What struck me most was the common time-line: normal people, strange new symptoms, who only later discovered that a smart meter had been installed at the time or just before their symptoms initiated.
It is striking that the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called for a moratorium on smart meters (2012) and continues to veto them today.
Based on their literature reviews and clinical experience, they advised no smart meters should be located in or next to the homes of those with cardiac or neurological conditions, including Parkinson's or dementia; or electrosensitivity; or cancer.
Their board wrote to California's Public Utilities Commission: "guidelines for RF exposure used to justify installation of 'smart meters' are based only on thermal effects and are obsolete" - guidelines now under heavy fire from the 224-scientist appeal to the UN (see Part 1).
The AAEM continues: "Wireless RF radiation ... effects accumulate over time which is an important consideration given the chronic nature of exposure to 'smart meters'. The current medical literature raises credible questions about genetic and cellular effects, hormonal effects ... blood / brain barrier damage, and increased risks of certain types of cancers from RF and ELF levels similar to those emitted by 'smart meters'. Children are placed at particular risk."
Footage has been published of smart meter transmissions disrupting the human heartbeat. Blind electrocardiogram field tests (16 May 2017), verified by Dr Gilberto Leon MD, an American GP, reveal smart meter heartbeat disruption in an apparently healthy adult male.
Repeated disruption was found at 1m from a smart meter in blind tests on a healthy adult male. Dr Leon warned this effect "silently makes our hearts work too hard", a chronic stress. He had to halt a later blind test (1.5m) on a woman due to the meter's apparent, rapid impact. If such risks are confirmed by double-blind studies (if funded), or found at greater distances, should smart-meters be re-sited or withdrawn?
Electro-siege ... RF-sensitive medical implants
Pacemakers, insulin pumps, deep-brain stimulators, cochlear implants, internal defibrillators (ICDs), spinal stimulators and other RF-sensitive implants are in growing use worldwide. Many of us have loved ones with such implants, and may face personal use in later life.
Geophysics professor Gary Olhoeft has a Parkinson's deep-brain-stimulator that can be affected unpredictably around wireless technologies, even shutting off. He has given talks on the EMF cacophony we are creating - and its breathtaking short-sightedness.
What struck me most was the common time-line: normal people, strange new symptoms, who only later discovered that a smart meter had been installed at the time or just before their symptoms initiated.
During one such talk, everyone present indicated that their own medical implants had been disturbed by EMFs in the environment. On the lack of research into such interactions, he says "you have to ask: why is so little known about something that has the potential to injure or kill so many ... ?"
Internationally, there has been no post-rollout monitoring of possible smart-meter / medical implant interactions, despite the meters' 24:7 piercing microwave pulses, mixed modalities, and situations - such tiny shop units (UK) - which create sustained close exposure. Despite the new EU law on occupational EMFs.
Louis Donovan (California) testifies to four hospitalisations from pacemaker shut-downs, plus EMI that continually overrode his pacemaker, that coincided with smart-metering and ceased only on meter removal many months later. Baffled surgeons found no fault with his mint-condition device. Jerry Kozak (Canada) had chronic palpitations that overrode his pacemaker, relieved only by blocking his smart-meter. Though circumstantial, such testimonies suggest a need for vigilance.
In 2015, engineer Jeff Silverberg at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (USA) reported that "EMC information in regulation is often incomplete and has errors." Noting that, numerically, medical implant interference problems may far exceed those reported to his unit, he flagged growing risks from the "proliferation of RF wireless technology".
Under stress? The 'white tree' of our nervous systems
Published non-ionising risks to our nervous systems, long noted by military sources, continue to grow. Harvard neurology professor Martha Herbert co-authored a paper with 560 references on a plausible link between EMFs and autism (Pathophysiology 2013). "The nervous system is an electrical organ", observes former bioengineering professor Henry Lai, who surveys neuroactive findings to 2007 and 2007 to 2014, cautioning that few address our long-term exposure.
