[Editor Note: This blog article highlights a document authored by Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. The document makes a strong case against the use of wireless smart meters and for replacing them with safe metering technology. Although specific mention is made in this well-written document to the state of Maryland, reference to any state or province could easily be substituted, as applicable, when electric or other utility companies have been allowed to move forward with wireless smart meter deployments.]
The Health Argument for Replacing Wireless Smart Meters with a Safe Metering Technology in Maryland
by Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D. , April 16, 2014
“The electric power companies of Maryland 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 cyber vulnerability of the supply of electricity to their homes, 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 Marylanders; but the health threat is particularly tragic. If you care about the health of Marylanders, including the health of your own family, and about the cost of health care in Maryland, do consider the information presented here and the many supporting references cited. This document describes the health problems that the biomedical research community has found caused by exposure to the type of radiation — radiofrequency radiation (at microwave frequencies) — emitted by wireless Smart Meters. These researchers work to protect the rest of us from harm, but we must be wise enough to listen. We, in Maryland, are late in listening.”
Dr. Powell in his recently released paper provides answers to several important questions. Here is a listing of some of the questions and key points given in the answers to those questions:
- What is the health problem with wireless Smart Meters?
“The RF radiation from Wireless Smart Meters is particularly threatening to health because that radiation is so persistent and so powerful. California court documents, describing the same Wireless Smart Meters used here in Maryland, 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. Further, the power level of each pulse is about 1000 milliwatts, placing Wireless Smart Meters among the most powerful RF radiators likely to be present in a residential environment.”
- Why don’t Federal regulations protect the public from such high levels of RF radiation?
“In short, current FCC regulations are entirely out of date and are too permissive to protect the public from harm.”
- What biological effects does exposure to RF radiation cause?
“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’. That is, you can be harmed with no warning.”
- Where can you find analyses of the research literature documenting the biological effects of RF radiation?
“The published literature of the international biomedical research community on the adverse effects of RF radiation is so vast that it would be difficult to read it all. But three very wide ranging reviews of this literature have made the findings more accessible:
(1) The most massive review is the 1479-page BioInitiative 2012 Report,…
(2) A group of six doctors in Oregon, led by Paul Dart, M.D., published, in June 2013, their own 74-page review of 279 biomedical research publications. …
(3) Michael Bevington, in 2013, published a book that summarizes the findings of 1828 biomedical research publications. …. Michael Bevington, Electromagnetic Sensitivity and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: A Summary, 2013 (http://www.es-uk.info).”
- Are some groups of people at especially high risk of harm from RF radiation?
“Yes. The above 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.”
- What is the latest disquieting information about the biological effects of RF radiation?
“One of the most important coming under investigation now is the plausibility of a link between RF radiation and autism.”
- What are medical associations saying about RF radiation from Wireless Smart Meters and other wireless devices?
“The American Academy of Environmental Medicine … recommends … ‘A moratorium on smart meters and implementation of safer technology.’ … The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), whose 60,000 doctors care for our children, has supported the development of more restrictive standards for RF exposure…”
- Left unattended, will the health problem posed by Wireless Smart Meters get better or worse?
“The health problem will get much worse and quickly. Wireless Smart Appliances, such as smart electric stoves, and smart electric clothes dryers, are in the offing. They, too, will contain wireless RF transmitters and receivers. These Wireless Smart Appliances are designed to use RF radiation to communicate with Wireless Smart Meters so that the electric power company will know what each Wireless Smart Appliance in every home is doing all the time. Thus, not only will the Wireless Smart Meters be sending RF radiation into the home to probe for data from the Wireless Smart Appliances, but also the Wireless Smart Appliances will be responding by sending their own RF radiation throughout the home. The result will be a steadily increasing level of RF radiation in the home, further increasing the health risk.”
- Why is there a special urgency to this problem?
“While some of the biological effects of RF exposure can be reversed by reducing exposure, a quick examination of the lists of biological effects … will indicate that many of these effects are not reversible.”
- Why are Wireless Smart Meters a community issue, not just an individual issue?
“The RF radiation from each Wireless Smart Meter does not stop at the boundaries of the property on which that Wireless Smart Meter has been installed.”
- How can the Maryland General Assembly help through legislation?
“(1) If you want to provide SOME help to SOME Maryland residents, then at least:
Write into law a permanent permission for individual home owners to opt out of having a Wireless Smart Meter, and without undue financial penalty. Nor should anyone have to pay a penalty to protect the health of his family and his community. Permit Maryland residents to use instead a safe ‘traditional analog mechanical meter with no wireless communications capability’. …
(2) If you want to provide SOME help but to MORE Maryland residents:
Extend to all renters, including those renting office space, the right to have their Wireless Smart Meters replaced with a safe ‘traditional analog mechanical meter with no wireless communications capability’. …
(3) If you want to SOLVE the health problem for ALL Maryland residents equally:
Pursue a moratorium on the further installation of Wireless Smart Meters throughout Maryland. Then pursue a rollback of the installation of all Wireless Smart Meters throughout the state. That is the only way to protect all of the residents of the state, because each resident is irradiated not only by his own Wireless Smart Meter but also by the Wireless Smart Meters of his neighbors.”
Final Statement by Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.
“I urge you to look deeply into this major challenge to the health of Marylanders. Only you can prevent the dreadful mistake made by the electric power companies from becoming a health disaster for all Maryland residents. Please take protective action now.”
To download the entire document authored by Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D., refer to the following link:
 Ronald M. Powell holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University and has worked for the Executive Office of the President, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Other Documents Authored by Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.
Note: To check for the latest versions of documents prepared by Powell, refer to the following links: