This article details how experts have expressed concerns pertaining to radiofrequency (RF) emissions from “baby monitors” and then how Commonwealth Edison Company attempts to minimize concerns over smart meters because they are just like baby monitors.
Experts Express Concern on the Use of Baby Monitors and other Wireless Devices
According to Dr. Devra Davis, “We need to protect children from wireless routers, baby monitors, and numerous other sources of microwave radiation that can affect the brains and bodies of infants and toddlers.” [Reference 1]
According to a published article by Robert C. Kane:
“Recently disclosed epidemiological data indicate a dramatic increase in the incidence of autism spectrum disorders. … [and suggests] a possible correlation between autism incidence and a previously unconsidered environmental toxin.”
“RF radiation sources have become commonplace in the personal human environment from approximately 1980 to the present. Operation of an RF radiation source such as a two-way radio, portable telephone, or a cell phone exposes the operator to levels of RF radiation shown to be biologically active. … Passive operation, such as from an RF emitting baby monitor, is a widespread postnatal exposure.”
“We propose that RF radiation, a new form of exposure of the human embryo, fetus, and infant, and an acknowledged environmental toxin under many exposure conditions, may be associated with the increased incidence of autism. … RF radiation is the only known toxin, exposure to which is wholly correlated with the repeatedly documented increased incidence of autism.” [Reference 2]
According to the Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe: “The Assembly recommends that the member states of the Council of Europe: … raise awareness on potential health risks of DECT-type wireless telephones, baby monitors and other domestic appliances which emit continuous pulse waves.” [Reference 3]
According to a published article by Martha R. Herbert and Cindy Sage:
- “Sources of pulsed RFR inside the home include an electronic baby monitor in the crib, a wireless router in the next room, a DECT phone that pulses high emissions of RFR on a continuous basis 24/7, or conversion to all compact fluorescent bulbs that produce significant ‘dirty electricity’ for occupants due to low-kilohertz frequency fields on electrical wiring and in ambient space. Sick and vulnerable infants in neonatal intensive care units are heavily exposed from being surrounded by equipment, with negative metabolic and autonomic consequences documented.”
- “Researchers also should be aware that common environmental exposures from EMF and RFR might play a role in the higher rates of autism (ASD) among twins and siblings, not solely because of maternal use of wireless devices during pregnancy and paternal sperm exposure to wireless devices peri-conception; but also because such oxidative damage to DNA can occur at levels introduced into the world of the fetus, and young developing infant and child via baby surveillance monitoring devices in the crib and wireless devices in the home.” [Reference 4]
As documented in The BioInitiative Report 2012:
“Children and babies are chronically exposed to many sources of EMF, in particular at home, where they can spend much time playing with computers and other wireless-enabled devices, watching television or near electronic baby monitors that emit RF in their cribs (or sleeping areas). These exposures are relatively new in the last two decades, and may represent a potential new carcinogen and neurotoxin, that, with chronic and indiscriminate exposure, may have health consequences in the long term.” [Reference 5]
“Common sense measures to limit both ELF-EMF and RFR in the fetus and newborn infant (sensitive populations) are needed, especially with respect to avoidable exposures like baby monitors in the crib…” [Reference 6]
According to Lukas Margaritis, Professor at the Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Athens, Greece:
- “WI-FI routers, DECT phones and other wireless devices like baby monitors produce radio frequency emissions that will affect millions of people and babies in their homes, and should be halted until other, less harmful options are investigated.” [Reference 7]
ComEd’s Perspective on Baby Monitors and Smart Meters
Keeping in mind the cautionary statements regarding baby monitors and other wireless devices as expressed above, please view the following video clip which contains an excerpt from an informational film produced by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), supplemented with commentary by SkyVision Solutions.
[The above video is presented in the public’s interest and contains material used pursuant to the Fair Use Doctrine under 17 U.S.C.]
In contrast to the cautionary statements made on the use of wireless baby monitors and other wireless devices from multiple independent sources, ComEd puts forward a false premise that baby monitors are safe and then states, “If you trust a baby monitor in your baby’s bedroom, you shouldn’t worry about a smart meter on the outside of your home.”
