By TJ Martinell
A bill introduced in the New York Assembly would allow customers to opt out of installing “smart meter” technology on their homes and businesses. Passage of this bill would allow New Yorkers to protect their own privacy, and it would take a step toward blocking a federal program in effect.
Asm. Michael DenDekker (D – East Elmhurst) introduced Assembly Bill 6464 (A6464) on March 7 The legislation would allow New Yorkers to opt out of any utility company smart meter program with no penalty.
Smart meters monitor home energy usage in minute detail in real time. The devices transmit data to the utility company were it gets stored in databases. Anybody with access to the data can download it for analysts. Without specific criteria limiting access to the data, these devices create significant privacy issues. Smart meters can also be used to remotely limit power usage during peak hours.
A3066 provides a comprehensive smart meter opt-out right for utility customers.
It shall be the right of every customer of an electric and/or gas corporation, at no penalty, fee or service charge to decline the permission of his or her electric and/or gas corporation, (a) to replace an existing meter at such customer’s premises that is assigned to such customer’s account with a two-way smart meter or (b) to install any two-way smart meter device at his or her property without such customer’s consent.
The legislation would also require utility companies to give customers 90 day notice before installing smart meter technology with a right to decline installation. It would further allow a customer to require removal of a smart meter with no charge for one year after installation.
A6464 is similar to a bill (A3066) introduced in the New York Assembly earlier this year.
The proliferation of smart meters creates significant privacy concerns. The data collected can tell anybody who holds it a great deal about what goes on inside a home. It can reveal when residents are at home, asleep or on vacation. It can also pinpoint “unusual” energy use, and could someday serve to help enforce “energy usage” regulations. The ACLU summarized the privacy issues surrounding smart meters in a recent report.
The temptation to use the information that will be collected from customers for something other than managing electrical loads will be strong – as it has been for cell phone tracking data and GPS information. Police may want to know your general comings and goings or whether you’re growing marijuana in your basement under grow lights. Advertisers will want the information to sell you a new washing machine to replace the energy hog you got as a wedding present 20 years ago. Information flowing in a smart grid will become more and more ‘granular’ as the system develops.
The privacy issues aren’t merely theoretical. According to information obtained by the California ACLU, utility companies in the state have disclosed information gathered by smart meters on thousands of customers. San Diego Gas and Electric alone disclosed data on more than 4,000 customers. The vast majority of disclosures were in response to subpoenas by government agencies “often in drug enforcement cases or efforts to find specific individuals,” according to SFGate.
Mark Toney, executive director of the Utility Reform Network watchdog group, said the sheer number of data disclosures made by SDG&E raised the possibility that government agencies wanted to sift through large amounts of data looking for patterns, rather than conducting targeted investigations.
No Smart Meter, No Data
Refusing to allow a smart meter on your property is the only sure-fire way to ensure your energy use data won’t fall into the hands of government agents or private marketers, or end up stored in some kind of government database. Passage of A3066 would make opting out a legal option for New Yorkers and give them control over their own privacy.
Impact on Federal Program
The federal government serves as a major source of funding for smart meters. A 2009 program through the U.S. Department of Energy distributed $4.5 billion for smart grid technology. The initial projects were expected to fund the installation of 1.8 million smart meters over three years.
The federal government lacks any constitutional authority to fund smart grid technology. The easiest way to nullify such programs is to simply not participate. A6464 would make that possible. If enough states pass similar legislation, and enough people opt out, the program will go nowhere.
We’ve seen a similar opt out movement undermining Common Core in New York. Opting out follows a strategy James Madison advised in Federalist #46. “Refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” provides a powerful means to fight back against government overreach. Such actions in multiple states would likely be effective in bringing down federal smart meter programs.
Humans are living in a sea of electromagnetic radiofrequencies, some of which are not recognized for the health harms they cause. The very agency that should be at the forefront of setting safety standards, the World Health Organization Working Group on the Evaluation of Health Effects from Radiofrequency (RF) Radiation, is totally remiss in setting standards.
That industry-run Working Group sets the thermal standards for Specific Absorption Rates (SARs) and other parameters regarding microwave technologies and safe human exposures. However, the Working Group is riddled with microwave industry representatives who deliberately prevent non-thermal radiation wave adverse effects from being formally recognized. That includes not setting safety standards regarding output from microwave technology-operated gadgets and appliances, e.g., AMI Smart Meters and home appliances, which emit non-thermal radiation causing adverse health effects, i.e., electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) or as physicians call it “Idiopathy Environmental Intolerance” (IEI), which affects 26% of the USA population; 19% of the Swedish population; 27% of the Danish population; and 32% of the German population. See Gibson, Pamela. Ecopsychology, Vol. 8, No. 2, June 2016.
The World Health Organization working group is meeting in 2017 to re-assess the evaluation of health effects from radiofrequency radiation; however, it no longer should deny the existence of non-thermal radiation waves and their effects, which the microwave industry giant ICNIRP refuses to accept as valid science despite industry-sponsored research finding 32% non-thermal adverse effects.
Therefore, I’d like to encourage everyone, after reading my email to the Director of Public Health and Environment at the WHO, to send your personal email to Dr Marie Neira firstname.lastname@example.org telling her you know about conflicts of interest; the scientific shenanigans that go on with ICNIRP not recognizing non-thermal radiation wave adverse health effects; and that has to be corrected during the 2017 evaluation to include non-thermal radiation adverse health effects and to set safety standards for them.
That’s the only hope of getting non-thermal radiation adverse health effects recognized and dealt with appropriately, since more and more people—especially children on the Autism Spectrum—are negatively affected by all the ‘smart’ microwave technology gadgets and appliances.
Please take particular notice of what is said about ICNIRP’s conflict of interest and other ethical issues regarding the evaluation of radiofrequency radiation health effects by the WHO’s Working Group.
Email Address: email@example.com
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20 – 1211
Geneva 27, Switzerland
Attention: Maria Neira, Director, Public Health and Environment
Reference: International EMF Project; unbalanced WHO working group on evaluation of health effects from radiofrequency (RF) radiation
Dear Doctor Neira:
Please accept these comments from an independent consumer health researcher who has been investigating the adverse health effects, plus the geopolitics and ‘politics’ of EMF/RFs/ELFs for several years. What I have found is most disturbing insofar as there is an unbalanced evaluation of EMFs/RFs/ELFs by the microwave industry representation’s apparent and deliberate double standard of not reporting current and/or independent science to the World Health Organization regarding the outdated need for better protection standards to be set by the WHO regarding non-thermal radiation wave adverse health effects, which independent scientific studies confirm in 70 percent of their research.
Regarding radiofrequency research, 32% of industry-sponsored research found non-thermal adverse effects and 68% found no non-thermal effects; whereas non-industry-sponsored research found 70% non-thermal adverse health effects and 30% no non-thermal effects, according to research data compiled by Dr Henry Lai, University of Washington. Resource: https://www.emfanalysis.com/research/
Question: Why is it the industry-sponsored research findings of 32% non-thermal adverse effects are not considered and included in ICNIRPS’ apparently falsified research data? That’s illegal collusion by a vested-interest party—is it not? That’s almost one-third of industry-sponsored studies they negate as non-existent! That’s professional criminal activity, I offer, which needs to be corrected immediately, if not sooner, as the WHO is being detrimental in exercising its due diligence to the world’s populations.
I am the science researcher for an ad hoc committee of citizens, Pennsylvania Smart Meter Awareness (PASMA) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States of America, who respectfully wishes to give input regarding the WHO’s working group members; what needs to have light shined upon it; sorted out; and corrected during the current 2017 evaluation process.
Personally, I represented myself pro se before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission regarding the formal complaint for refusing an AMI Smart Meter due to being a six-year breast cancer survivor, but knowing the facts about EMF/RF/ELF non-thermal radiation wave adverse health effects, I do not want a smart meter on my electric service.
