Saturday, April 16, 2016

Comments

Mark Weyermuller said…

Any thing called smart is usually not smart, these meters are dangerous.

Excellent job Nancy Thorner on your reporting

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

SmartMeter-TitlePanel

By Nancy Thorner – 

ComEd’s smart meter deployment is being propelled by a public relations campaign which minimizes and/or dismisses the health and safety impacts that the wireless meters are creating for their customers. What has been known for decades about the health effects of Radio Frequency/microwave radiation is now being passed off by ComEd as a small amount of Radio Frequency being emitted from a smart meter six times a day.

A call to customer service posing the question, “Are smart meters safe?” will elicit a response, “You don’t have anything to worry about, it is safer than a baby monitor”. And, with that simple explanation, the deployment of four million smart meters is underway in Illinois. Community leaders and residents deserve a real answer and hard facts.

Throughout this article Radio Frequency/microwave radiation will also be referred to as non-ionizing or non-thermal. For clarification: A definition of thermal or ionizing radiation means it can cause heat shock or burn body tissue. Non-ionizing or non-thermal radiation is a lower intensity that can cause other negative effects on living tissue (human, animal, or plant).

Let the truth be known:

What is being hidden from the consumer and decision-maker is what has been known by the military for decades: Radio Frequency/microwave radiation even at low levels is a health threat. U.S. military reports nearly 60 years ago confirmed the biological effects of exposure to low level Electromagnetic Radiation.

Jerry Flynn is a retired Canadian Armed Forces captain with 22 years of experience in Electronic Warfare and Signals Intelligence. In that capacity, he worked with U.S. and NATO armies. Flynn writes:

“In 1956 the U.S. Department of Defense directed the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force to investigate the biological effects of exposure to Radio Frequency/microwave radiation (RF/MW) and Electromagnetic Fields (EMF). In 1957 they reported many implications: evidence it can cause cancer, damage major organs, and disrupt important biological processes. It can harm the immune and nervous systems, cause behavioral effects, interfere with the ability to learn, and damage the chemical barrier that prevents blood toxins from entering the brain. It could possibly cause genetic defects, birth defects, and general effects on growth and the aging processes.”

Flynn emphasizes, “The military noted that pulsed radiation appeared to be more harmful than non-pulsed radiation.” (ComEd smart meters emit pulsed radiation.)

Air Force Report, 1994  

A June 1994 U.S. Air Force document, entitled, “Radio Frequency/microwave Radiation Biological Effects and Safety Standards”, acknowledged non-thermal health effects.  Stated in its abstract, “It is known that Electromagnetic Radiation has a biological effect on human tissue. Researchers have discovered a number of biological dysfunctions that can occur in living organisms. Exposure of the human body to Radio Frequency/microwave [RF/MW] radiation has many biological implications that range from innocuous sensation of warmth to serious physiological damage to the eye”, and added that “there is also evidence that RF/MW radiation can cause cancer

Other adverse health issues include: “mutagenic effects, cardiovascular effects, negative effects on chromosomes and notes that Soviet investigators claim that exposure to low-level radiation can induce serious CNS [central nervous system] dysfunctions”.

NASA Report, 1981

A NASA report published in April 1981, entitled “Electromagnetic Field Interactions with the Human Body: Observed Effects and Theories”, discussed what EMF and RF/microwave radiation inflicts on humans. Health effects of RF/microwave radiation that were reported are headaches, sleep problems, neurological symptoms, cardiac symptoms, memory problems, increased cholesterol, gastritis, ulcers, increased fasting blood glucose, irritability, inability to concentrate, apprehension, and cataracts (clouding of posterior part of lens in those caused by microwave radiation instead of anterior clouding as seen with regular types)Information for the NASA report was collected from over 1,000 written sources that included journals, conference proceedings, technical reports, books, abstracts, and news items.

Navy Report, 1971

In October 1971, the Naval Medical Research Institute published a research report, “Bibliography of Reported Biological Phenomena (‘Effects’) and Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency Radiation”,  which was a compilation of over 2000 references on the biological responses to RF/microwave radiation.  It lists well over 100 negative biological effects caused by RF/ microwave radiation. Here is a partial list from the report: corneal damage, brain heating, alteration of the diameter of blood vessels, liver enlargement, decreased fertility, sterility, altered fetal development, decreased lactation in nursing mothers, cranial nerve disorders, seizures, convulsions, depression, insomnia, hand tremors, chest pain, thrombosis, alteration in the rate of cellular division, anorexia, altered adrenal cortex activity, chromosome aberrations, tumors, loss of hair, and sparking between dental fillings.

Also mentioned in the Navy Report is, “altered orientation of animals, birds and fish”.

Barrie Trower, a British Secret Service Microwave Weapons Specialist, states:

“The paradox is how Radio Frequency/microwave radiation can be used as a weapon to cause impairment, illness and death; and at the same time be used as a communications instrument [such as in a smart meter]. By 1971 we knew everything that needed to be known. A 1976 document summarizing U.S. Defense Intelligence research is the saddest and most despicable document ever published in history. The document lists all of the health hazards caused by wireless devices and concludes: This should be kept secret to preserve industrial profit.

Since the health threats have been known for decades, where do we stand now?

At this time, the installation of smart meters is mandated by law on every home, school, and building in ComEd’s customer service territory. NO permanent opt-out option is available. Parents, who know the truth about the health risks, have nowhere to turn. There is no avenue available for parents, who are aware of the dangers, to protect their children. Does this sound like Flint, Michigan all over again?

Illinois is in the midst of an avoidable, man-made health crisis. What happens when the state faces Flint’s horrible position concerning water, but with electricity? ComEd’s smart meter deployment is creating just such a tragic situation. It is up to the residents to take action, push legislators and the Illinois Commerce Commission for a permanent opt-out, and protect the children in Illinois as well as all living beings in the state.

Part 2 –Follow this article to find out what other agencies, corporations, and organizations knew about the health effects related to Radio Frequency/microwave radiation and when they knew it. Also covered is who is sounding the alarm in an effort to protect public health and welfare.

 

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Thorner: Demand lawmakers enact a permanent Smart Meter opt out for Illinoisans

Smart-meters-01

By Nancy Thorner –

ComEd is investing $1 billion across its system to replace traditional analog meters with digital meters, which are said to be able to help lower bills and provide other benefits. The change is publicized as part of an ongoing $2.6 billion system upgrade to improve reliability. To date, ComEd has installed nearly 1.9 million Smart Meters and plans to have installed about four million Smart Meters on all homes and business in its territory by the end of 2018.

Although the installation of Smart Meters by ComEd has already been completed in some areas of Illinois – despite protests from concerned citizens – a recent news account alerted Lake County residents that they have been targeted next for Smart Meter installation.

An article published in the Daily Herald on January 29, 2016, stated how Libertyville, IL, is in the next round of communities in Lake County to have standard analog meters replaced by “smart” devices. Quoted in the article was David Doherty, director of the Smart Meter transformation for ComEd, who explained how “Smart Meters collect energy usage information that can be read remotely, allowing the company to determine and react to power outages more quickly.  The meters also will send a signal when a customer loses power.”

According to company literature that is distributed by ComEd to community leaders in advance of Smart Meter installation: “Smart Meters will provide consumers benefits from the new technology, allowing consumers to access their power usage online so habits can be altered, as needed, to better manage their energy consumption. Smart Meters will likewise provide access to optional pricing programs, such as switching use to times when it costs less to produce.”

Spin vs Truth

The above benefits most likely sound entirely logical to Illinoisans, especially when coupled with this canned statement frequently made by Smart Meter installers when questioned by home owners about the need for a Smart Meter:  Smart Meters will eliminate the need for meter readers.  

But Beware, Illinoisans!  What you are receiving from ComEd is spin instead of facts. It was in July of last year when I took the CUBFacts Smart Meter information (Citizen Utility Board) propaganda sheet with its ComEd supplied facts to the woodshed for its inaccurate information.  In my article, “Beware of Propaganda to Quell Inconvenient Truths About Smart Meters”, the CUBFacts Smart Meter Information sheet was evaluated for misleading statements and edited accordingly.  What is in bold in the article was taken directly from CUBFacts, followed each time by my explanation of what really is true!

It is important to your family’s health, security, and privacy to say NO to a Smart Meter installation when you are accordingly notified.  Take the op-out delay that is being offered. Realize that the opt-out choice is not a permanent one and that Smart Meter installation is just being delayed until 2018 with no opportunity to oppose installation after that. Other states offer a permanent opt-out to their utility customers. ComEd customers in Illinois do not have that option.

ComEd Lobbyist Contrived No-opt out Law

As to the history of the law that makes Wireless Smart Meters mandatory in Illinois: ComEd lobbyists wrote the law; it was passed by the General Assembly against vehement and persistent opposition from the Attorney General, AARP, and informed citizens aware of the risks. Governor Quinn vetoed the bill. ComEd spent 16 million dollars convincing the General Assembly to over-ride Governor Quinn’s Veto. When elected, Governor Rauner then signed another bill favoring ComEd over the rights of citizens to have a choice.

It is tragic for consumers that Chicago’s powerful and politically-connected ComEd was able to convince the General Assembly to pass a law that could potentially threaten homes, harm lives, adversely impact nature, invade privacy, and, in a broader scope, undermine the state’s security by making the electric grid more vulnerable to cyber-attack.

Doesn’t every ComEd customer deserve the right to have a choice to opt-out permanently in the face of the real and present dangers that having a Smart Meter on the side of their house or business could engender? It is unjust and un-American to force Wireless Smart Meters on every home without first alerting residents to the many risks and then offering them a choice.

Reasons to Reject Smart Meters

1. Health and Environment – Smart Meters are installed in a Mesh Network which relays data from one house to another and eventually on to a collector unit, which is an additional wireless network that sends the data back to the utility. ComEd says that Radio Frequency (RF) emissions only take place 4 times a day every 6 hours.

That may be true for one household’s data measurements. However, Smart Meters also send and receive network management messages every few seconds around the clock. In a California Court the utility admitted that a Smart Meter emits from 10,000 to 190,000 bursts a day. Each burst is sending RF/microwave radiation into the home and throughout the neighborhood. The power level of each burst is about 1,000 milliwatts, making Smart Meters one of the most powerful RF radiators in a community.

