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Smart Meter Health Risks

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Electromagnetic radiation (EMR), such as measured from smart meters, has been associated in many scientific studies with negative health effects. Yet, BC Hydro (a Canada based electrical utility), has decided to install a WIMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) system and smart meters on Salt Spring Island as a test project. This plan will subject all citizens and animal species to excessive levels of EMR and should be abandoned.

Salt Spring Islanders wisely rejected two attempts to install cell phone transmitters in populated areas in 2000 and 2004, based on science showing this type of technology to be dangerous to public health.

The WIMAX and smart meter system is far worse than the jacked-up high voltage power line they recently forced onto this community, upping transmission voltages (multiple overhead lines from 138kV to 230kV). This is not a green initiative, nor does it save energy. It is purely for corporate efficiency and fails to take negative effects into account.

This WIMAX and smart meter experiment represents an unacceptable threat to the sustainability and health of this community. I urge people to take a hard look at this proposal and come together in preventing this plan, or we will soon see our precious island become a much less healthy place for people, plants, and animals.

There is huge public outcry and scientific opposition to this toxic technology in other areas such as California, where they are further along in the deployment of wireless gas and electric meters. The province of Quebec and many countries are rejecting the installation of these very hackable wireless systems. In some instances, power bills have soared mysteriously after radiation meters are installed. They compromise privacy and information security. Health complaints from the new meters are in the tens of thousands.

Dozens of communities are opting out and making smart meters “illegal,” such as in Fairfax County, Ca. where Mayor Lew Tremaine warns: “ . . . the ambient electromagnetic … fields … as a result of having these things at every house running constantly is an unforeseen health risk. For people who are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, it’s going to be a living nightmare".

I recommend checking the Citizens for Safe Technology website and that of the EM Radiation Health Alliance for more information. We are attempting to counter the misinformation of BC Hydro and the telecommunications industry, by sharing the findings of negative health effects as determined by independent scientists from around the globe.

As Dr. Helen Caldicott of ‘If You Love This Planet’ fame stated, radio frequencies “. . .will have deleterious medical effects to people. Babies and children will be particularly sensitive to the mutagenic and carcinogenic effects of the radio frequency radiation.” And as author Dr. Andrew Weil states: “Electromagnetic pollution may be the most significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this century!”

Reading the science on the unintended yet destructive side effects of the EM radiation used by wireless technologies leads me to the conclusion that a very wrong turn has been taken here — involving the entire continent — with both the U.S. and Canada committing billions for “interoperable” technologies which happen to be unsafe.

There are far safer methods to improve our present woefully inefficient and wasteful power generation, distribution and wiring methods. Rather than blasting radiation to every corner of the planet — as with the intended “smart” systems — all this data-transferring can take place with far less harm — and in a more secure manner — with fibre optic or phone or electrical power cable communication.

From the Citizens for Safe Technology's section on Smart Meters and Grids: “…radio waves, transmitting 24/7, will effectively blanket homes and neighbourhoods with radiation that could adversely affect not just humans but all living systems. In particular, these meters have the potential to affect not only electro-hypersensitive persons, but children and pregnant women, persons with medical conditions such as heart arrhythmia, those with compromised immune systems, and others who rely on medical and/or metal implants or equipment. In addition to health concerns, smart meters bring with them questions about fire and security hazards".

BC Hydro intends also to irradiate the Gulf Islands and beyond with WIMAXWireless Interoperability for Microwave Access. This is similar to Wi-Fi — wireless fidelity — except that it blankets electrosmog over an entire area for many miles around the powerful transmitters that are required to transmit and receive data wirelessly. Sentinel species — such as bees, birds, bats, insects, and various plants —are adversely affected by what scientist Dr. Neil Cherry called a “ubiquitous universal genotoxic carcinogen.”

In fact, reports worldwide cite EMR as the main factor behind the alarming drop in numbers of many species. For example, Cowichan Valley bee populations plummeted in 2009 by an incredible 90%, in lockstep with the introduction of more area-wide wireless internet irradiation. Odds are high that this is no coincidence.

Over all continents, at roughly similar times, the bees and birds etc. have disappeared. The only common causative factor among the many pressures humans bring to the planet is the simultaneous roll-out of wireless systems according to many scientific investigations. One wonders what we will do without the precious pollinators on which we depend for most of our food supply. Can we have a viable agriculture without pollinators?

Common use of cell, cordless, wireless Internet, baby monitors, etc., broadcasts far away from our irradiated homes and places of work, and is not only harming occupants but also nature at large. Add to our already excessive radiation, the obscenely unacceptable levels found in buildings plagued with these wireless meters, and we will lose the choice to live in healthy homes.

Regarding smart meters, a source of good info is the January 2011 Sage Associates Report. From the report: “… smart meters are a part of an overall system that includes a mesh network or series of wireless antennas at the neighbourhood level to collect and transmit wireless information from all the smart meters in that area back to a utility.” Anyone aware of these issues will know the significance of the astronomical smart meter radiation levels from various readings in the report.

Again, it falls to Salt Spring Islanders — chosen with the other Gulf Islands as the initial experimental area for this reckless plan — to embrace safe technologies and sustainable community initiatives. We have a noble history of defending nature, resisting harmful technologies, massive clear cutting of our forests and aerial spraying for gypsy moths — the list goes on.

We have now been given the challenge and necessity of yet again defending our common futures.

Chris Anderson is a Salt Spring resident, and co-chair of the EM Radiation Health Alliance of B.C, with a business background in the RF field. He has been an EMR assessment technician/remediation consultant since the mid 1990s.