As a result of the two-day hearing November 2-3, 2016, I had to file two legal Briefs in which I brought to the attention of the PA PUC Administrative Law Court and the two judges who heard my case, the Respondent’s Brief due February 15, 2017. As part III “Argument”, I stated in Paragraph 14. Frompovich, furthermore, in her Brief introduced the apparent scientific mischief, conflicts of interest and probable fraud regarding EMF/RF/ELF ‘science’ as propagandized by industrial professional societies, e.g., ICNIRP, which PECO experts used as their scientific expertise and industry proof. Cf. Frompovich Brief pp. 39-45 (100-115)
Below, I insert Paragraphs 101 to 119 from the original Brief I filed pro se January 25, 2017, which are self-explanatory and tell the unsavory story of the unfortunate ethics problems and other allegations surrounding members of the WHO’s working group—past and or present—on the evaluation of health effects from radiofrequency radiation.
- [Partial] PECO and its experts presented and quoted NCRP and ICNIRP, industrial professional societies, EMF/RF views during testimony as scientific fact. In scientific reality, those organizations data are being challenged with conflicts of interest and making misleading statements in published papers. Those organizations scientific accuracy is questioned. Frompovich now brings ICNIRP to the attention of this Honorable Court and the PA PUC.
- In the recently (December 2016) Reviews on Environmental Health—De Gruyter published article “Inaccurate official assessment of radiofrequency safety by the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation,” Sarah J. Starkey, Independent Neuroscience and Environmental Health Research, London, UK, describes “incorrect and misleading statements from within the [AGNIR 2016] report, omissions and conflict of interests, which make it unsuitable for health risk assessment. The executive summary and overall conclusions did not accurately reflect the scientific evidence available. Independence is needed from the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP), the group that set the exposure guidelines being assessed.”
- In the Introduction, Starkey states:
“The latest AGNIR review has also been relied upon by health protection agencies around the world, including the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency and Health Canada.
“The majority of the global population absorb RF radiation on a daily basis from smartphones, tablet computers, body-worn devices, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth transmitters, cordless phones, base stations, wireless utility meters and other transmitters.” (Pg. 493)
- In that Introduction it states the United Kingdom Public Health England “commission[s] scientific reviews by the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) to assess the safety of RF fields.” PECO’s expert medical witness Dr. Mark A. Israel testified cf. Transcript 280(10-18):
Israel A.: Right. So I’m going to read to you a statement from the United Kingdom Health Protection Agency issued in a 2012 report, and I quote: “A large body of experimental evidence now exists concerning the impact of RF fields on self-reported symptoms. When taken together, the experimental evidence suggests that short-term exposure to RF fields below guideline levels does not cause acute symptoms either in the general public or in people who report being sensitive to electromagnetic fields.”
- It would seem Dr. Israel’s quotation from the UKHPA 2012 report came from information generated and disseminated by AGNIR, the very advisory group implicated in “incorrect and misleading statements” within its 2016 report.
- Under Conflicts of interest, Starkey points out:
“At the time of writing the report, the chairman of AGNIR was also chair of the ICNIRP standing committee on epidemiology. Currently, six members of AGNIR and three members of PHE [Public Health England] or its parent organisation, the Department of Health (DH), are or have been part of ICNIRP.” [….] “How can AGNIR report that the scientific literature contains evidence of harmful effects below the current guidelines when several of them are responsible for those guidelines? PHE provide the official advice on the safety of wireless signals within the UK, but having members in ICNIRP introduces a conflict of interest which could prevent them from acknowledging adverse effects below ICNIRP guidelines.” (Pp. 493-94)
- Under Scientific accuracy, this:
“(a) Studies were omitted, included in other sections but without any conclusions, or conclusions left out; (b) evidence was dismissed and ignored in conclusions; (c) there were incorrect statements. Terms such as ‘convincing’ or ‘consistent’ were used to imply that there was no evidence.” (Pg. 494)
“No evidence” was something PECO medical expert Dr. Mark A. Israel stated several times in his testimony regarding science research on EMFs, non-thermal adverse effects and cancer.
- “Studies omitted, included in other sections but without any conclusions, or conclusions left out”
Referring to ROS [reactive oxygen species]: “By only including a few of the available studies, not referring to many scattered throughout the report and not mentioning ROS or oxidative stress in any conclusions or the executive summary, this important area of research was misrepresented. Oxidative stress is a toxic state which can lead to cellular DNA, RNA, protein or lipid damage (7,8) is a major cause of cancer (7), as well as being implicated in many reproductive, central nervous system, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic disorders. (Pg. 495)
The above is specific scientific evidence about Frompovich’s health concerns about being exposed to PECO’s FlexNet AMI Smart Meter EMFs/RFs, as she is a breast cancer survivor.
“The evidence on effects on male subfertility is very limited, and allows no conclusions.” (Pg. 495)
“ICNIRP only accept thermal effects of RF fields and focus on average energy absorbed.” (Pg. 495)
- ICNIRP has stated its members are independent of vested, commercial interests. However, several ICNIRP members, e.g., Dr. Alexander Lerchl, have been accused of conflicts of interests, the most famous being Anders Ahlborn, Professor of Epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute and former consultant to the tobacco industry. Professor Ahlborn was forced to resign as a member of the WHO’s IARC working group on radiofrequencies. Ahlborn was ‘outed’ that he was the director of the consulting firm Gunnar Ahlborn AB, founded by his brother. That consulting firm served telecom businesses and industry.
“Many of the longer-term observational studies described significant associations of RF exposures with symptoms, albeit with limitations in study designs: ‘while some, though by no means all, of the studies reviewed above appear to suggest an association between mobile phone use and symptoms…”, [page 245 (2)] followed by “almost all of the studies share a fundamental methodological problem which makes it difficult to draw any firm conclusions from them: these studies relied upon the participants’ own descriptions of their mobile phone usage as the exposure variable for their analysis and on self-description of symptoms while knowing exposure status’(2). Longer-term studies on symptoms were omitted from the executive summary.” (Pg. 496)
- The above paragraph independently supports PECO medical expert witness Dr. Israel’s statements during testimony regarding evidence and conclusions, as to no scientific evidence, apparently due to scientific mischief, which Starkey’s exposé indicates.
- “No mention was made of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification of RF fields as a possible human carcinogen in 2011, which was based on limited evidence supporting carcinogenicity below ICNIRP guideline values.(32)” (Pg. 496)
“By the end of the report, the conclusions on cellular studies had incorrectly become ‘There are now several hundred studies in the published literature that have looked for effects on isolated cells or their components when exposed to RF fields. None has provided robust evidence for and effect.[page 318 (2)” (Pg. 497)
Again, that is another reiteration as to how no scientific evidence is found and which PECO, its attorneys and medical expert rely upon as factual.
- There are numerous more examples Frompovich could cite from the Starkey paper, but in the interest of trying to keep this Brief as brief as possible but scientifically accurate regarding scientific mischief, Frompovich proceeds to that article’s Conclusions for further examples:
“The denial of the existence of adverse effects of RF fields below ICNIRP guidelines in the AGNIR report conclusions is not supported by the scientific evidence.” [….]
“The involvement of ICNIRP scientists in the misleading report calls into question the basis and validity of the international exposure guidelines. To protect public health, we need accurate official assessments of whether there are adverse effects of RF signals below current international ICNIRP guidelines, independent of the group who set the guidelines.
“The anticipated WHO Environmental Health Criteria Monograph on Radiofrequency Fields, due in 2017, is being prepared by a core group and additional experts with 50% of those named, being, or having been, members of AGNIR or ICNIRP. (Table2) [….]
“Independence from ICNIRP is necessary to remove the conflict of interest when effects below ICNIRP exposure guidelines are being assessed.” [….]