What this means to ComEd Customers?:  that a Class 2B Carcinogen (the category for wireless RF emissions, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer ‘IARC” of the World Health Organization) is being mandated on ALL homes in the ComEd service territory. Even worse, there is NO PERMANENT OPT-OUT OPTION AVAILABLE.

People who have already had their Smart Meter installed are complaining of headaches, ringing in the ears, rashes, nausea, insomnia, chest pressure, heart palpitations, nose bleeds, and weakness, etc. There is a potential threat to those with medical implants and weakened immune systems. The well-being of pets is also of concern. Studies that have been done on wildlife, trees, plants, and bees show that they will also suffer from the RF/microwave emissions blanketing the state.

Breaking news on January, 29, 2016:  the Pennsylvania Utility Commission is allowing a hearing to go forward of a nurse who says Smart Meter made her sick.  What makes this so interesting is that PECO is an Exelon Company, like ComEd.

2. Privacy Invasion — Without your consent, the computer inside the Smart Meter collects private energy behavior patterns that will be available to government agencies and could be at some point be for sale to marketers. A hacker or thief could use this data to know whether or not the home is occupied and if high-end electronics are in the home.

3. Hacking and Cyber-Security – Vulnerabilities in wireless data transmission can pose national security risks to the electric grid. A former CIA Director calls the Smart Grid “really, really STUPID”. ComEd will be installing 4,000,000 access points to the Internet; every private home and business in their service territory.

4. Higher Bills – Smart Meters monitor usage 24/7 as a means of instituting Time-of-Use pricing. Due to escalating charges for peak time usage, bills can double, or worse. Time-of-Use pricing boosts ComEd profits while penalizing those who need lower electric rates the most—stay-at-home moms, the elderly, the unemployed, and those with disabilities. Anyone who is unable to change their behavior, such as washing dishes and doing laundry at off-peak hours, will not benefit from having a Smart Meter.

5. Appliances: RF Radiation and Privacy Invasion – New appliances come with mandated wireless RF transmitters that emit RF signals to the wireless Smart Meter around-the-clock. Manufacturers can also keep track of information about their appliances for future marketing through the wireless transmissions.  Because the Smart Appliance Services are provided through wireless networks and the Internet, communications could be intercepted by others.

6. Lack of Control – The utility owns and maintains 100% control over computer hardware and software upgrades inside Smart Meters. With the remote connect/disconnect switch located in each Smart Meter, a utility company can selectively turn on/off the power for an entire household.

7. Loss of Property and Safety – There has been hundreds of reports of electrical fires caused by arching and sparking within the Smart Meter. Homes with older wiring may be more susceptible to the risk of fire.

Corix, the company ComEd is using for installation, gives their employees, who have no prior electrical experience, two weeks of classroom instruction and one week of field work. In California, more than a 100 GE Smart Meters (manufacturer ComEd selected) have exploded right on homes due to a power surge. And, Smart Meters have been known to “fry” electronics.

Should you still have doubts about the dangers posed by Smart Meters, this website deserves careful study. Under the name of SkyVision Solutions, this site  (www.smartgridawareness.org) is dedicated to raising public awareness about the costs and risks associated with smart grid systems as well as the potential hazards related to Radio Frequency Radiation emissions from Smart Meters.

Here is the link to my https://youtu.be/aoodNMI3nzc appearance on a local Comcast TV cable show talking about the dangers posed by Smart Meters, with a warning about cell phones. Both wireless devices produce electromagnetic radiation. There is mounting evidence that that RF-EMF radiation is carcinogenic. The fact that exposure to our population is increasing at an exponential rate, the potential consequences are catastrophic.

Action Required 

1)  Call the ComEd Smart Meter installation line (866) 368-8326 and request a DELAY if a Smart Meter has not already been installed. If one has been installed, call and have it be replaced with a non-transmitting meter.

2)  Contact Governor Bruce Rauner and your elected Illinois General Assembly legislators. Insist the Utility Modernization law be amended and the ICC ruling requiring mandatory compliance be changed. Demand a PERMANENT TRUE OPT-OUT, NOT JUST A DELAY!

ALL WIRELESS DEVICES, INCLUDING CELL PHONES, ARE VOLUNTARY AND CAN BE TURNED OFF WHEN NOT IN USE. SMART METERS ARE MANDATORY AND ARE ON 24/7, FOREVER.

Thursday, February 04, 2016 at 09:05 AM | Permalink

Technorati Tags: Illinois Review, Smart Meters

 


Thursday, August 13, 2015

SmartMeter-TitlePanel

By Nancy Thorner – 

As ComEd rolls out 4,000,000 Smart Meters in an effort to “modernize the electricity grid,” many Illinois residents are pushing for a no-cost or at least low-cost option to keep their existing analog meters. Instead of benefits to the consumer, these residents see risks and increased electricity bills associated with digital Smart Meters. They are not alone.

The National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy report calls Smart Meters “a canard—a story or hoax based on specious claims about energy benefits.” It goes on to say, “Congress, state, local governments, and ratepayers, have been misled about the potential energy and cost saving benefits paid for in large part with taxpayer and ratepayer dollars.”

Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General writes, “Utilities have shown no evidence of billions of dollars in benefits to consumers from these new meters. The utilities want to experiment with expensive and unproven technology, yet all the risk will lie with consumers. The pitch is that smart meters will allow consumers to monitor their electrical usage, helping them to reduce consumption and save money. Consumers do not need to be forced to pay billions for smart technology to know how to reduce their utility bills. We know how to turn down the heat and shut off the lights.”

Judge O’Connell of the Michigan Appellate Court writes in an opinion on an opt-out-rate case, “The Public Service Commission and Consumers Energy advance the notion that smart meters will save the public money on their utility bills.  Unfortunately, this argument is inherently illogical:  how can smart meters save money when Consumers seeks to add millions of dollars to the base rate to fund the AMI [Smart Meter] program?  It appears, as the Attorney General argues and as in other states, that the smart meter program actually increases rates.” ComEd promotes the same illogical reasoning.

Some state and local jurisdictions across the country are becoming aware of risks associated with Smart Meters and objecting to deployment and/or insisting on opt-outs. In California there are 57 jurisdictions opposed to installation and 15 have passed ordinances making Smart Meter installations illegal. In spite of the opposition and opt-outs being offered in California and other states, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has interpreted a state utility law to mandate compliance.  Therefore, 4,000,000 Wireless Smart Meters are to be installed on ALL homes and buildings in the ComEd service territory.

Warrenville Environmental Advisory Commission (WEAC) put in their newsletter: “WEAC would like to make a true opt-opt possible; the City does not have regulatory authority to do so.”

It now rests on the shoulders of informed citizens to educate their lawmakers, local government officials, community leaders, and neighbors.  Many citizens are diligently working to secure an opt-out option and protect their families from the health effects, fire hazards, privacy violations, and cyber security risks which continue to be reported in the U.S. and around the world.  There are 200 environmentally conscious groups opposing Smart Meter deployments in their countries and local communities.

Ironically, Wireless Smart Meters are not necessary to modernize the Smart Grid and are certainly not “Green”.  These meters add layers of RF radiation to the environment and require extra energy usage for collectors, routers, and to run various functions of the mesh networks.

Illinois lawmakers must have been misled with regard to the “benefits” and not told about the consequences to have allowed this ill-advised program to proceed.  What is essential now is for lawmakers to secure a permanent low-cost or no cost opt-out for their constituents.

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) argues that allowing customers to refuse a Smart Meter is good public policy because forcing customers to accept a Smart Meter will not be conducive to gaining widespread customer acceptance.  CUB is  further convinced that forcing customers who, whatever their reasons, do not desire a Smart Meter [to accept one] unfairly punishes those customers.

Judge O’Connell, when discussing the issue of an opt-out fee in the case referenced above, writes, “Why penalize those citizens… who have pacemakers and implant devices [by] being exposed to smart meters that are not UL certified safe for these devises.  Electro-sensitivity may prevent some citizens from installing smart meters or visiting homes that have working smart meters.”

In the same decision when addressing health consequences, Judge O’Connell writes, [Smart meter] “issues are of great concern, not just locally, but also nationally and internationally.  I note that 50  years ago, only a few brilliant minds were concerned about the health hazards of smoking, and we have only recently become aware of the health hazards of second-hand smoke.  I suspect there is no need to mention the health hazards of lead-based paint or radium painted glow-in-the dark watches.  At the time, all of these products were not considered health hazards.”

The Judge continues, “Historically, it is less burdensome to address these issues as they arise than to attempt to reform 20 years of ill-conceived policy decisions.”     

Some of the reasons why Smart Meters are an “Ill-conceived policy decision”:

1)  In May of 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified Radio Frequency emissions from Smart Meters as Class 2B Carcinogen. According to Richard Conrad, Ph.D., “This means in order to continue to receive electrical power, people are forced to live with a device on their homes that emits possibly carcinogenic microwaves 24/7.  The results of thousands of studies strongly suggest that microwaves are not safe for humans.  If the smart meter roll-out plan had been submitted as a proposal for an experiment on human beings, which it undeniably is, any institutional Review Board…would have rejected it outright.

2) Utilities were exempt from conducting environmental or health impact studies. Electric companies were excused from any governmental or public review showing how the decision to implement Wireless Smart Meters was safe for humans, plants, animals and the planet.

3) Privacy is a great concern. Household activities and behavior within closed doors can now be monitored through the collection of detailed discrete data. Personal habits, work schedules, and family activities are being recorded. Interpreting the data can let the utility or unwelcome parties know when the family is home or on vacation. Electric companies selling the data to a third party is now in question. In the end, the data is more valuable to the power company than the rates collected.

4) Using wireless Smart Meter Networks to connect every household appliance, alarm system, computer, car-charging station, etc., in every home, business, and government building to the Internet leaves every aspect of modern living vulnerable to cyber-attack.

On the issue of privacy Judge O’Connell writes, “Appellants argued that smart meters may in fact be the instrument of monitoring, listening, and viewing activities in individual’s homes. They also argued that smart meters are networked and, without proper security measures, anyone, including the government and hackers, could monitor a customer’s activities. I would find it disconcerting, if true, that a smart meter in conjunction with a smart television might allow others to listen and record private conversations in one’s living room.”

5) Every Smart Meter is an open portal or access point into the Smart Grid. This means foreign or domestic hackers on a larger scale and thieves on a smaller scale have an open invitation to whatever data they want to take or whatever system they want to disrupt. Consider the 4,000,000 access points ComEd is installing throughout Illinois and how vulnerable that makes residential communities.

6) Tom Lawton from TESCO on Smart Meters: “the number of reported fires in the United States has increased dramatically to the point where [Smart] Meter fires have dominated the news locally, nationally and internationally at various times in the past three years. Utilities going through a full deployment are seeing incident rates one and two orders of magnitude greater than normal, leading to a media frenzy and a public focus on the safety of the [Smart] Meter on the side of their house.”

7) Norman Lambe (LA Home and Business Insurance Examiner) writes, “The real problems concerning the installation of 51 million Smart Meters in this country are being ignored, in spite of the evidence that we have a clear and present danger.  When the electrical utility determines that a Smart Meter is the issue, they have been removing the meter. [That means] tampering with evidence concerning the cause of the fire. However, the real issue as to why all the [Smart] Meters are failing is not being dealt with.

Smart Meters can well be considered an “ill-conceived policy” in light of the health threat, invasion of privacy, hacking potential, fire risk, and increased electric bills for the majority of residents. It is unjust and not the American way to force these meters on every home without warning residents of the potential risks and offering them a choice. ComEd customers who want to ensure their family’s privacy and safety should have the option of an opt-out for their own peace of mind.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Unknown

By Nancy Thorner – 

ComEd is in the process of installing 4,000,000 “Smart Meters” across the state of Illinois. Traditional analog electric meters are being replaced. Featured in Part 1 was a CUBFacts informational sheet on which CUB’s misleading statements were followed each time by an expert’s explanation.

The health effects and safety violations continue to be reported in the U.S. and in other nations. After reading this article, even the most skeptical individuals might come to a realization that Smart Meters are definitely NOT the innocent devices that the public has been told to accept.

 

Ronald M. Powell, Ph. D., revisited

One respected and knowledgeable professional already cited in Part 1, is Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D., who as a retired career U.S. Government scientist holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University.  During his Government career, Dr. Powell worked for the Executive Office of the President, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

As a follow up on Part 1, Dr. Powell maintains:

Wherever these meters are installed, they threaten the health of all residents in the community, violate their privacy, increase the likelihood of hacking, decrease their personal security and safety, and threaten property values in the community. And Wireless Smart Meters do all of this without any persuasive evidence of any financial benefit to the customers. All of these consequences are important for consumers; but the health threat is particularly tragic. The biomedical research community has found adverse health effects from exposure to the RF/Microwave radiation emitted by wireless Smart Meters.

Note: Utility propaganda combines benefits of Smart Grid and Smart Meters together; don’t be fooled.  Much of Smart Grid is beneficial but Smart Meters cost a fortune, provide no net benefit for consumers and pose immediate and long-term threats to our health. NStar of Massachusetts states: “there is no rational basis for the implementation of AMI (Smart Meters).”

In other words, there are little, if any, benefits for the consumer and incalculable risks for residents and their families.

 

Making a Strong Case Against Smart Meters

The following is cited in a document by Dr. Powell, “The Health Argument for Replacing Wireless Smart Meters with a Safe Metering Technology”, which makes a strong case against the use of wireless Smart Meters:

Some of the biological effects of exposure to RF radiation can be readily sensed (the “symptoms”).  Other biological effects cannot be readily sensed, at least not until an advanced state of harm has been reached.  Unfortunately, you can be harmed by the latter even when you are free of the ‘symptoms.'” . . . literature reviews indicate that some groups of individuals are at especially high risk of harm from exposure to RF radiation:  pregnant women and their unborn children, very young children, teenagers, men of reproductive age, seniors, and anyone with a chronic health condition. 

Every resident in a community is irradiated by every Wireless Smart Meter in that community, just to varying degrees. Each Wireless Smart Meter near to a given resident produces more radiation in his home than each Wireless Smart Meter farther away. (This is because exposure drops off with distance.) But there are so many more Wireless Smart Meters that are farther away that, together, they count, too. For example, in my community there are 14,000 Wireless Smart Meters installed on our homes. Together, they issue an average of 140 million pulses of RF radiation every day, up to a maximum of 2.7 billion pulses per day. There is now no place in our community where a resident can go where he is not near to many Wireless Smart Meters and within reach of so many more Wireless Smart Meters that are farther away.

Consider the health impact from 4,000,000 Smart Meters issuing pulses of RF radiation each day, forever. If you live in Illinois in the territory serviced by ComEd, this is what you can expect. In addition, RF radiation exposures add together. Many small exposures from Smart Meter emissions can add up to a significant amount of exposure which is cumulative, building up over time.

An additional fact worth noting: “The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) a part of the World Health Organization has classified wireless devices including Smart Meters as a Class 2B Carcinogen.” There are many health professionals (some from the original IARC committee) who think enough evidence exists now to have Smart Meters classified as a 2A probable Carcinogen. Either way, that makes this the first time in history that a possible Carcinogen has been mandated on ALL homes and buildings being serviced by an electric utility.