Who and what do you trust? … Would you trust the utility or would you trust the expert sources listed in the first section of this blog posting?
The ComEd video is thoughtless and irresponsible propaganda.
Wireless baby monitors are not necessarily safe and thus neither are smart meters, given that ComEd reports that RF emission levels from both types of devices are nearly identical. In addition, the ComEd reported exposure levels for both the baby monitor and smart meter are certainly within the range of emission values where bioeffects have been documented to occur based upon published studies. [Refer to Reference 8 for information on published reports.]
Furthermore, keep in the mind the following differences between smart meters and baby monitors:
- Baby monitors are 100% voluntary purchases; smart meters are being imposed against the will of the people.
- The use of a baby monitor is likely to be intermittent; exposure to a smart meter is chronic and could be for the rest of your life.
- The placement of a baby monitor can be easily changed; the location of a smart meter is generally fixed or is extremely expensive to move.
Prudence would dictate that consumers should not utilize wireless baby monitors or should at least realize the possible health-related harm that may be caused by such devices. The same is true for digital smart meters. Why take the risk of harm for a smart grid program which the Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, has described as follows?:
“The utilities want to experiment with expensive and unproven smart grid technology, yet all the risk for this experiment 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 don’t need to be forced to pay billions for so-called smart technology to know how to reduce their utility bills. We know to turn down the heat or air conditioning and shut off the lights.” [Reference 9]
 “War-Gaming Cell Phone Science Protects Neither Brains Nor Private Parts,” Huffpost Healthy Living, by Dr. Devra Davis, May 21, 2013. Dr. Devra Lee Davis, M.P.H., Ph.D, is recognized internationally for her work on environmental health and disease prevention. A Presidential appointee that received bi-partisan Senate confirmation, Dr. Davis was the Founding Director of the world’s first Center for Environmental Oncology and currently serves as President of Environmental Health Trust, a nonprofit devoted to researching and controlling avoidable environmental health threats. Dr. Davis holds a B.S. in physiological psychology and an M.A. in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh, 1967. She completed a Ph.D. in science studies at the University of Chicago as a Danforth Foundation Graduate Fellow, 1972 and a M.P.H. in epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University as a Senior National Cancer Institute Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1982. She has also authored more than 190 publications in books and journals ranging from the Lancet and Journal of the American Medical Association to Scientific American and the New York Times and elsewhere.
 “A Possible Association between Fetal/Neonatal Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation and the Increased Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD),” by Robert C. Kane, Medical Hypotheses (2004) 62, pages 195–197.
 “The Potential Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields and Their Effect on the Environment,” Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe (PACE), Resolution 1815, May 27, 2011.
 “Autism and EMF? Plausibility of a Pathophysiological Link Part II,” by Martha R. Herbert and Cindy Sage, Pathophysiology, June 2013 (Vol. 20, Issue 3, Pages 211-234).
 The BioInitiative Report 2012, Section 19, “Fetal and Neonatal Effects of EMF,” page 2.
 The BioInitiative Report 2012, Section 1, “Summary for the Public,” page 22.
 Press Release from the Karolinska Institute, Department of Neuroscience, Stockholm, Sweden, 2011-02-03, “Scientists Urge Halt of Wireless Rollout and Call for New Safety Standards: Warning Issued on Risks to Children and Pregnant Women.”
 For information on published studies showing biological effects from RF exposure, one can review summary information charts contained within The BioInitiative Report 2012. To interpret information in the charts, note that the 910 microwatts/m2 mentioned in the ComEd video is equivalent to about 0.1 microwatts/cm2. Understanding the difference in units, refer to the BioInitiative Report Color Charts for Reported Biological Effects.
 Opinion Editorial: “ComEd Experiment Too Expensive for Consumers,” Chicago Tribune, June 21, 2011. The full editorial by Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General, is available at the following link: https://web.archive.org/web/20130328040326/https://www.lisamadigan.org/Newsroom/lisainthenews/item/2011-06-lisa-madigan-opinion-editorial-comed-experiment-too.