“Individuals and organisations who/that have made decisions about the often compulsory exposures of others to wireless RF communication signals may be unaware of the physical harm that they may have caused, and may still be causing, because they have not been accurately informed of the risks.” [….] “To prevent further possible harm, restrictions on exposures are required, particularly for children, pregnant women and individuals with medical conditions.” (Pg. 499)
“PHE and AGNIR had a responsibility to provide accurate information about the safety of RF fields. Unfortunately, the report suffered from an incorrect and misleading executive summary and overall conclusions, inaccurate statements, omissions and conflict of interest. Public health and the well-being of other species in the natural world cannot be protected when evidence of harm, no matter how inconvenient, is covered up.” (Pp. 499-500)
- The above-cited paper has 99 References, some of which were included to show corrupted science articles which appear in the scientific literature. Frompovich includes that 11-page report in this Brief as Brief Exhibit No. 3 Inaccurate official assessment of radiofrequency safety by the Advisory group on Non-ionising Radiation.
- The above brings to mind three current headline consumer safety issues related to misinformation and/or fraudulent information perpetrated upon unknowing consumers. 1) The Takata air bag defect initially emerged in 2001 when Isuzu recalled vehicles with airbag problems. Now the Takata air bag problem affects 69 million recalled cars. Takata’s fine: $1 Billion with extradition of three Japanese Takata corporate officers to the USA for prosecution. 2) Volkswagen and Fiat-Chrysler auto emissions pollution software systems were set to deactivate emissions during USA emissions testing and give false emission readings indicating vehicles passed the test or were within legal limits. Probable fines: $20 Billion. 3) Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune potable water contamination from August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1987 has harmed hundreds of thousands of veterans and their families from being exposed to toxins in household drinking water the base supplied. That tainted/poisoned water can cause 8 diseases: Adult leukemia, aplastic anemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease. The United States will pay $2.2 Billion in disability compensations. An estimated 900,000 service members potentially were exposed to the tainted water. What will happen to consumers when microwave radiation EMFs/RFs/ELFs finally are recognized for the health problems they are contributing to from non-thermal radiation emissions/exposures, since the science is there documenting them (32% confirming industry studies), but they still are being denied by vested interests.
- Further indication of the conflicts of interest and ICNIRP’s questionable EMF/RF science were addressed in the paper “Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), The problem of conflict of interest & commercial influence in WHO agencies and the need for public interest representation,” specifically on pages 14 and 15 under “ICNIRP increases its ELF EMF guideline exposure limits and ignores science”. PECO’s experts citing ICNIRP’s data as valid science must be questioned as to validity and industry conflicts of interest.
- Utility customers with medical conditions, including those who are electromagnetically sensitive, medically known as IEI or EHS, and those covered under the three prongs of the ADAAA are impacted negatively by omissions, conflicts of interest and other scientific mischief regarding microwave EMF/RF/ELF non-ionizing radiation non-thermal health effects promulgated by industrial professional societies.
- When scientific mischief occurs in EMF/RF/ELF science through misrepresentations, omissions, inaccurate statements and conflicts of interest, it results in causing suffering for electromagnetically sensitive individuals and health concerns like those of Frompovich, a breast cancer survivor, who has been tracking microwave industry science literature.
- However, more than anything, conflict of interest and misrepresentations of science validate the necessity for the PA PUC and the Pennsylvania Legislature to become current on EMF/RF/ELF science, non-thermal radiation and its adverse health effects regarding cancers and other diseases/conditions in order to comply with transparency issues, correct the problems, and provide safe, affordable electricity to Pennsylvania consumers.
119. Frompovich points out vested-interest microwave and AMI Smart Meter science is following the same singular course the tobacco industry took to protect its interests and marketability in denying cancer’s association with tobacco use.
* * * * *
However, Dr Neira, I want to impress upon the WHO, its working group evaluation committee and you the fact the U.S. Navy has known since 1971 about clinical manifestations attributed to microwave and radiofrequency radiation. As proof, here is that 106-page, 2311 studies report: Naval Medical Research Institute Bibliography of Reported Biological Phenomena (‘Effects’) And Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave And Radio-Frequency Radiation
4 October 1971; Second Printing with Revisions, Corrections and Additions 20 April 1972
Naval Medical Research Institute, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland 20014, U.S.A.
Dr Neira, please know that I have published this email to you as an “Open Letter” at ActivistPost.com and NaturalBlaze.com.
I look forward to hearing from you as to what will be done to correct the apparent unethical and illegal collusions that go on during evaluations of EMFs and their effects on human health.
Thank you very much for reading my letter and your kind cooperation to help humans become protected from EMF/RF/ELF non-thermal radiation wave adverse effects.
Respectfully submitted by,
Catherine J Frompovich
Consumer Health Researcher/Author/Journalist
 https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/reveh.2016.31.issue-4/reveh-2016-0060/reveh-2016-0060.xml?format=INT (Pg. 493)
 www.emfacts.com/download/IARC_2011_IARC_May_5_FINAL.pdf Pp. 14-15
 ADAAA = Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act
What would you think or say if I were to tell you black is white; up is down; Planet Earth is square, not spheroid in shape; and night is day? You probably would say I’m off my rocker and really don’t know what I’m talking about. Do you think that some segments of vested scientific research are capable of being equally outrageous?
I propose that very sort of scientific mischief and outrageousness is going on within vested-interest microwave technology sciences so as to keep you, the gullible and enthralled technology ‘smart’ device consumer, confused into believing there are no adverse health effects from microwaves EXCEPT what’s acknowledged and called thermal radiation, which can heat skin.
If smart technology gadgets don’t heat your skin, then they are safe, which is the standard “tobacco science” pap disseminated by industrial professional societies such as IEEE, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the National Council of Radiation Protection (NCRP) and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), who fund and/or perform the studies the World Health Organization and global government health agencies cite as ‘factual’ science.
Basically, microwave technology industrial professional societies state emphatically there is no such effect as non-thermal radiation adverse health effects, which contribute to and/or cause electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) or what physicians call idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI) in sensitive people around the world.
However, here’s the unbelievable part: Non-Industry vs. Industry Funded Studies.
NON-Industry studies found 70% HARMFUL effects and 30% found no effects; whereas in INDUSTRY-studies, they found only 32% HARMFUL effects with 68% no effects. Those data were compiled by Dr. Henry Lai, University of Washington, Professor Emeritus—Department of Bioengineering. Dr. Lai’s work included the “biological effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (from extremely-low frequency to radiofrequency) and their possible medical applications. Furthermore, Dr. Lai’s work included the development of Artemisinins (derived from extracts of sweet wormwood) for cancer treatment. 
Here’s the truly ironic ‘scientific’ part about the above: Almost one-third (32%) of Industry studies found harmful health effects! How, then, can the microwave industry summarily deny such effects don’t exist plus cavalierly – and deliberately – mislead gullible but adoring technology-crazed consumers?
Even the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is hoodwinked!
The FCC does not have the expertise or the capabilities to determine the safety of electromagnetic fields. FCC stated “Because the Commission does not claim expertise as a de facto health agency, it necessarily considers the views of federal health and safety agencies and institutes that continue to address RF exposure issues in formulating such judgments” in the Federal Register Vol. 78, No. 107 / Tuesday, June 4, 2013 / Proposed Rules. Basically, the FCC takes no responsibility for the science. There ought to be a law against that type of obfuscation on the part of a federal agency tasked with setting safety standards.
Microwave science is more than skewed; it’s downright misleading!
In the recently (December 2016) Reviews on Environmental Health—De Gruyter published the article “Inaccurate official assessment of radiofrequency safety by the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation,” authored by Sarah J. Starkey, Independent Neuroscience and Environmental Health Research, London, UK.