As noted, biochemist Professor Martin Pall demonstrates that ion-channels (VCCGs) in our cells can be over-stimulated by pulsed RF (and by strong AC electric fields) with oxidative/ genotoxic "downstream effects" (see Part 1). "It is time for a paradigm shift ... current safety standards are based on quicksand." He highlighted smart-meter pulse intensity. In his new paper 2016, he notes "VGCCs occur in very high densities throughout the nervous system."
Reviewing research that, in his analysis, meets "five criteria for causality", he observes that neural symptoms reported in smart meter and cell-tower epidemiology are consistent with substantial Soviet research, including Lerner 1980: "1300 [pulsed] microwave workers ... with relatively low exposure levels had an approximate doubling of neurological complaints ... over controls."
Could we revisit the Precautionary Principle? Gareth Shane, Maryland, testifies to sudden deterioration in his multiple sclerosis when a smart-meter was installed on his home without his knowledge, with rapid reversal after its removal, a testimony backed by his doctor. The global absence of health screening to test whether such experiences exceed coincidence is troubling.
Needles in the night: smart meters by bedrooms
Addressing a smart grid conference, Dr Karl Maret, a US physician and engineer, advised "don't have your kids or elderly or sick people sleep on the other side of a wall where the smart meter is" He points out whole-body exposure is involuntary, at times considerable (his measurements: 1, 2,) with pulse intensity disguised by time-averaged data. Preliminary microscopy (Springob 2013; video) suggested near-field risks to blood cells; however, this needs scaled-up replication.
Though models vary, the reality may be less cosy than adverts suggest. In Britain, modest cellular uploads (WAN) coexist, as elsewhere, with house-piercing pulses (HAN). Measurements by Dr Liz Evans GP and others unveil the high-intensity microwave spikes firing off every 2 seconds (video).
When the UK government dismissed wired smart-meter options - used extensively in mainland Europe - Dr Evans set up a pressure group, 'Stop Smart Meters UK'. "Ours is very much an environmental message", explains co-founder Mike Mitcham, an IT consultant. They hope that by airing unresolved health, privacy and security issues, plus malfunctions and the eye-watering expense, bio-friendly Green alternatives will emerge.
But while wireless smart-meter modalities and outputs vary, close overnight exposure looks increasingly unwise. [See this typical US testimony at 22:10]. Pulsed RF has been shown repeatedly to raise oxidative stress, even at relatively low levels [re: Zigbee]: a chronic disease risk factor.
Insomnia is a keynote in US court cases on smart meters, plus emerging epidemiology from other countries (see Notes). Norwegian paediatrician Dr Toril Jelter has compiled childhood insomnia cases resolved by removing wireless transmitters - including smart meters.
Dr Lamech 2014 (see Part 1) found insomnia topped her peer-reviewed, smart meter case histories: patients ended up "relocating their bedrooms, moving to another residence ... or moving out of the state" while headaches / dizziness etc. linked to exposure at work, it seems, forced some to lose their jobs.
Collating 210 health testimonies in Maine, USA, biochemist Dr Richard Conrad commented "what struck me most was the common time-line: normal people, strange new symptoms, who only later discovered that a smart meter had been installed ... Upon inquiry, they found out it had been installed at the time or just before their symptoms initiated." (2013)
Animal studies, whatever our misgivings about them, are less vulnerable to attribution errors, or failures to connect real-life exposure with possible effects. While results have varied, in some studies low level pulsed RF was found to alter small mammals' sleep cycles or to interfere with GABA (e.g. 3, 4,) the calming neurotransmitter. (Or melatonin 5,).
Short term human trails on pulsed RF and sleep, often on fit young men, have had mild, mixed results. Poor sleepers (and 'electrosensitives' 6, 7,) may be at raised risk (8, 9,). RF susceptibility was first observed in 1932 .
Swept off-stage - cancer data and environmental pulsed RF
In 2013 a group of six medical doctors from Oregon sent evidence to the Federal Communications Commission suggesting community health risks from smart meter rollouts. Led by Dr Paul Dart, their referenced 18-month review of 289 bio-medical studies brings to light some valuable cautioning evidence on chronic pulsed RF exposure, air-brushed from public reviews.
