable adverse human and social consequences, as well as being detrimental to the economies of health care.
--Andre Fauteux, Editor
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