Dr. Powell has written this very important article, The Impact of Wireless Technology on Our Childrenwhich was published on Sept. 14, 2014. It is extremely timely, as more and more children are being subjected to the RF/microwave radiation from wireless devices. However, those devices are voluntary and can be switched off when not in use. By contrast, Smart Meters are mandatory and can never be turned off.

While the health consequences of exposure to RF/microwave radiation are vitally important to people of all ages, those consequences are especially serious for children. They are the most vulnerable to harm, they will have to live the longest with the harm, and they are not yet in a position to defend themselves.

This risk is well documented in the archival published literature from the international biomedical research community, certainly more than enough to evoke the Precautionary Principle to protect our children.

Dr. David O. Carpenter, edited updated 2012 BioIniative Report

Another Smart Meter expert is Dr. David O. Carpenter. He is Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the School of Public Health. Dr. Carpenter received his MD degree from Harvard Medical School, has more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, and testified at the President’s Council on Cancer. He is known in professional circles all over the world for his view that Smart Meters represent a real threat to the health of utility customers.  He was the leader of a group of 45 doctors and scientists who signed the “Toronto Statement” warning of the dangers of Smart Meters in 2012.  Dr. Carpenter edited the original (2007) and the updated 2012 BioIniative Report comprised of a review of 1,800 peer-reviewed studies indicating harm from RF/microwave radiation at levels far below FCC guidelines.

From the BioInitiative Report Update:  

Sometimes, science does not keep pace with new environmental exposures and the deployment runs ahead of knowledge of health risks. That is the case for Electromagnetic Fields and RF radiation in the BioInitiative report. The report underscores the critical need to face difficult questions, make mid-course corrections, try to repair the damage already done in this generation, and to think about protecting future generations. As there is now much more evidence of risks to health, the status quo is not acceptable in light of the evidence for harm.”

Significant statements by Dr. Carpenter include:

With Smart Meters:  The first cause of harm is the pulse modulation of the microwave radio carrier. My concern is that Smart Meters use multiple very high intensity pulses. The pulses are very brief, but they are extremely high intensity. There is a building body of evidence that these transients with several rises and falls, especially at high intensity, are much more dangerous than a steady sine wave which is what you think of with Electromagnetic Fields.

There are an enormous number of reports of people becoming ill after a Smart Meter was installed on their house, and that is because there is something particularly harmful about the high intensity pulses. Smart meters will adversely impact about 5% of the population almost immediately following installation, and are likely to cause cancers or neurological illnesses in the long run for a much larger share of the public.

There is no evidence that anyone is immune to the cancer risk from wireless. We do not yet know the causes of cancer although we know a lot about cancer. Some argue that the associations that we see in human health studies between exposure to RF radiation and elevated risk of cancer should be ignored simply because we do not know all of the mechanisms. That is totally inappropriate because not knowing all the mechanisms is also true for smoking and lung cancer, true for environmental exposures to chemicals, and true for various cancers that arise.

Dr. Carpenter goes on to say that as a nation, “We should be regulating on the basis of those that are most vulnerable. And by far, infants and children are the most vulnerable.”

 

Other Experts on Smart Meter Research: Dr. Martin Blank and Dr. Magda Havas Along with Dr. Ronald Powell and Dr. David Carpenter is Dr. Martin Blank introducing The International EMF Scientist Appeal signed by 190 scientists from 39 nations. These scientists have collectively published over 2,000 peer-reviewed papers on the biological or health effects from RF radiation. Dr. Blank has had over 30 years of experience conducting EMF research at Columbia University and is a past president of the International Bioelectromagnetics Society. Dr. Blank gives a compelling explanation of the major health crisis we are facing due to increasing levels of environmental pollution from growing and expanding EMF sources.

While viewing the video, consider the added RF radiation exposure that will blanket Illinois from the installation of 4,000,000 Smart Meters. And be cognizant of the fact that CUB and ComEd are using propaganda to fool you into believing that Smart Meters are necessary, beneficial, and safe.

The following quote is from Dr. Magda Havas, Associate Professor of Environmental & Resource Studies at Trent University. Dr. Havas received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and completed Post-Doctoral research at Cornell University:

What do you do when you see a disaster looming and those who have the power to prevent it refuse to listen, when those with a financial interest attack by producing false information and twisting the truth, and then attempt to discredit those who are sounding the alarm?

 

What do you do when you see the time bomb ticking and those who can defuse it refuse to act? If Smart Meters are placed on every home, they will then contribute significantly to our exposure and this is both unwise and unsafe. This is where we are today with Smart Meters that have proven to be harmful to our health and the environment.

Related articles

Thorner: Beware of propaganda to quell inconvenient truths about Smart Meters – Part 1

Technorati Tags: Com Ed, Illinois Review, Smart Meters

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Unknown

By Nancy Thorner – 

In the likelihood that the smart meter issue is new to you or that you have been convinced that smart meters are non-threatening and offer benefits to the public, fasten your seat belts for you are to be taken on a disturbing adventure into the nature of “Smart Meters.”

ComEd plans to install approximately four million Smart Meters on homes and businesses across northern Illinois by the end of 2018, with one million wireless Smart Meters having been installed already. This Installation Schedule can help you determine when you can expect to have a Smart Meter installed.