Referencing the late Professor Neil Cherry, this includes a helpful, visual summary of longitudinal cancer studies for radar workers, radio hams, and residents exposed to cell towers (phone masts). Such as Dode 2011, a high-quality paper in Science of the Total Environment, which found a spatial / dose relationship and short latency. (See also Yakymenko 2011 review).
What might be the chronic effects, perhaps, of additional, all-hour exposures? [Re: Professor Karl Hecht's suppressed work]. Such as penetrating smart meter pulses - often over 40,000 per day (British Gas) - on top of other EMFs? Notice, for example, animal studies of near-field WiFi toxicity [ 10, 11, 12, 13] and brain protein mayhem from in-situ cordless phone transmitters (DECT). Plus risks to melatonin from certain magnetic fields [+ here].
The doctors noted smart metering is "a community issue not just an individual issue" because of interpenetrating exposures. With additive smog from RF 'smart' appliances. They called for protection of "vulnerable groups in the population including children", anticipating the International EMF scientist Appeal (see Part 1). And advised local suppliers to "adopt a policy of minimising its RF footprint in the community": a timely concept.
Fibre optics: the elegance of light
Could we adapt existing smart meters, perhaps, to function without house-piercing microwaves?
So-called 'opt-out' meters in Michigan still emitted all-hour microwave pulses (HAN) - only the uploads to the power company had been disabled (WAN) - helping to explain, perhaps, why unaware symptomatic residents testified to little relief (see also Milham below).
Wired smart meter rollouts have mostly used RF overlying electric wiring ('powerline carrier' or 'broadband over powerline'), common in Europe and Scandinavia. However, this often generates strong EMI (electromagnetic interference), raising medical implant issues, and is contraindicated for electrosensitives, many of whom have testified to chronic problems (e.g. 14, 15,).
Before the UK rollout, engineer Alasdair Phillips (known to Greens for his work with Greenham Common protesters and Dr Chris Busby) flagged options for wired rollouts in preference to "yet another microwave source inside our homes." And noted big wireless lobbyists in the wings.
"Wireless transmissions ... should be able to be disabled and wired smart interfaces be built in as standard", observes Dr Isaac Jamieson, biosustainability consultant, in his paper Smart Meters, Smarter Practices, best read in full [here / here].
Discussing Chatanooga's highly successful fibre-optic smart grid, he explains fibre optics are more "future proof" than wireless. High in data-capacity, they reduce EMF stresses on people (pp77-123) and habitats (pp137-142). And slash the hacking perils that led Britain's GCHQ to wave a red flag and former CIA chief James Woolsey to censure wireless smartgrids. A new poll reports 51% of UK firms fear linked cybersecurity risks.
New start-ups by UK farmers, in which communities lay down their own fibre-optics, show initial costs can be kept low. The fibres can last 50 years, a contrast to the rapid obsolescence of some wireless approaches. FirstEnergy's chief of information predicted wireless meter turnovers of "5 to 7 years" while analyst Nick Hunn warns UK smart meters will soon become "stranded assets".
Dr Sam Milham testifies to smart meter risks
Life's sensitivity to EMFs continues to surprise. In January, New Scientist reported how delicate bioelectricity directs growth, from cell structure upwards. In February, Science Daily aired how DNA relays faint electrical signals. Professor Martin Blank has unveiled DNA's frequency-sensitive structure, and Professor Frank Barnes radical-pair spin effects. In all, it would be astonishing if our rising, penetrating EMFs - pulsed-microwave, kilohertz, AC and magnetic - were not placing stresses on our biology.
Professor Magda Havas posits risks to diabetics from DE (dirty electricity), the higher frequency transients/ harmonics from switched-mode power that overlay wiring and its EM fields. "By closely following plasma glucose levels in four Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics, we find that they responded directly to the amount of DE in their environment. In an electromagnetically clean environment, Type 1 diabetics require less insulin and Type 2 diabetics have lower levels of plasma glucose."
Epidemiologist Dr Sam Milham has published pioneering papers on the possible impacts of DE on human biology. Though more data and high-quality follow-ups are certainly needed, his thoughtful investigations and case studies raise valid questions about possible disease risks from exposure.
