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Opinion: "Smart" Meters Must Be Stopped

A group of California residents, including Cynthia Larson of Berkeley, is concerned that "smart" meters pose a threat to public health due to electromagnetic radiation. What do you think?

By Cynthia Larson, Berkeley resident

I am writing to express serious concerns related to installations of  "smart" utility meters in Berkeley. I am personally experiencing severe physical distress since a Smart Meter device was installed without my knowledge nor consent. I have frequent headaches, nausea, and blurred vision and a constant ringing in my ears... all symptoms I've never had before, which began at the time of installation of the so-called "smart meter" in my home. I have contacted PG&E regarding removal of this device, and have yet to receive a response.

The following letter was sent to Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and comes from the Center for Electrosmog Prevention (CEP):

I support the Center for Electrosmog Prevention (CEP), a new and growing nonprofit organization made up of over a hundred California residents alarmed about the smart meter deployments and the resulting problems. We request an immediate moratorium on the installation of smart meters in our city, county, and state, as well as the immediate ability to opt-out, the removal of all banks of meters, protection from neighboring meters, and the complete dismantling of the wireless infrastructure of the smart grid.  

Throughout California, 45 cities and nine counties have joined the call for an immediate moratorium and/or opt-outs. You can find out more about our group at www.electrosmogprevention.org.

CEP is concerned about the health, environmental, and safety impacts associated with pollution from electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radiofrequency radiation (RF) technologies such as smart meters. We maintain that the smart meter program has been rolled with little to no public consultation, or even advance notification, and that the program has serious flaws that may impact the health, safety, and financial wellbeing of the residents of our city (and indeed the rest of the state). 

These problems are not limited to certain regions of the state, but exist in all places where smart meters have been installed. We respectfully ask that you take a prudent, cautious approach and join the current petitions pending before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by 45 municipalities, Center for Electrosmog Prevention, the EMF Safety Network, and many more. Cities and counties, throughout California, have filed these petitions to protect their citizens, and as a result,the CPUC is starting to take action to ensure public health and safety, formerly overlooked with the smart meter program. We need our city’s voice to be added to this list.

The full letter, including the group's concerns about "smart meters" can be found online here.

What do you think about the claim that "smart" meters post a threat to public health? Share your thoughts in the comments.

J January 24, 2012 at 06:01 PM
"I have frequent headaches, nausea, and blurred vision and a constant ringing in my ears... all symptoms I've never had before" I too have these symptoms. It's called old age. Ever since my SmartMeter was installed I've seen my monthly bill reduced, at times, by 20 dollars. The accuracy of SmartMeters is great for my wallet. Odd how you hadn't experienced these symptoms from your neighbor's wireless networks before the SmartMeters were install; they use the same frequencies.
Cynthia Larson January 24, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Very funny! I'd agree with you that these might be symptoms of old age, except if that were the case, the symptoms should continue with me wherever I go. Instead I found that when I went out of town for a couple of weeks away from so-called "smart" meters a couple of months ago, I was amazed to find all the above symptoms completely disappear... only to return again when I came back home. Let's hope your "smart" meter doesn't experience one of the over-heating glitches CBS news reported a while back that so many people encountered, leading to "smart" meter over-charges. http://cbsloc.al/iEfk2M
Tara January 25, 2012 at 07:44 PM
I believe standards which will regulate what levels of radiation are safe and what are dangerous will change with time, according to new knowledge we will gain with new tests. Time will also show how much will our present immense use of EMF radiation emitting devices without proper protection influence our health. It's almost impossible to live today and avoid EMF pollution completely, precisely because things like cellphone towers and power lines - things we have no control over. All we can do at this time, which honestly scares me a lot, is to try to avoid being in proximity of those things, and it is very difficult thing to do cause EMF radiation sources are everywhere. Maybe to use some EMF protection device (i.e. http://personalbioprotector.com/ ) just to try to decrease radiation additionally.
Cynthia Larson January 25, 2012 at 08:23 PM
My question is why allow our utilities to turn our homes into a large microwave appliance, even if the constant always-on setting may be a lower one? With all other EMF devices, we consumers are able to operate the ON/OFF switch. Some of us, such as myself, are extremely sensitive to this microwave RF emanating from our so-called "smart" meters, and don't see how PG&E's newly stated commitment to health and safety would have us being required to become 'bubble people' (in some kind of personal safety protection units) rather than recognize our right to homes free from incessant excess EMF radiation.
dgies January 25, 2012 at 10:29 PM
You don't have a right to be free from incessant EMF emissions. You've been exposed to them ever since the dawn of radio. Like air pollution and nuisance noise, EMF is one of those things you have to accept if you're going to be a part of a modern society. All these things are regulated to safe levels, but since we all share the same planet, you can't demand your exposure be limited to zero.
Cynthia Larson January 25, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Of course I accept we live in a world of pollution in our water, air, food, and land. While I'd love such pollution to be minimized (what sane person wouldn't?), I am a realist and don't expect to see any of these pollutant indices go to zero anytime soon. What's uniquely different about the intrusion of so-called "smart" meters in our homes is that this new kind of EMF pollution is literally loud enough to be screaming in the ears of those of us sensitive enough to hear it. Just as I wouldn't install a burglar alarm system in my home that would emit similarly intolerable noise (that I do realize most people can't hear), I wouldn't install intolerably noisy so-called "smart" meters in my home, as PG&E has done. I consider involuntary installation of such devices in the homes of those it tortures to constitute a kind of cruel and unusual punishment -- rather than something we must all learn to accept.
Tonto January 26, 2012 at 05:13 AM
The threat is to peoples bank accounts. These things are to bring in more cash to the power companies thats all.
Cynthia Larson February 27, 2012 at 06:58 AM
It indeed does seem like the smart meter roll-out is primarily designed to increase utility profits, rather than add any true value to customers, while taking unnecessary risks with customer health, safety, and privacy. If you'd like to see free opt-outs to analog meters in California, there's a petition you can sign to that effect at: http://bit.ly/xPtmOt

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