Expert Reveals the TruthIf you care about health, including the health of your own family, and about the cost of health care in Illinois, do consider comments made by Dr. Ronald Powell, Ph.D., a retired career U.S. Government scientist who holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University.  During his government career, he worked for the Executive Office of the President, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  According to Dr. Powell:

Electric power companies [ComEd] made a dreadful mistake when they elected to install Wireless Smart Meters to measure electrical power. Wherever these meters are installed, they threaten the health of all residents in the community, violate their privacy, increase the likelihood of hacking, decrease their personal security and safety, and threaten property values in the community. And Wireless Smart Meters do all of this without any persuasive evidence of any financial benefit to the customers.

All of these consequences are important for consumers; but the health threat is particularly tragic. The biomedical research community has found adverse health effects from exposure to the RF/Microwave radiation emitted by wireless Smart Meters. 

In a phone conversation between Dr. Powell and a colleague of Thorner, who is a Smart Meter expert, Dr. Powell made these poignant comments about Smart Meters and the health issue:

The RF/Microwave radiation from Wireless Smart Meters is particularly threatening to health because that radiation is so persistent and so powerful. [Com Ed and other] power companies like to fool the public by saying, ‘Look these Smart Meters just transmit 6 times a day.’ Well, that is just misleading. That may be how many times they transmit your data, but they are a relay station for all the other Smart Meters in the neighborhood. And they all interact with each other and send each other timing signals and all kinds of stuff. And that means that they are extremely busy.  California court documents, describing Wireless Smart Meters indicate that each of these meters issues its pulses of RF radiation, on average 10,000 times per day, and up to a maximum 190,000 times per day, 24/7, forever.  Furthermore, the power level of each pulse is about 1,000 milliwatts, placing Wireless Smart Meters among the most powerful RF radiators likely to be present in a residential environment. 

What also has to be factored in is that for Smart Meters to function there are collectors, routers, and the additional wireless network that sends the collected data to the utility. These components are very powerful as well, and add to the cumulative exposure that a Smart Meter network generates.

With regard to the CUB (Citizens Utility Board) fact sheet of July, 2014, which can be viewed here, it is not out-of-line to question the integrity of the sources that were consulted to assemble the CUB Fact Sheet, which appears to be primarily pro-ComEd propaganda.

This CUB statement seen under “factors which impact public health” is especially egregious:  “In addition, there has been no conclusive evidence of any damaging ‘non-thermal’ effects produced by the RF used in…digital smart meters.”

The statement was soundly refuted below by Dr. Ronald Powell, whose outstanding work will be further discussed in Part 2, along with that of Dr. David O. Carpenter, M.D.

“There is no convincing evidence of harm from RF/microwave radiation. That is totally, and tragically false.  Further adding:  “And tragically, ignoring this problem can easily by the mistake of a lifetime, leading to profound regret.”

 

CUBFacts sheet:  fact checking for misleading statement 

As a way to point out the many misleading statement appearing on the CUBFacts Smart Meter information sheet that is being presented to the public as true and factual, the CUBFacts sheet was edited accordingly:   What is in bold was taken directly from CUBFacts, followed each time by an Author’s explanation of what really is!

 

CUB: What are smart meters?

 

What the experts say: Smart Meters are billing mechanisms which ComEd will use to facilitate “Time-of-Use” pricing. These digital meters are complex, temperamental electrical computers. Smart Meters gather much more data than analog meters. Data is transmitted wirelessly through Radio Frequency (RF) Microwaves which “hop” from meter to meter and on to their designated collector. In addition to measurement data, Smart Meters send or receive network messages around the clock.

 

CUB: How do digital meters use radio frequency?  “Digital meters communicate…periodically transmitting real-time customer energy-usage information.”

 

What the experts say: The reality is that the utilities are headed towards true “real-time” transmissions, which means always transmitting.

 

CUB:  This information can help the utility company better manage the power grid 

 

Experts’ explanation: That statement ignores the reality that smart meters are totally unnecessary to achieve a smart grid. Even Massachusetts’ largest utility claimed in Feb 2014 that there is “no rational basis for Smart Meters” and “Smart Meters do not reduce the number of outages.”

 

CUB:  (Smart meter data is) “helping them (customers) to better control costs” 

 

Experts’ explanation: Meta-studies of smart meter pilots have shown that only a very small percentage of customers will actually save money. In fact, in many places where smart meters are installed, customer bills increase, often dramatically.

 

CUB:  PG&E estimates a typical digital meter communicates…as little as one minute a day.

 

Experts’ explanation: That same PG&E, under oath in court, had to admit that smart meters, on average, transmit 10,000 times per day, and as often as 190,000 times per day. That means from once every 9 seconds up to two times per second.

 

CUB:  At 10 feet away…a digital meter…emits 300 times less RF than a typical cell phone.  

 

Experts’ explanation:  Richard Tell, in a report for Vermont, found that at the same distance, a smart meter and a cell phone transmit the same amount of RF. And since the amount falls off with distance, 10 feet is an intentionally misleading measurement.

 

Is radio frequency dangerous?

 

CUB: The devices’ (smart meters) RF levels…fall far below Federal Communication Commission FCC) safety standards—typically 70 times less.