Starkey describes “incorrect and misleading statements from within the [AGNIR 2016] report, omissions and conflict of interests, which make it unsuitable for health risk assessment. The executive summary and overall conclusions did not accurately reflect the scientific evidence available. Independence is needed from the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP), the group that set the exposure guidelines being assessed.”
In the Introduction, Starkey states:
The latest AGNIR review has also been relied upon by health protection agencies around the world, including the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency and Health Canada.
The majority of the global population absorb RF radiation on a daily basis from smartphones, tablet computers, body-worn devices, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth transmitters, cordless phones, base stations, wireless utility meters [aka Smart Meters/AMI Smart Meters] and other transmitters. (Pg. 493)
Under Conflicts of interest, Starkey points out:
At the time of writing the report, the chairman of AGNIR was also chair of the ICNIRP standing committee on epidemiology. Currently, six members of AGNIR and three members of PHE [Public Health England] or its parent organisation, the Department of Health (DH), are or have been part of ICNIRP.” [….] “How can AGNIR report that the scientific literature contains evidence of harmful effects below the current guidelines when several of them are responsible for those guidelines? PHE provide the official advice on the safety of wireless signals within the UK, but having members in ICNIRP introduces a conflict of interest which could prevent them from acknowledging adverse effects below ICNIRP guidelines. (Pp. 493-94)
Under Scientific accuracy, Starkey states:
(a) Studies were omitted, included in other sections but without any conclusions, or conclusions left out; (b) evidence was dismissed and ignored in conclusions; (c) there were incorrect statements. Terms such as ‘convincing’ or ‘consistent’ were used to imply that there was no evidence. (Pg. 494)
Under “Studies omitted, included in other sections but without any conclusions, or conclusions left out” and referring to ROS [reactive oxygen species]:
By only including a few of the available studies, not referring to many scattered throughout the report and not mentioning ROS or oxidative stress in any conclusions or the executive summary, this important area of research was misrepresented. Oxidative stress is a toxic state which can lead to cellular DNA, RNA, protein or lipid damage (7,8) is a major cause of cancer (7), as well as being implicated in many reproductive, central nervous system, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic disorders. (Pg. 495)
However and here’s the BIG however, “ICNIRP only accept thermal effects of RF fields and focus on average energy absorbed,” (Pg. 495) even though 32% of Industry studies found non-thermal effects!
ICNIRP has stated its members are independent of vested and commercial interests. However, several ICNIRP members, e.g., Dr. Alexander Lerchl, have been accused of conflicts of interests, the most famous being Anders Ahlborn, Professor of Epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute and former consultant to the tobacco industry. Professor Ahlborn was forced to resign as a member of the WHO’s IARC working group on radiofrequencies. Ahlborn was ‘outed’ that he was the director of the consulting firm Gunnar Ahlborn AB, founded by his brother. That consulting firm served telecom businesses and industry.
Starkey goes on to say:
Many of the longer-term observational studies described significant associations of RF exposures with symptoms, albeit with limitations in study designs: ‘while some, though by no means all, of the studies reviewed above appear to suggest an association between mobile phone use and symptoms…’, [page 245 (2)] followed by ‘almost all of the studies share a fundamental methodological problem which makes it difficult to draw any firm conclusions from them: these studies relied upon the participants’ own descriptions of their mobile phone usage as the exposure variable for their analysis and on self-description of symptoms while knowing exposure status'(2). Longer-term studies on symptoms were omitted from the executive summary. (Pg. 496)
No mention was made of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification of RF fields as a possible human carcinogen in 2011, which was based on limited evidence supporting carcinogenicity below ICNIRP guideline values.(32) (Pg. 496)
By the end of the report, the conclusions on cellular studies had incorrectly become ‘There are now several hundred studies in the published literature that have looked for effects on isolated cells or their components when exposed to RF fields. None has provided robust evidence for and effect.’ [page 318 (2) (Pg. 497)
The microwave industry considers “cancer” a four-letter-word and does everything within its financial and political prowess to disassociate anyone from proving or even associating cancer etiologies with microwave EMFs/RFs/ELFs, thermal and non-thermal wave radiation.
Conclusions for further examples:
The denial of the existence of adverse effects of RF fields below ICNIRP guidelines in the AGNIR report conclusions is not supported by the scientific evidence. [….]
The involvement of ICNIRP scientists in the misleading report calls into question the basis and validity of the international exposure guidelines. To protect public health, we need accurate official assessments of whether there are adverse effects of RF signals below current international ICNIRP guidelines, independent of the group who set the guidelines.
The anticipated WHO Environmental Health Criteria Monograph on Radiofrequency Fields, due in 2017, is being prepared by a core group and additional experts with 50% of those named, being, or having been, members of AGNIR or ICNIRP. (Table2) [….]
Independence from ICNIRP is necessary to remove the conflict of interest when effects below ICNIRP exposure guidelines are being assessed. [….]
Individuals and organisations who/that have made decisions about the often compulsory exposures of others to wireless RF communication signals may be unaware of the physical harm that they may have caused, and may still be causing, because they have not been accurately informed of the risks.” [….] “To prevent further possible harm, restrictions on exposures are required, particularly for children, pregnant women and individuals with medical conditions. (Pg. 499)
PHE and AGNIR had a responsibility to provide accurate information about the safety of RF fields. Unfortunately, the report suffered from an incorrect and misleading executive summary and overall conclusions, inaccurate statements, omissions and conflict of interest. Public health and the well-being of other species in the natural world cannot be protected when evidence of harm, no matter how inconvenient, is covered up.” (Pp. 499- 500)
Ironically, the above-cited Starkey paper has 99 References, some of which were included to show corrupted science articles which appear in the published scientific literature. [CJF emphasis added]
The above paper by Sarah J. Starkey is only one intelligently explained example of what’s really going on with microwave ‘science’ to keep consumers enthralled about and with ‘smart’ devices and denied microwave technology health hazards.
There are so many more studies I can cite, but I think readers ought to be getting the picture of what’s not being told to them so that the marketing plans for smart appliances and gadgets can rule consumers’ lives—everything from a ‘smart’ phone, appliances and Wi-Fi to the coveted G5, global Wi-Fi in the sky. Fried brains, anyone?
One of the foremost researchers in electromagnetic frequencies and their effects on human health is Professor Olle Johansson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Johansson made a 7-minute YouTube explanation telling why everyone should be concerned about the science being promoted regarding EMFs/RFs. That happened back on October 8, 2010, and you can listen to it here.
Take note of what Professor Johansson says about public officials.
Unfortunately, the microwave industry and all EMF/RF technologies, especially cell, smart and iPhones, Wi-Fi, utility smart meters, etc., have not taken Dr. Johansson and other scientists seriously regarding total public exposure to the sea of electromagnetic frequencies humans, animals, plants and the environment are exposed to minute-by-minute, day-by-day, year-by-year with obvious negative impacting effects, which have been diagnosed as electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) or idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI) in a growing number of humans:
26% of the USA population (Caress & Steinemann, 2003)
19% of the Swedish population (Johansson et al, 2005)
27% of the Danish population (Berg et al 2008)
32% of the German population (Hausteiner et al, 2005)
Furthermore, no one that I’ve been able to find has calculated the cumulative doses effects of EMF/RF/ELF. Some give exposures for only 30 minutes. Humans live longer than 30 minutes in those totally-saturated EMF environments, especially humans who are exposed to Wi-Fi at work or school, and day after day!
The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) issued a preliminary report about cell phone exposure health issues that some affiliated with the microwave industry think is poppycock. Consequently, no way will cancer ever become an adverse health effect from microwave non-thermal radiation waves, if vested interests can keep forcing their skewed science while invoking their political and financial-largess influences.
The U.S. Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and government agencies worldwide need to wake up to how they’ve been had by nothing short of scientific fraudsters, in my opinion as someone who’s researched the subject in greater detail in order to represent myself in a Pro Se case before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Administrative Law Court.
