Tuesday, January 18, 2011

smart meters add to magnetic smog

The COST report on smart meters as usual suggested more research is needed to decide effect of smart meters used to tell the electricity or gas company how much of these energy each household uses. Havas Wants more research too But people need to have the knowledge of the dangers already known. People need the right to say `no´ to placing smart meters in their home space, or where they will pollute their home, school, institutional space. This is Professor Magda Havas Comment to the COST Report. Comments and disagreeing statements and comments were denied a place in the report.
EASY READING. If it is too long look at her webpage and find her You Tube presentation

Havas, Oct 12, 2010 Smart Meters CCST 1
Havas Submission to CCST “Report on Smart Meters”.
For those interested, below is my invited submission to CCST as part of a Technical Response
Date: October 12, 2010
From: Magda Havas, BSc, PhD
Submission on Smart Meters.
Item 1. Whether FCC standards for Smart Meters are sufficiently protective of public health
taking into account current exposure levels to radiofrequency and electromagnetic fields.
In my opinion, the FCC standard for Smart Meters is not sufficient to protect public health. This
is based on the following facts:
1.1 The thermal vs. non-thermal debate is largely a
red herring
that has been perpetuated for decades and has influenced the type of
research done in the United States. The FCC standard is based on a thermal effect. It
was originally based on the amount of radiation that would heat an adult male in the
US military exposed to radar. While the heating effect is not disputed, biological
effects, some of which have adverse health consequences, occur well below the
thermal guideline (Inglis 1970). As a consequence various countries in the world are
opting for a “biologically” based guideline rather than a “thermal” guideline, which
takes into account not only adult males in peak physical conditions but children,
pregnant women, the elderly, and those who have developed electrohypersensitivity
(EHS). I will return to the concept of EHS later.
1.2 Guidelines in Russia, Switzerland, Poland, and China are well below the FCC
standard (i.e. 10 vs. 1000 microW/cm2 or 1% of FCC guidelines).
Some military and
government insiders tried to get U.S. guidelines reduced decades ago but were not
successful (Pollack and Healer 1967, Dodge 1969). Steneck et al. (1980) provides an
excellent account of how the U.S. standards were established for radio frequency
1.3 Our exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR) is increasing exponentially as
we design more equipment that relies on higher frequencies in the electromagnetic
spectrum. Prior to World War II, this type of radiation was negligible. Today we have
radar (military, marine, aviation, and weather), we have cell phone antennas, radio and
TV broadcast antennas, and a growing number of WiFi hotspots, citywide WiFi and
Wi-Max antennas. Inside buildings we have cordless phones, many of which emit
microwave radiation even when they are not being used; wireless alarm systems;
wireless baby monitors, wireless computers, iPads, and Smart Phones that can connect
to wireless internet or WiFi. More children are playing wireless video games than
ever before and radio frequency identification devices (RFID) are placed into
Havas, Oct 12, 2010 Smart Meters CCST 2
merchandise to provide information to the manufacturer about consumer habits. The
“smart meter” is just another source of exposure that will be placed on every home and
in every apartment. Smart meters are being used to monitor use of electricity, gas and
water. As part of this system, appliances are being designed to communicate directly
with smart meters, all in a wireless mode, which will ultimately increase levels of
radiation in the home.
1.4 I work with people who have become electrically hypersensitive (EHS) and I have
received emails and phone calls from those who have had smart meters placed on their
homes. They complain of ill health and many are unable to use the room closest to the
smart meter. These individuals have no place to “hide” from the growing levels of
electrosmog especially in densely populated urban centers. Sickness contributes to
time off work and away from school, growing medical costs and a general poorer
quality of life. Children are particularly vulnerable as are pregnant women and those
with compromised immune systems.
The presence of metal implants in the body
(such as metal pins in bones) may concentrate the absorption of radiation at the
location of implantation, inducing thermal effects from lower power densities than
would ordinarily cause such harm (Massey 1979). Some implants, such as pace
makers and deep brain stimulators for Parkinson’s disease, may malfunction and this
can be fatal. In Switzerland about 5% of the population has EHS. If the same fraction
of the population has EHS in the US that would come to a staggering 15 million
The symptoms following exposure to radio frequency radiation were labeled
radiowave sickness and were first reported for those occupationally exposed in the
former Soviet Union. These same symptoms are now referred to as
electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and are experienced by a growing fraction of the
population. They include . . .
“. . . headache, eyestrain and tearing, fatigue and weakness, vertigo, sleeplessness at
night and drowsiness during the day, moodiness, irritability, hypochondria, paranoia,
either nervous tension or mental depression and memory impairment. After longer
periods of exposure, additional complaints may include sluggishness, inability to make
decisions, loss of hair, pain in muscles and in the heart region, breathlessness, sexual
problems and even a decrease in lactation in nursing mothers. Clinically observed effects
in persons voicing these complaints include trembling of the eyelids, fingers and tongue,
increased perspiration of the extremities, [and] rashes . . .” (Massey, 1979).
1.5 In addition to sensitive people, Switzerland also identifies Places of Sensitive Use
(German acronym is OMEN). These places include: living rooms; classrooms and
kindergartens; hospitals and nursing homes; permanent jobs (where people spend
more than 2.5 days per week); and playgrounds. For these OMEN sites, the Swiss
government recommends that greater precaution be taken for long-term exposure to
weak radiation. In these places, radiation from wireless microwave base stations (such
as cordless phones or WLAN/WiFi) may exceed radiation from nearby cell phone
base stations and hence these devices must generate emissions as low as possible. For
more information visit http://www.bag.admin.ch/themen/strahlung/00053/index.html?lang=en
Havas, Oct 12, 2010 Smart Meters CCST 3
Item 2. Whether additional technology specific standards are needed for Smart Meters and other
devices that are commonly found in and around homes, to ensure adequate protection from
adverse health effects.
2.1 Technology specific standards are definitely needed for Smart meters as well as
cordless phones, DECT baby monitors, wireless routers, and all of the other devices that
emit radio frequency radiation.