In April, Milham filed a testimony in an Arizona court case contesting smart meters. "Because it is at the front end of a building's wiring, the dirty electricity from the smart meter's SMPS [switched-mode power] has a gateway into that building's wiring ... The house wiring acts as an antenna [radiating] 6 to 8 feet from the house wiring or extension cords"
He suggests that the many, published neurotoxic effects in DE frequency ranges found on house wiring might be a putative stressor. Engineer Lloyd Morgan has also tested DE and child asthma.
If DE is indeed subtly bioactive, and oscilloscopes confirm rises, then (as with smart meter microwave pulses) the inverse square law is of limited help in cramped conditions. Novel filtering may be a way forward.
'Vive la Résistance?' Civil unrest in France
In France, smart meter health and privacy issues have hit home. Many householders have testified to harm from "Linky" powerline-carrier meters (examples) and 16 mayors and 300 councils - their numbers rising - have taken a stand. Their letter to President Hollande 2017 called for recognition of problems, an end to customer intimidation, and restitution of basic human rights.
Marc Khanne is the award-winning director of Desperately Seeking White Zone, the beautifully filmed documentary about people exiled by electrosensitivity (see Part 1 latest evidence: Belpomme) including former telecoms / IT workers.
He told me of a gentle husband and wife living in Ariège who were unconcerned about smart meters. On installation, they suffered sleep starvation, headaches, nausea, memory failure and other harsh problems. An electrician eventually uncovered excessive DE from their smart-meter installation. The couple testify to being left in reduced health, with impaired physical tolerance to EMFs.
The Precautionary Principle - curbing involuntary exposure
Though smart meter EMF output varies, why ramp up household EMFs at all, given the mounting precautionary science (16, 17, 18) when cleaner ways forward are perceptible? A fully Green solution would address carbon and EMF medical risks jointly. As in the BauBio eco-movement.
Micheal Bevington's scholarly Electromagnetic Sensitivity carries nearly 2,000 citations revealing 'non-thermal' EMFs are bioactive. Should we assent to a dying paradigm - denial of all such effects to permit a corporate free-for-all - when we could be aiding wise reform? (And exposing regulator scandals, here). See the new Green-led French law on EMF 'sobriety'.
Voluntary EM exposure is still rising, with all the nitrosative, genotoxic, and other peer-reviewed risks (such as to the blood-brain barrier) this can bring. But as awareness of precautionary science grows, despite 'product defence' strategies, calls for cleaner buildings may rise: a new 'organic'.
But if EMFs escalate from old-style smart metering plus hyper-profit corporate 5G / IoT - casting caution to the wind - then ramped up involuntary exposure could harm birthright to health. A theme explored internationally by Dr Isaac Jamieson (pp 41-76). Even noting Article 2 'right to life' (UK) reflecting the rising data on foetal / infertility risks (pp 107-110).
So might smart meters have been oversold? Some studies suggest linked 'in home displays' soon lose their novelty. (Ovo found that 61% had been switched off!) And that when compliance while under study is removed, energy savings can shrivel, a poor trade-off for permanent electrosmog.
Meanwhile, 'nudge' techniques and education - such as energy costs of standby - may yield change more cost-effectively, as noted by energy professor Stephen Thomas, Greenwich. Grid issues aside, plug-in energy monitors cost only £15!
Are there safer routes to grid reform?
Distinguished communications engineer Dr Timothy Schoeshle, Colorado University, has served on many international, technical, standard-setting bodies for data technologies. Co-pioneer of many techologies, such as barcodes, home networks and Voice over Internet Protocol, plus founder of PhD programmes, he has had key standard-setting roles in home automation and grid topology.
His penetrating white paper Getting Smarter About the Smart-grid (Nov 2012) opens up technical possibilities for smart-grids with fewer attendant health / habitat / security risks than the wireless grids being widely pursued. Above all, he repeatedly exposes what he sees as "hype" surrounding smart-meters.
Their mountains of in-home personal data, he maintains, are ultimately "not necessary to the basic purpose of the smart-grid: supply/demand balancing, demand response (DR), dynamic pricing, renewable integration, or local generation and storage - as promoters of the meters and uninformed parties routinely claim."