Many vested industry societies keep setting the tolerance bar higher – ICNIRP, in particular – than the human organism can tolerate, thus many experience such problems as sleep interference, tinnitus, heart palpitations, depression, nervousness and other anomalies they did not experience until, in many instances, a utility AMI Smart Meter, e.g., electric, natural gas and water, was retrofitted onto their home service(s) meter(s). Some unfortunate folks can have all three smart meters!
If anyone experiences strange symptoms, I suggest checking out where your utility meter is located. If it’s on the outside of the house bedroom wall, you may need to change your sleeping location and/or ask your utility company to change your meter back to an analog meter or invest in some EMF protection devices. There are smart meter opt-outs available; you just have to do your research regarding your location and utility company to enforce them.
EMF sickness is in the same category that multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) was years ago when people were complaining about indoor pollution from all the chemical gas outs from carpeting, upholstered furniture, paints, etc. Now everyone is familiar with “sick building syndrome.” There even are builders and other trades people who specialize in removing offenders and/or constructing pollution-free environments. It’s called “Green Building Standards.” 
We need the same sort of standards and/or process for electromagnetic frequencies abatement before it’s too late, in my opinion.
A Note From STOPWashingtonSmartmeters: I know Obama is on his way out the door, however please sing anyway, as it will bring attention to our cause.
There’s a petition at White House.gov asking the Obama Administration to raise awareness about the serious cancer risk from wireless technology radiation being emitted by cell phones, Wi-Fi in schools and public places, microwaves, smart meters and other “smart” technology appliances that are damaging our DNA and predisposing us to cancer.
The petition’s goal is 100,000 signatures by December 20, 2016 so that it can get the President’s attention. Won’t you please sign it and also forward it on to your members of Congress, family and friends.
Please publicize the U.S. National Toxicology Program results that wireless radiation causes DNA breakage and cancer
Created by C.K. on November 20, 2016
Sign This Petition
Needs 100,000 signatures by December 20, 2016 to get a response from the White House
108 signed as of Nov. 21, 2016
The Cancer Moonshot Task Force should publicize the findings of the U.S. National Toxicology Program that exposures to RF radiation such as those that occur when people use cellphones, tablets and other wireless technology cause cancer and double-stranded DNA breaks (http://ehtrust.org/science/facts-national-toxicology-program-cellphone-r…).
Over 220 EMF/RF researchers from around the globe agree – existing RF limits are not protective and urgently need revision to protect people from getting cancer and other biological effects (www.EMFscientist.org).
The Obama Administration and Cancer Moonshot need to raise awareness about the serious cancer risk radiation from wireless technology poses so people can take precautionary action. Prevention is key and knowledge is power.
Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.
Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.
Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)
Catherine’s NEW book: Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities ©2016 Catherine J Frompovich is now available
Image Credit: David Dees Art
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have been around since the beginning of time as we receive natural EMFs from the sun and earth itself. It wasn’t until mankind learned to generate electricity (and EMFs) that we hit technological breakthroughs like lightbulbs and radio communications. More than 100 years later, we now enjoy and have become almost completely dependent on high-performing computers, microwave ovens, and many other wireless technologies.
Every one of us is now exposed to unprecedented levels of man-made EMFs. The safety of EMF exposure is controversial because there are the pro-technology people who believe that these artificially created EMFs are completely safe. On the other hand, studies are emerging to demonstrate that EMFs, including non-ionizing ones, may be unsafe.
Perhaps the safest route to take is to be safe, informed, and proactive, rather than sitting back and passively consenting to being a guinea pig. To help understand why EMF exposure could be harmful, I’m going to attempt to outline the science that explains it as well as what we can do to help eliminate the negative effects.
What are EMFs?
EMF stands for electromagnetic field. Electromagnetic fields are comprised of an electric and a magnetic field perpendicular to each other, which travel together in an invisible wave form.
EMFs Can Occur:
- Near an electrical current, according to Maxwell’s Law.
- When atoms absorb another form of energy, which can be in the form of heat or another EMF. The electrons in an atom can get excited and release another EMF field. This is exactly how plant chlorophyll extracts energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into glucose.
- When nuclear reactions occur, such as how the sun creates energy.
Many man-made EMFs are generated by one of these methods to create electromagnetic waves that are useful to us. These include radio waves, WiFi signals, and microwave radiation. In addition, visible lights, UV lights, and infrared radiation are also a form of EMFs.
Types of EMFs:
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences categorized EMFs into two different groups, i.e.
- Low frequency EMF radiation. They have lower frequencies than visible light and are non-ionizing radiation. Examples include EMFs from microwave ovens, computers, visible light, smart meters, WiFi, cell phones, Bluetooth, power lines, and MRIs.
- High frequency EMF radiation. These have higher frequencies than visible light, which are ionizing radiation. Examples include ultraviolet (UV) light, X-Rays, and Gamma rays.
Are EMFs Harmful?
There is no question that too much exposure to high frequency radiation can create health problems. If we stay out in the sun too long, we get sunburned from prolonged UV exposure. Every time we get X-Rays, the technician will ask if we are pregnant because X-Rays can cause harm to the growing baby.
Health effects of low frequency EMF radiation are more controversial for many reasons:
First, symptoms due to use of microwave ovens, smart meters, WiFi, cell phones, etc. can be inconspicuous at first, but they may become noticeable over time rather than immediately.
Second, the electronic and telecommunication industries have strong financial interests in consumers not being aware of potential harm from using their products.
Why is EMF Exposure a Problem?
We have long known that the human body is a sophisticated electromagnetic system. Our nervous system and our heart run on electricity, which explains why we can shock a dead heart into life using an electric shock machine called a defibrillator. Back in 1969, Dr. David Cohen, professor of Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology was able to detect the magnetic fields from the human heart and brain (source).
Naturally, we have evolved with the natural EMFs, i.e. that of the earth and the sun which synch with our healthy biological rhythms. Earth has its own magnetic field, which is why we can always use a compass to find the north pole no matter where we are. Earth’s EMF is called the Schumann resonance (7.83 Hz). The sun is a big source of natural EMFs, including visible light and UV radiation.
Our own electromagnetic signals are very weak compared to the man-made EMFs. Exposure to man-made EMFs can interfere with the electromagnetic systems inside of our bodies. Particularly, the brain, the heart, and mitochondria can be particularly susceptible to EMF interference. In addition, because our own biology can get disrupted, EMF exposure can worsen inflammatory problems.
How Much EMF Exposure is Safe?
With high-coverage cell phone networks, WiFi signals, and appliances, it is simply not possible to reduce EMF exposure to zero. Whether a certain EMF is dangerous depends on a few different aspects of the electromagnetic waves, including:
- Frequency: The higher frequency an EMF is, the more energy it carries and the more likely it is to be dangerous.
- Power density: The average energy of the electromagnetic waves in a given area or volume.
- Strength: of the electric and magnetic fields that are present
- Duration of exposure: prolonged duration is usually worse than acute duration for the same levels of EMF.
The World Health Organization established a guideline for safe EMF exposure, while different countries also have established their own guidelines. According to a report by Netherland’s National Institutes of Public Health and another report by Dr. Jack Kruse, Russia has the strictest requirements while the US has allows for more EMF exposure.
See the full text of the comparison of international policies about EMFs, including the image above in PDF form here.
What the Industries Don’t Want You to Know About EMF Exposure
The telecommunication and electronics industry have a major conflict of interest against consumers becoming aware of health effects from EMF exposure. In fact, they might even be in denial. Their safety claims are typically reinforced by government agencies as it can be very expensive for them to make things safer.
Currently, the claims that the low frequency EMF exposure is safe are based on the fact that there is no direct evidence showing that certain sources of EMF exposure are safe (or unsafe). The International Agency for Research on Cancer has already categorized low frequency EMF radiation a class 2B possible carcinogen (source). However, harmful effects of EMF radiation are not limited to cancer.
