Physicians against Smart Meters
Smart Meters are a new technology. Scientific studies designed specifically to investigate the health risks of Smart Meters have not yet been carried out. However, there is a substantial body of peer-reviewed scientific literature concerning the health risks and bioeffects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radiofrequency radiation (RF). Many of the findings of studies discussed in the literature are applicable to the technology used by Smart Meters, especially those concerning extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields and/or RF.
Of particular relevance is data on cell phones, because Smart Meters occupy the same energy spectrum, and RF studies, because radiofrequency radiation is considered to be a primary causal factor for the types of health risks associated with the meters.
It is important to know that the so-called "safety" standards that are frequently referenced by the utility and telecommunications industries come from engineering- based groups (e.g. IEEE, ICNRIP, ANSI, FCC). They do not pertain to the non-thermal bioeffects and adverse health effects that have been shown to occur at exposures many times lower than these groups have deemed safe. Smart Meters subject us to these lower exposure levels and therefore it is incorrect and irrelevant to rely on the standards set by these industry groups. Biologically-based standards are the only ones that should be taken into account when Smart Meters and health effects are considered.
A thorough overview of the literature is contained in two reports referenced below. The scientists and medical professionals who worked on these reports are unaffiliated with the utility, energy, or telecommunications industries, and blind to their influence. They analyzed approximately 3000 medical studies concerning EMF and RF, many of which are applicable to Smart Meters and health. We encourage readers to review these reports and the conclusions drawn by the panel members involved. (Please see links on this page for free downloads.)
"The BioInitiative Report: A Rationale for a Biologically- based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF)", released in 2007, considered physical, biological, engineering, environmental, and public health issues in its assessment of non-thermal, non-ionizing radiation - the type of RF associated with Smart Meters. The 600-page report considered over 2000 peer-reviewed medical studies. While consensus was not reached about harm to human health in the studies, the conclusion of the Report was that no lower limit for bioeffects and adverse health effects from radiofrequency radiation, such as that emitted by Smart Meters, has been established.
Short-term health effects include:
Sleep disruption (insomnia)
Attention, memory, and learning problems
Long-term health effects very probably include:
DNA damage (with possible generational consequences)
Altered immune function
Infertility issues due to effects on sperm quality/motility
Increased rates of cancer
Neurological disease (e.g. Alzheimer's disease and ALS)
The Report also found credible scientific evidence that exposure to radiofrequency radiation significantly below those levels currently deemed "safe" by industry interests included changes in cell membrane function, metabolism, cellular signal communication, generation of reactive oxygen species, free radical production, reduction in anti-oxidant production, decreased melatonin production, damage to the blood-brain barrier, and the triggering of stress proteins.
Another analysis of the medical literature appeared in the European Journal of Oncology, Library Volume 5. Published in 2010, the ICEMS monograph titled "Non-Thermal Effects and Mechanisms of Interaction Between Electromagnetic Fields and Living Matter" also discusses the potential for adverse health effects of non-thermal, non-ionizing radiation such as that emitted by Smart Meters.
Several hundred medical and scientific studies, many of which are relevant to the discussion of Smart Meters and health, were analyzed and summarized by an international panel of experts. Many possible biological explanations for low dose non-thermal effects of EMFs are covered in this summary.
Criticism has been levied against the scientists and medical professionals who participated in these two reports, and to the conclusions drawn. However, it is important to consider the affiliations of the critics. Most, if not all, of the critics have conflicts of interest because of their strong ties to the utility, energy, and telecommunications industries, to the military, and to the financial sector.
We have also found that when funding for medical and scientific studies comes from industry, few health consequences are revealed. It is important to consider the source of information when looking at the scientific literature.
In his excellent dissertation, "The Procrustean Approach", Don Maisch, PhD presents an examination of the manipulation of telecommunications standards by political, military, and industrial vested interests at the expense of public health. He reminds us of the tobacco industry debacle and the "claims of uncertainty (that) delayed necessary regulation of hazardous substances such as asbestos, lead, and vinyl chloride." We would do well to take note and not allow manufactured science and doubt to prolong the harm being done to our health by the Smart Meter program.
THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE
Both publications referenced above recommend that, even in the absence of absolute proof, adherence to the Precautionary Principle is essential.
The Precautionary Principle, first articulated by the Rio Declaration in 1992, and then defined by the Wingspread Conference in 1998, states:
"When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even is some and effect relations are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the Precautionary Principle must be open, informed, and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. The Precautionary Principle must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action."
We believe that, had this Principle been considered BEFORE the deployment of Smart Meters was undertaken, billions of dollars would have been saved and countless lives would have been protected from harm.
We also believe that it is not too late to turn back. In fact, it is necessary that we turn back. It makes no sense to impose a toxic technology on a global population, creating harm in the present and possible irreversible consequences for the future.