He clarifies repeatedly how smart-metering has been conflated with grid modernisation, a confusion infecting governments and "non-engineers", including academics, to the visible neglect of distributive, cost-effective, less toxic alternatives. So breeding "third party jackals" to profit from the meters' endless, granular data: a corporate gangway into homes worldwide.
How does he view smart-meter rollouts and IoT today, I wondered, and claims made for them? Does he perceive any new ways forward? André Fauteux, editor of La Maison du 21e siècle (journal for healthy sustainable buildings), relayed my enquiry to him at his Colorado home, adding further questions.
Asked about smart meter energy-efficiency claims, Dr Schoechle opined "No ... It's a big myth. Smart meters are not useful for much but they allow utilities to cut costs ... They don't help manage energy problems. The flow of information is in the wrong direction ... the house needs to know the condition of supply and demand on the grid to use it wisely."
Could fibre-optic grids be the future? "Yes. I'm writing a paper called 'Reinventing wires: the future of landlines and networks' on the economic and social benefits of high-speed fiber public networks. We don't need all these 5G networks, they are much more expensive than fiber. And that's why utilities and the telecom industry want to build them: to make a profit.
"They have to do this every 10 to 20 years, reinvent new generations of technology to be successful, otherwise they go out of business. It's planned obsolescence ... I recommend deploying local fiber-optic networks everywhere ... The original idea of the smart grid was to use information to better control the generation, transmission and distribution of power. This is still a good idea and fiber is best."
And what of IoT? "The IoT is all about selling more chips and software to make everything dependent on network services, but we don't need to do that. We can benefit from home automation if it's used to manage energy within a home or building or local neighborhood grid, called 'micro-grids' ...
"I'm working on standardization of communication technologies for residential gateways dedicated to assuring premises security and safety (fire, physical, health) and they will benefit privacy too. Home automation [has] new opportunities to reduce wireless, which suffers from severe security, safety and privacy flaws."
Skylights - promising ways forward
As Greens, always alert for opportunities to clean up rather than pollute, can we support any other low-EMF solutions? An eco start-up called 'Transverter', for example, tackles energy quality and efficiency all in one.
In his paper 'The extreme effects of computer and CFL power supplies on the grid', founder Heart Akerman analyses how lack of power correction in countless commercial devices wastes energy and can produce needlessly turbid electromagnetic fields - the opposite of electromagnetic hygiene.
Passionate about energy efficiency, plus health, he and his team have pioneered technologies that restore pure sine waves. Alongside low power, bio-friendly DC lighting.
The University of Edinburgh is looking at affordable photo-receptors and LEDs that could create IoT systems from data-rich light (LiFi) rather than bioactive pulsed RF. Pending LiFi optical safety testing, such strides, I perceive, could be adapted for localised, low-EMF systems.
Dr Timothy Schoeshle has further transformative suggestions. The new high-capacity Power-over-Ethernet (POE) could support, for example, secure home automation / broadband, DC distribution
(AC is more bioactive) and could "power just about anything". Whilst fibre microgrids could bring energy management/storage close to grassroot, renewable sources while reducing toxic EMFs, security risks, and long-distance inefficiencies. As well as excessive Big Data - superbly reframed by Vandana Shiva (addressing Resurgence & Ecologist, Oxford 2016) as "data obesity"!
The hidden carbon costs of storing endless, granular, smart meter data, meanwhile, may have barely begun. A Gartner report showed the annual electricity bill for running a 750 square metre data centre, cooling included, can exceed $1.5 million. Whilst The Independent reported that world data-storage centres (for all-source data) accounted for 3% of global energy consumption in 2015.
In summary, we do not have to choose between cutting carbon and curbing bioactive EMFs. With vision and enterprise, they can go hand in hand. Producing a potential quantum leap in eco-thinking, with exciting possibilities.
Any 'third industrial revolution', a term coined by Professor Jeremy Rifkin, will be biosustainable only if we bring the growing wealth of precautionary EMF science, military included, into our awareness and energy use. An inconvenient - and inspiring - truth.
Lynne Wycherley is a nature poet with six published collections. Working in parallel with pioneering doctors, she has been investigating non-ionizing radiation for 5 years.