An infamous case of such denial was when utility companies started installing smart meters in people’s homes. While the companies claim that smart meters are safe, numerous people started to experience neurological problems and, in some cases, worsened inflammatory symptoms as soon as the smart meters were installed (source). These consumers had to immediately move to a new home with no smart meters or fight to have the smart meter uninstalled in their home.
Many parents in Ontario are observing that their children are becoming ill after schools started to install WiFi (source). Children are particularly susceptible to harm from EMF radiation because they have smaller and growing bodies, so symptoms can be more apparent.
Symptoms Related to EMF Exposure
Chronic high levels of low frequency EMF exposure can result in:
- Brain fog
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Frequent illnesses
- HPA axis dysfunction (also known as adrenal fatigue)
- Hormone imbalances
- Cancer or increased in cancer risk
Therefore, EMF exposure is not healthy. Fortunately, it is still possible to reduce EMF exposure and take steps to mitigate potential harm from EMF radiation.
How to Reduce EMF Exposure
We all know it isn’t realistic to avoid all man-made EMFs, but there are some simple steps we can take to reduce exposure:
Avoid Living Near Strong Sources of EMF Radiation
Very strong sources of EMF radiation can present significant health risks. These include smart meters, radio stations, electrical generators, power lines, and electrified train tracks. An Italian study found that adults and children who live within 3 km of a high-power radio station are at a higher risk of developing leukemia than others (source). Therefore, you want to consider having these EMF sources removed or moving away from them.
Limit EMF Exposure At Home
It may not be possible to avoid using electricity and devices that generate EMFs, but it is possible to reduce EMF exposure. This is particularly important in the bedrooms or when sleeping. We can reduce EMF exposure by:
- Keep appliances and devices off, or on airplane mode as much as possible
- Hard wire internet connections, rather than using WiFi
- If WiFi use is necessary, only turn it on when in use and turn off the WiFi router at night
- Hard wire computer peripherals rather than using wireless or bluetooth connections
- Ensure that your homes electrical wiring is done properly to minimize EMFs
- Keep electronic devices, i.e. cell phones, tablets, and computers away from your body. This includes using head phones to make calls instead of placing the phones near your ear to speak
- Sleep away from circuit breakers or large appliances that run overnight, including if the appliance is on the other side of the wall
- Use protection tools such as Defender Pad under your laptop, and EMF shields for cell phone
- Filter out dirty electricity using dirty electricity filters
- Minimize use of digital devices when possible. Even better, take regular digital detoxes.
Mitigate Negative Health Effects of EMF Exposure
With high coverage of cell phone and power line networks, it is not possible to completely avoid man-made EMF exposure. In addition to taking steps to reduce EMF exposure, we can mitigate the negative effects by
- Grounding– it allows our bodies to neutralize positive ions from electronic devices and re-synchronize with the Schumann resonance.
- Exposures to negative ions such as being near moving water, Himalayan salt lamp, or a negative ion generator can mitigate negative effects of exposure to EMF radiation.
- Eating a nutritious diet high in antioxidants can help mitigate some oxidative stress from EMF exposure.
What’s your experience with negative health effects of EMF radiation and how do you mitigate them? Share below!
People who pass off concerns about electromagnetic fields (EMFs) as belonging in the “tin foil hat” category of paranoia might want to take a closer look at some of the evidence of harm caused by EMF exposure.
While it’s true that some EMFs are naturally emitted by the sun and even the earth, the human race is being exposed to previously unheard-of levels of artificial EMFs in the year 2016, and the problem is only set to grow with the prevalence of wireless technology.
As the name implies, electromagnetic fields are made up of electric and magnetic fields, which are situated perpendicular to one another and travel together in the form of an invisible wave. Man-made EMFs are classified by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences into two categories. The low-frequency classification is given to non-ionizing radiation that bears a lower frequency than visible light, such as that given off by computers, smart meters, microwave ovens, cell phones, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, MRIs and power lines.
High-frequency EMF radiation, on the other hand, encompasses the varieties that bear higher frequencies than visible light. These are ionizing radiation and include X-rays, Gamma rays, and UV light.
Few people would dispute the notion that high-frequency radiation can be problematic. Anyone who has been sunburned can attest to the dangers of UV exposure, and there is a good reason pregnant women are not allowed anywhere near X-rays. However, the effects of low-frequency EMF radiation can be a bit more subtle. The symptoms caused by prolonged use of smart meters, cell phones, microwaves and Wi-Fi aren’t very noticeable at first.
Compounding the problem is the fact that the telecommunications and electronics industries are working actively to dismiss these concerns in order to protect their financial interests, much in the same way that Big Pharma tries to brush off concerns about dangerous drugs like antidepressants so they can keep making money off of them.
For example, a meta analysis of cell phone studies revealed that the majority of studies that were not funded by the cell phone industry indicated a higher risk of brain tumors among cell phone users, while the majority of studies funded by the industry showed that cell phone users actually had a lower risk of brain tumors!
EMF exposure is dangerous because our nervous system and heart run on electricity. That’s why a heart can be shocked back into life using a defibrillator. However, the electromagnetic signals in our body are weak compared to those that are created artificially. EMF interference is particularly risky for our heart, brain and mitochondria.
EMF radiation a possible carcinogen
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has assigned low-frequency EMF radiation as a possible carcinogen (class 2B), but the dangers of this radiation extend far beyond cancer.
Some of the symptoms experienced by people who are exposed to prolonged high levels of low-frequency electromagnetic fields include anxiety, depression, insomnia, dizziness, adrenal fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, and hormonal imbalances in addition to a higher risk of cancer. Many people have noted neurological problems and inflammatory symptoms when smart meters were installed in their homes.
A study published in the Electronic Physician journal shows that EMFs can directly change the behavior of tissues and cells alike, harming your bone marrow, blood, DNA, reproductive system, cardiovascular system and endocrine system.
What can you do to reduce your exposure to man-made EMFs?
First, you will want to keep your electronic devices switched off when they are not in use. Stick to hardwired connections where possible instead of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and this includes peripherals like your keyboard and mouse. Turn off your router at night and do not sleep near electronics.
You should also keep your devices away from your body. This means avoiding the use of headphones for long conversations and avoiding placing your cell phone in your pocket. EMF shields for your cell phone can help curb your exposure, while dirty electricity filters can also help.
If you’re concerned about EMF exposure, you might want to try grounding, which can help your body neutralize the positive ions emitted by electronic devices. It’s as simple as walking barefoot on a sandy beach or a damp patch of grass. You can also help counteract the oxidative stress caused by EMF exposure with a nutritious diet that contains lots of antioxidants.
By William Bathgate, Electrical Engineer
October 12th, 2016
Revised October 13th, 2016
Editor’s Note: In the following article, originally written as a public comment to the Michigan Public Service Commission, Mr. Bathgate considers safety issues with the new electric meters as related to our current discussion of a proposed rule change concerning emergency shutoffs for “hazardous conditions.” Revisions to this article are indicated in blue and consist mainly in the addition of a section dealing with the lack of lightning arrestors in the AMI meters.
Case No. U-18120
Proposed Rule 460.137 — 37(1)(a) & 37(1)(i)
A utility may shut off or deny service to a customer “without notice, if a condition on the customer’s premises is determined by the utility or a governmental agency to be hazardous.”
I hold an electrical engineering and mechanical engineering degree and previously was employed through late 2015 for 8 years at the Emerson Electric Company. While at Emerson Electric I was the Senior Program Manager for Power Distribution Systems and in charge of an RF and IP based digitally controlled high power AC power switching system product line in use in over 100 countries and I was also directly responsible for product certifications such as UL, CE and many other countries electrical certification bodies. I am very familiar with the electrical and electronic design of the AMI meters in use because I was responsible for very similar products with over 1 Million units installed across the world.