 

Experts’ explanation:  The existing FCC “safety guidelines” were set based on studies up through 1985. The types of RF exposures common today did not exist in 1985. To protect public health, the 2007 BioInitiative Report recommends a safety standard that is less than 1/1000th of the FCC limit (0.1 uW/cm2 vs 600 uW/cm2).

 

CUB: Exposure to very high levels of RF radiation, warms body tissue, producing a ‘thermal effect’ that can be harmful. But the lower levels of RF utilized by digital meters and other household devices have not been shown to produce this ‘thermal effect’. In its 2011 report,…the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) writes that wireless smart meters…result in much smaller levels of RF exposure than many existing common household electronic devices, particularly cell phones and microwave ovens.

 

Experts’ explanation: CCST was asked by several politicians to answer two questions about smart meter safety. Their limited analysis did not answer those questions. The CCST report was heavily based on an Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) report. EPRI is an electric utility industry association. The data used for both cell phones and microwave ovens were extremely inflated. Based on a recent Swedish study, the average cell phone power is one milliwatt, not the 250 milliwatts claimed in the CCST document.  So the average power density exposure AT THE HEAD is one 250th of the CCST value of 5000, or 20 uW/cm2. Compare that to the CCST value of 40 uW/cm2 at 3 feet from a smart meter. For these reasons, the CCST report was heavily criticized by scientists from around the world.

 

CUB: In addition, there has been no conclusive evidence of any damaging ‘non-thermal’ effects produced by the RF used in…digital smart meters. 

 

Experts’ explanation:  The American Academy of Environmental Medicine states in its article, “The Evidence is Irrefutable”:  The peer-reviewed, scientific literature demonstrates the correlation between EMF/RF exposure and neurological, cardiac, and pulmonary disease as well as reproductive disorders, immune dysfunction, cancer and other health conditions.”

 

CUB:  When utilities become more efficient…they rely less on power created by coal plants that have been linked to significant health problems.  

 

Experts’ explanation: The implied claim here is that using digital meters supposedly reduces energy use which in turn will reduce the number of coal plants, which “have been linked to significant health problems.” Meta studies of the impact of smart meters on energy usage showed that only a small percentage of the population is able to reduce their usage and the sustainable reduction for that small group was only 3%. Furthermore, the greatest usage reduction is from the purchase of high efficiency appliances and programmable thermostats.

Also, this section fails to consider the increased health care costs due to the health effects of RF from the wireless smart meters. In a mesh network, messages are passed from meter to meter using RF until a collector is reached. The collector uses RF to communicate with the utility through a network of wireless routers, creating three layers of ‘Electrosmog’. Humans can be affected by the RF from a meter 100 yards away (one football field). In a typical residential neighborhood many neighbor’s meters are within 300 feet. The meters emit RF, on average, once every 9 seconds (per testimony from California Utility, PG&E). So residents may be subjected to the transmissions of 10-15 meters, or as much as 20-30 transmissions PER SECOND, all day long. With no respite (particularly at night), a mesh network will have a huge detrimental effect on residents’ health.

 

CUB: Will the utility have more control over my power usage and shutting my power off?

 

Experts’ explanation: A major concern not addressed here is that the utility will now be able to turn off a customer’s power without first visiting the customer premises, to determine whether there are very young children, disabled or sickly residents who will be adversely affected by the complete loss of power. Also, software control of power shutoff sets the stage for human error, disgruntled employees or hackers to turn off power to one or more customers.

 

Summary

 

1.  CUB:   Like many common household items…baby monitor, garage door opener– digital meters emit low levels of electromagnetic energy, called radio frequency, or RF.   

 

Experts’ explanation:  By design the list of “common” items leaves off those with the higher RF exposure: cell phones, wireless laptops and microwave ovens. The proper name for RF is radio frequency radiation, or RFR. It is microwave radiation. Also by design, the meter is called a “digital meter” in an intentional effort to disguise the fact that CUB is referring to a Wireless Smart Meter.

 

2.  CUB:  The RF levels emitted by a digital meter…are well within FCC safety guidelines, and are much lower than many household items, including a microwave and cell phones.

 

Experts’ explanation:  Legal does not equal safety. The RF levels can exceed FCC guidelines in areas with multiple transmitters and a highly reflective environment. Cell phone and microwave exposures can be compared to a smart meter, but a customer can choose to limit or eliminate their use. In contrast, smart meters in a mesh network emit almost constantly 24/7 and are being forced on consumers.

 

3.  CUB: … there is no conclusive scientific evidence that suggests RF from a digital meter poses a health risk. 

 

Experts’ explanation: There is abundant evidence that RF is a probable carcinogen, and many studies (over 3000 in the 2 BioInitiative Reports) are suggestive of various other types of health damage. There are no studies proving smart meters are safe. There is no safe level of RF radiation for children.

For additional factual information on the ComEd Radiofrequency Fact Sheet, see here.

 

Part 2: The writings, reports, and testimonies of Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. and David O. Carpenter, M.D. will be reviewed and presented in light of their stellar reputations and expertise on the issue of Smart Meters that extends back to 2010.  As the title of Part 2 suggests: Shouldn’t experts triumph over a corporation’s attempt to fool the public?