Also on The Ecologist: 'Smart meters and cell damage from pulsed em radiation - our health at risk?' by Lynne Wycherley.
Cardiac tests: Galvanic skin-shock reactions were also discovered (personal communication). Pulsed RF heartbeat disruption has also been found in foetuses stressed by cell-phones and in some patients blindly exposed to cordless-phone transmitters.
Medical implants: See also Katie Singer's Electronic Silent Spring, highly recommended, in which Professor Olhoeft is a guest voice and advisor. Research on EMI from RFID readers (e.g. van der Togt 2008/Siedman 2009), meanwhile, may have subtle implications for the RFID explosion from IoT. A paper for the EU also exposed EMF risks to patients with metal implants (2015).
Neurotoxicity: Findings continue to grow, e.g. Othman 2017, rodents prenatally exposed to near-field WiFi 2h/day had "impaired ... neurodevelopment" (re: high SARS WiFi tablets). On near-field smart meter "bursts", perhaps notice Zhang 2008 [gene expression] found more neural effects from intermittent pulse-modulated microwaves than unbroken and Diem 2005 more DNA breaks (3G).
Professor Martha Herbert, reflecting on her work: "The more sensitive our scientific measurement instruments become, the more we learn that every cell in our body uses electromagnetic signalling"
Output: Pulse intensity V/m (plus frequency/duty cycle) may be more significant, biologically, than other smart meter metrics, re: Prof Pall. Dr Mallery-Blythe notes low-intensity "window effects" also need to be considered, plus non-linear biological responses/ concurrent RF exposures.
Dr Liz Evans GP testified to MPs, opposing smart meters. In subsequent written evidence she states "I am a qualified doctor and the mother of four young children and there is no way that I will ever agree to have a wireless Smart Meter ... There is no mention in any of the literature from the DECC of the proven safe distance from one or more wireless 'Smart' Meters for humans and animals, or the duration of safe long-term exposure in hours per day. There is also no mention of proven safe exposure levels for pregnant women and children or the impact of multiple Smart Meters on RF safety levels in apartments/ terraced housing etc."
Privacy violations: A global human rights concern. The close up, granular data can reveal a child home alone, for example, and other sensitive information (e.g. Samsung's 'smart' TV fine print warned conversations could reach 3rd parties) while feeding highly intrusive marketing.
Sleep impairment: e.g. In desperation, Liz Barris (USA) slept in her car for 7 months until her smart meter was removed, a pattern across other states. The Trudeaus (Melbourne) did so for a year; Leo Weiser (Canada) for three. Dr Rubik, MD, had patients living in tents. An Okehampton family, UK (personal communication) report chronic insomnia etc., children included, since installation.
And so on ... Discomfort may play a role: Dr Diane Culik MD, Oakland, linked her nightly arrhythmia to her nearby meter. Sleep assays, sensitive to individual variability, await independent funding.
Dr Paul Dart & colleagues One took the trouble to visit the Parisian researchers who are revolutionising our understanding of electrosensitivity. (More proactive than government health officials, it seems!) Notice their section on metering options pp69-74. Current 'smart' appliances transmit continual WiFi-like pulses with no "off" option, raising passive exposure.
Why opt-outs are inadequate: If you are boxed in by neighbours' meters, in poor health, and cannot afford to move, opt-outs offer little EMF protection or health choice. As Greens committed to social justice, how can we protect the disadvantaged? Can we call for equitable, electro-clean alternatives? See end for a relevant case history.
Fibre-optic grids: Low-EMF benefits could be undermined if councils permit intensive use of add-on FTTC (fibre to the cell) including controversial, high-density microwave/ MMwave 5G rollouts
Protecting habitats Frank Clegg, former CEO of Microsoft Canada, perceives that "blanket radiation" from wireless-mesh smartgrids adds a further RF stress to habitats. See, eg., pollinators nesting above ground/ sparrow loss. Citizen reports may offer possible clues. Beekeeper Dr Marianna Hartsong (USA), for example, testifies to dramatic bee hostility coinciding with local switch on; within 8 days, with no known chemical involvement, two thirds of her bees were dead. If a degree of bee / nesting disturbance is a recurring feature, over time, could we be overlooking hotspots or subtle eco-effects? Notice this paper on polarization.