I have just reviewed the transcripts of the hearing held in Lansing on this subject and came to realize there were many comments regarding the issues identified from the effects of both the RF emitting AMI meter and the non RF emitting AMI Opt-Out Meter. I have personally tested the RF emissions from the AMI meter and measured that the meter does not send data just a few times a day as the utilities publish. It actually sends an RF pulse about every 4-5 seconds constantly and a longer duration RF emission after midnight running about 3-5 minutes. There is no need for the AMI meter to send a pulse every 4-5 seconds all day just to synchronize and time stamp the clock inside the meter, the meter only needs to send data once a day for 3-5 minutes. All these pulse transmissions the AMI meter is doing is a complete waste of energy and because it is a short but frequently pulsing signal that is not needed to measure power consumption, it is creating needless health effects and is impacting consumers as evidenced in the testimony. Some consumers have been affected to the point of near death experiences. The Mesh Network design is saturating the environment with RF transmissions mostly for the purpose of the network synchronization not the consumption measurement of power. I could not think of a worse network design for a power measurement device.
After reading the transcripts of the hearing I noticed quite a few comments from people affected to a terrible effect by the RF based AMI meter, and interestingly also the RF turned off Opt-Out Meter. It begs the question why do people also seem affected by the Opt-Out meter? Well I went out and purchased an ITRON
Open Way meter identical to the meter being deployed by DTE. I took the unit apart to examine the circuit design of the three boards inside the meter. Generally the boards seem well made with several important elements lacking or missing.
The switching mode power supply circuit is lacking effective Ground References, Lightning Protection and “Common Mode” EMI filters. The circuit boards are lacking a direct local connection to a Zero voltage potential ground at the meter to sink (ground) the current and voltage oscillations of the circuit boards.
Depending on the soil conditions and a solid or not solid low impedance connection ground point or surface, the ground plane reference (called a rotating return) of the circuit boards may be floating over a Zero voltage potential condition. This will create Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) via oscillation of the ground reference return paths. The use of no direct ground reference as in use today is a poor electrical practice with the AMI meter given all the environmental variables leads to a floating ground potential that could cause strong voltage and current ground potentials varying from zero to a worse case of 240 AC volts (due to a direct short). If there was a direct short of the feed wire because of a voltage surge on the input power from a power surge or lightning strike at the pole or where the two feed lines cross each other from a downed tree limb I would fully expect the circuit boards to likely explode or melt.
I have tested several homes for EMI created by the AMI meter and found that the ground environmental conditions dramatically affected the amount of EMI present. In one home I tested it had as a ground reference the copper water line feed from the city water supply. In this home there was very little EMI present as shown on my oscilloscope. In several another homes that had a standard 8 foot ground rod as the ground reference the EMI measured much, much higher. So there is a relationship of the AMI meter to the environmental reference to ground and EMI even though the circuit boards are not directly connected to a ground rod or ground reference. There was likely a magnetic coupling to earth ground taking place at the home using the water main as a ground reference. In all these homes all other lights, TV’s, PC’s, phone chargers etc. were disabled so I could avoid other variables affecting the readings. It goes to show that environmental variables can be very different from the test lab to the field environment.
First I have to say from my prior and current experience in very tall and large antenna arrays for the common house and business; lightning is very unpredictable and it is very costly to install effective lightning protection. Thankfully direct lightning strikes that are affecting the power feed and service entrance is random and less frequent. No commercial circuit board was ever designed to withstand a direct lightning strike. The US DoD has such designs but is very expensive to purchase. TV or commercial radio facilities have as much as $500,000 or more invested in lightning protection in order to stay on the air during a severe storm. All licensed amateur radio antennas are required by the FCC to have effective ground protection at the base of a tower to shunt a strike to ground. You are actually safer from lightning to be living close to a large metal antenna array because as a general rule lightning tries to reach ground via the shortest and lowest impedance electrical path. It is not uncommon to see a lightning trace zigzag across an electrical path as it seeks the lowest impedance and shortest path to zero potential ground. Note I did not mention the potential for RF exposure which is a separate issue altogether! A neighbor’s tall (over 30 Feet) metal antenna will be a shorter path to ground for lightning than your house next door.
In the AMI meter the circuit board that powers the solenoid actuator for the remote power disconnect feeding the power blade connection at the meter box is susceptible to the effects of lightning. When the low voltage DC power source on this circuit board becomes disrupted by a lightning strike and provided that the circuit boards survive the strike at all, this circuit board driven solenoid is subject to highly rapid disruption with a high frequency opening and closing of the remote disconnect contacts causing arcing and burnt contacts within the meter. This is completely undetectable by the consumer and may or may not manifest itself with flickering or dimming lights etc. The lightning may strike from two common sources; at the power pole or/and the surrounding ground area of the business or residence. The common person or business owner may not realize that the home or business ground rod reference wire runs in the middle between the two 240 volt AC power connections within the meter box and continues on to your entrance breaker panel. This is a minimal form of lightning protection because if the power pole gets hit by lightning the surge will likely jump the air gap between the two power line connections within the meter box and will shunt the lightning via the ground wire to the ground rod. Of course the meter and meter box itself may be damaged from this along with some of your internal house appliances etc. This ground connection was never meant to protect the meter box or your house internal wiring to survive a lightning strike; it is a power safety ground in case your internal house wiring or appliances have a direct short. Though not well known is that lightning can enter a building or home via your phone, DSL or Cable connections. I have learned from several catastrophic events by having my internet connections, TV’s and PC’s destroyed by a lightning strike many blocks away traveling these connections into the home. While I could not protect the DSL modem or cable modem from damage I could isolate the rest of my network with Ethernet Fiber Media converters. Once I did this I only lost the modem and nothing else downstream from it.
Analog Meters contained no electronic circuit boards and while not 100% immune from the effects of a lightning strike, they are much more tolerant than the AMI meter.
Common Mode EMI:
A “Common Mode” filter attenuates high frequency currents. A common mode filter in this case would look like two coils wrapped around an iron or iron ferrite core either in the shape of a donut or a small cookie bar. This filter is not present in the current circuit design and if it was there the switching circuit which converts 240 Volts AC to 5-10 volts DC would be prevented from sending EMI oscillations back onto the 240 Volt AC wires entering the home.
I am very familiar with the design elements of a switched mode power supply because I had to include “Common Mode” filters into the products I was responsible for while at Emerson Electric to minimize the Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) coming from the switching integrated circuit back onto the feeding input AC circuit and the output AC circuit. A clean 50 or 60 Hz is needed and the AC input and AC output had to be void of any oscillation introduced by the switching circuit. I would not have been able to sell the same ITRON switched mode circuit design with the products I managed. I would have been fired for allowing such a condition.
If DTE (or any Utility) was to demand of ITRON, their supplier, to provide a “Common Mode” filtering circuit and tested this design for elimination of EMI and of stray capacitance present in the current design, I believe the troubles with people becoming ill from the Opt-Out AMI meter could be significantly mitigated. This should not be ignored or taken lightly. There could be a solution to help the people affected by the high frequency oscillations created by the switched mode power supply.
In short lacking a redesign of the AMI meter switched mode power supply the solution for people affected by the AMI meter program is very simple and costs nothing, allow those affected residents and business to retain an Analog meter which is readily available and meets all ANSI and other applicable standards.
The MPSC has been asked to grant the Utilities the ability to turn off power to people and businesses without notice for “Dangerous or Hazardous” conditions. Based on my professional examination of the metering technology deployed with AMI meters, the meters themselves are “Dangerous or Hazardous” due to their Lightning vulnerabilities, EMI and RF emissions. There has been a disregard for the health and safety effects of these AMI meters on the general population by the utilities and their AMI supplier. So by their own lack of definition of “Dangerous or Hazardous” all AMI meters deployed at present need to be subject to shut off of service without notice due to “Dangerous or Hazardous” conditions. This may be silly logic on my part but the logic of the proposed rule is equally silly logic and the rule change request should be denied due to lack of definition of what is “Dangerous or Hazardous”. Based on my analysis of the AMI meter and the Analog meter the AMI meter is far more dangerous to the general population than the Analog meter.