'Dirty Electricity': Milham 2008 "A cohort cancer incidence analysis of the teacher population showed a positive trend (P = 7.1 x 10 (-10)) of increasing cancer risk with increasing cumulative exposure to high frequency voltage transients on the classroom's electrical wiring."
Diabetes: Among similar cases, a diabetic boy's 2-year stable blood-sugar (6.8) rose to 9.5 while a smart-meter was active near his bed, resolving only after removal (Michigan). If common, such clues may prove helpful if replicable after excluding confounding factors / stressors.
DE from Solar Power Inverters is an area where we could make rapid progress - if we disseminate information. In tests (e.g. as here, by safe technology advocate Jeromy Johnson) solar inverters tend to generate high, systemic, DE. And await filtering technologies to restore EM hygiene.
French Testimonies For example: 1) Hélene Stephane is trying to raise awareness of the plight of her aging parents, struck down with worsening symptoms since installation, and forced to sleep in the woods. 2) Thérèse, Brittany, testifies [video in French] that she and her husband fell ill on installation with no knowledge that smart meters could have any electromagnetic issues. Her sleep starvation, headaches, tachycardia, chest constriction, skin rashes etc. are relieved only by keeping their electricity switched off. But despite certified support from three doctors, their supplier refuses to remove their Linky smart meter.
Precautionary Principle: EMF biologist Dr Andrew Goldsworthy (ret.), Imperial College UK:
"DECC is not giving the public the necessary information to enable it to decide on the safety of [pulsed RF] smart meters, particularly their likely affects on cancer and other health concerns. Either it does not know about them or it has been badly misinformed."
Professor Olle Johansson, Karolinksa Institute, addressing Krakow: "If we make environments safer for those with EMF exposure symptoms, everyone's disease-risk profile may benefit."
Regulator Scandals e.g. AGNIR / Public Health England burying RF risks: "Public health ... cannot be protected when evidence of harm, no matter how inconvenient, is covered up." (Dr Starkey 2016.)
Smart meters oversold? See also K T Weaver's thoughtful research, here / here, at 'smart grid awareness' org, which may help to balance over-optimism. Depending on load balance, savings may be meagre without time of use tariffs, vetoed as hazardous by the UK's chief fire officers.
Grid modernisation After a 6 month engineering review, Northeast Utilities USA concluded mass smart-metering diverted funds from overdue grid modernisations that could improve energy efficiency. Have any suppliers buried engineering reservations, perhaps, to cash in on subsidies?
'Reinventing wires' is being published by the National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy.
An English case history: (see Part 1 for others) Sam, Gloucestershire, kindly shared her experience. It seems her health suffered from high EMF exposure during sustained work in an electronic financial-futures exchange. She also lived by a TETRA mast (see The Ecologist 2004). She had never heard of 'electrosensitivity' but her disabling symptoms from EMFs, carefully screened for other causes, were eventually verified by medical specialists. She had to give up work.
As a single mother with two schoolchildren on a very low income, she has few housing options. Struggling to maintain her health in lodgings near augmented phone masts (pulsed microwaves), she applied to a housing association for less polluted accommodation. The association offered her a place in a small, new, three-unit terrace and agreed to waive all smart meters.
But on arrival (2017) she was stricken with aggressive symptoms, amongst the worst she had experienced. It transpired the private contractors had fitted 9 wireless smart meters (gas, electricity, water). After 2 weeks she could barely speak, walk, think, or see properly; her nervous system felt on fire; her sleep was ash. One of her daughters had persistent headaches, anomia, and confusion, all new.
Camping with her children on a friend's floor, Sam regained her speech and motor functions after four days. But she knew that if she relinquished her home within a year, she would lose all right to reapply for housing. (Outside Sweden, relevant human rights are gravely lacking).
With difficulty, she negotiated removal of her smart-meters. Her neighbours' meters remain; the 135 meters on the rest of new estate afford no escape. She continues to suffer, struggling to function in her electro-polluted home; she is worried about her children's health.