In addition I think the MPSC should have a more active role in the technology decisions made by the utilities themselves. In the case of AMI meters the MPSC overlooked this responsibility to assure the utility monopolies are providing a safe metering technology to the consumer and businesses. Based on the effects on the population with people reporting near death experiences and crippling of their bodies with the AMI meters, this decision should be revisited by the MPSC in unison with the various groups that have reported serious issues with this technology. Otherwise the affected population at some time in the future will hold the MPSC directly accountable in a class action law suit which would have to be defended by the State of Michigan using scarce tax dollars for legal expenses. In the Flint Water Crisis the State of Michigan failed to provide proper governance and oversight of the water decisions in Flint costing the State of Michigan many hundreds of millions of dollars and it is far from settled yet.
Does the MPSC not see the similarities of Flint here with the AMI technology that has serious issues that can be simply solved? I do not want my tax dollars spent on defending the MPSC from a class action lawsuit. This requested rule set request is both deceptive and it is also obvious that the utilities want this rule provision to force every person to comply with whatever they want and bypass the MPSC to do it. This will permit the Utilities to use Social Media posts and other forms of protest criticizing them as a condition that is “Dangerous and Hazardous” and turn off power to shut people up and use the intimidation of shutoff of their power service without notice to deny them their first amendment rights. The public is not that stupid, significant numbers of the public knows the Utilities are going to use this tactic to force every home and business to have an AMI meter or else they will shut off their power without notice, even though there is no Federal or State law that specifically calls for an AMI meter. This AMI technology is specified in Federal law as a voluntary option for consumers not mandatory.
Forcing 100% compliance to AMI metering is not the solution; this will only lead to big legal troubles for the MPSC as a whole and direct legal liability to all individual MPSC members. Based on the testimony already made regarding AMI meter health issues the MPSC needs to step up and fulfill its charter to the residents of Michigan to provide SAFE and reliable power and not leave this to the sole discretion of the utilities. The current AMI meters are not safe, as evidenced of the dramatic testimony of residents that are suffering terribly and the engineering analysis such as I and many others in this field have performed.
If the MPSC approves these rule changes, then the MPSC should disband because your role in governance is of no value, merit or benefit to the citizens of the State of Michigan who are paying your salaries. You would have abrogated your governance role to the utilities to do as they see fit for their own exclusive benefit and no one else.
Over the past three years at the Smart Grid Awareness website I have detailed a number of concerns related to utility smart meters including financial costs, privacy invasions, cyber threats, and the increased risk of fires as compared with analog meters. Another concern relates to health risks associated with wireless emissions.
Based upon my technical review conducted over two years ago, I created a web page that documented support for the assertion that adverse health impacts could be expected due to exposure to wireless emissions from utility smart meters. Refer to “Radiofrequency (RF) Radiation Power Density Levels for Smart Meters, Various Biological Effects, and Exposure Guidelines,” at https://smartgridawareness.org/rf-health-effects/comparison-values/.
Unfortunately, smart meter deployments continue throughout the world and in some locations consumer refusals are not allowed. Such is the case in the state of Pennsylvania where consumers are not permitted by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to retain safer analog meters.
Based upon my review of peer-reviewed literature over the past few years, one of the studies that helped convince me that exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields (EMFs) could indeed be harmful included “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Evidence for a Novel Neurological Syndrome.” One of the authors of that study was Andrew A. Marino, Ph.D. 
Recently, it is my understanding that Dr. Marino submitted an “expert report” as part of a case before the Pennsylvania PUC. In this proceeding several consumers have alleged that their health is being negatively affected by smart meters installed by PECO Energy Company .
The conclusions reached by Dr. Andrew Marino and presented in his expert report are as follows:
“First, [there] is a reasonable basis in established science for the Complainants’ concern regarding risks to human health caused by man-made electromagnetic energy in the environment, including the type of electromagnetic energy emitted by smart meters. These health risks are heightened in the very young, the very old, and in those with preexisting diseases or disorders.
Second, electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a documented neurological condition in which the affected person experiences musculoskeletal, immunological, and/or neurological symptoms that noticeably flare or intensify upon exposure to man-made electromagnetic energy in the environment. About 5-10% of the general public are self-reported to suffer from this disorder.
Third, the Complainants were forced into the almost impossible position of conducting experiment[s] on themselves to prove to PECO’s satisfaction that their claims of a link between their symptoms and electromagnetic energy from smart meters were sufficiently credible as to warrant some remediable action by PECO.
Fourth, there is no justifiable reason for PECO to doubt the reality of the Complainants’ symptoms, to question their intentions in seeking relief, or to not respect and implement the advice they received from their physicians that exposure to smart-meter energy should be avoided.
Fifth, chronic exposure to the electromagnetic energy from smart meters causes risks to human health that go far beyond the capability of the energy to trigger hypersensitivity reactions in sensitive persons. A large literature in experimental biology indicates that man-made electromagnetic energy, including that from smart meters, causes biological effects involving every essentially physiological process that occurs in living organisms. A large literature in nonexperimental biology shows that man-made electromagnetic energy, including that from smart meters, is associated with a plethora of human diseases. People who suffer from pre-existing conditions are particularly vulnerable, and all the Complainants suffer from such conditions.
Sixth, PECO’s claim that the FCC has pronounced smart meter safe is spurious because the FCC has made that statement only with regard to the heating and cooking effects of electromagnetic energy. The Complainants have made no claims that smart meters are like microwave ovens.
Seventh, PECO has claimed that expert committees have pronounced smart meters safe, but PECO has not acknowledged the blatant conflicts-of interests that infect such committees nor the serious limitations on their reports, such as the failure to address much of the relevant literature.
Eighth, PECO proposes to expose human beings to smart-meter electromagnetic energy over their objection under conditions that would not be acceptable to any institution in the United States where human experimentation can lawfully be performed. Consequently, coercing the Complainants to endure the risks and uncertainties of such exposure is unwarranted, unjustified, and would amount to involuntary human experimentation by PECO.”
Regarding the exposure guidelines of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Dr. Marino states that:
“According to the FCC, smart meters and cellphones are safe when manufactured according to the presently mandated emission levels. But the FCC defines an emission level as ‘safe’ if it doesn’t result in adverse biological effects caused by heating or cooking of the exposed subject. Nowhere does the FCC say that smart meters are safe with regard to physiological changes [caused] by physical processes other than heating or cooking. That claim is unsupportable and counter-scientific, and has not been made by the FCC.”
To the contrary:
“There is a very large data base of empirical studies in experimental biology that demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that biological effects can occur at levels of man-made electromagnetic energy actually present in the environment.”
“Consequently [there is] no rational basis to argue that PECO’s energy [levels for smart meters] is too small to matter.”
Regarding the symptomatology of the Complainants in the PUC proceeding, Dr. Marino states that:
“There is a sound basis in experimental biology that supports their concerns regarding the consequences to their health that have occurred and that may occur due to future chronic exposure to the electromagnetic energy emitted by smart meters. Under the conditions pertinent to the conditions of this case, coercing the Complainants to endure these risks and uncertainties is unwarranted, unjustified, and would amount to involuntary human experimentation by PECO.”
Whether the Pennsylvania PUC and PECO Energy will favorably respond to the reasoned arguments of Andrew Marino, Ph.D. is yet unknown, but if history is any lesson, they will likely remain with their heads in the sand (like the FCC) and proclaim that any claims for adverse biological effects from low-level wireless emissions remain “ambiguous” and “unproven.” We will await the conclusion of the proceedings and update this article at a later date.