Massey, in a report published by Duke Law Journal in 1979, identifies nine variables
that need to be considered when determining the impact of microwave radiation. These
are “power density, intensity and relative phase of all field components, specific
frequency ranges, waveform characteristics, exposure regimes, specific occupations,
level of control over exposed populations, individual differences (age, sex, health,
specific predisposing factors) and presence of other environmental stressors.” The
current FCC guidelines do NOT take these into consideration.
2.2 We have evidence that pulsed microwave frequencies, that are generated by WiFi and
cordless phones are more harmful than continuous wave and yet this is not considered in
the FCC guidelines (Reno 1975).

The key microwave emitting devices in the home/office/school environment are:
Cordless phones (some are labeled DECT and others pulsed digital 2.4 GHz). These
radiate all the time even when no one is using them. They should be replaced by wired
phones or cordless phones currently available in Europe, which are “on-demand” phones
that radiate only when the handset is not in the cradle of the base station. These phones
are so dangerous that I recently submitted a Petition to the Auditor General of Canada to
have DECT phones banned (Havas 2008).
The DECT baby monitor also radiates all the time, as does the receiver that is often
carried on the Mother’s waist. Here we need a voice-activated baby monitor that is used
in Europe.
Wireless Internet (WiFi or WLan) is not as common in Europe as they are in North
America. There they prefer using wired service in the form of fiber optic and Ethernet
connections. Germany hotels ask that you bring an Ethernet cables with you, as they
don’t provide WiFi. The Swiss government is providing free fiber optics to schools
provided they don’t install wireless routers.

2.3 An additional point I would like to make relates to dirty electricity.
Wires can act like antennas and the radiation produced by radio frequency generating
devices can flow along and reradiate from wires both inside and outside the home. This
contributes to dirty electricity and localized radiation exposure. Dirty electricity has been
associated with cancers (Milham and Morgan 2008); health and behavior problems in
schools (Havas and Olstad 2008); and both diabetes and multiple sclerosis (Havas 2006).
From a human health perspective and to protect sensitive electronic equipment it is
Havas, Oct 12, 2010 Smart Meters CCST 4

important to maintain good power quality and to prevent radiation from smart meters
flowing along wires.
In conclusion, I have great concern regarding the current levels of microwave radiation in
North America. Instead of promoting wireless technology, we should be promoting wired
technology and reserving wireless for situations where wired in not possible (while one is
traveling for example). Shortly after X-rays were discovered, they were used in shoe stores to
determine shoe-size for young children. Fortunately, we recognized that X-rays were harmful
and we restricted their use to essential medical diagnoses. We need to recognize that microwaves
are also harmful and we cannot use this technology in a frivolous manner. With more frequencies
being used, with the levels of radiation increasing, and with so little research on the long-term,
low-level effects of this technology we are creating a potential time bomb. If smart meters are
placed on every home, they will contribute significantly to our exposure and this is both unwise
and unsafe.

Dodge, CH. 1969. Clinical and Hygienic Aspects of Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields: A
Review of the Soviet and Eastern European Literature. Biological Effects and Health
Implications of Microwave Radiation, Symposium Proceedings, Richmond, Virginia, September
17-19, 1969 (BRH/DBE 70-2) (PB 193 898). http://www.magdahavas.com/wordpress/wpcontent/
Havas, M 2006. Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Biological effects of dirty electricity with
emphasis on diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 25: 259-
268. http://www.electricalpollution.com/documents/Havas2006.pdf
Havas, M 2008. Request that first generation DECT Phones be Banned in Canada, Environment
Petition, Auditor General of Canada, 15 pp. http://www.oagbvg.
Havas, M and A Olstad. 2008. Power quality affects teacher wellbeing and student behavior in
three Minnesota Schools. Science of the Total Environment, Volume 402, Issues 2-3, 1
September 2008, pp. 157-162.
Inglis, L.P. 1970. Why the double standard? – A critical review of Russian work on hazards of
microwave radiation. IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility, July 14-
16. 1970. http://www.magdahavas.com/wordpress/wpcontent/uploads/2010/08/Inglis.pdf
Massey, KA. 1979. The Challenge of Nonionizing Radiation: A Proposal for Legislation. Duke
Law Journal, Volume 1979, No. 1. 86 pp. http://www.magdahavas.com/wordpress/wpcontent/
Milham, S and LL Morgan. 2008. A New Electromagnetic Exposure Metric: High Frequency
Voltage Transients Associated With Increased Cancer Incidence in Teachers in a California
School. Amer. J. Ind. Med. 8 pp. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajim.20598/abstract
Havas, Oct 12, 2010 Smart Meters CCST 5
Pollack, H. and J. Healer. 1967. Review of the Information on Hazards to Personnel from High-
Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation. Institute for Defense Analyses, Research and Engineering
Support Division. Internal Note N-451, IDA/HQ 67-6211, Series B, copy 5 of 15, 15
Reno, VR. 1975. Some considerations concerning the use of magnetron generators in microwave
biological research. Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Pensacola, Florida.
Approved for Public release. Distribution unlimited. 11 pp.
Steneck, NH, HJ Cook, AJ Vander and GL Kane. 1980. The Origins of U.S. Safety Standards for
Microwave Radiation. Science, Vol. 208, 13 June 1980.
On July 30, 2010, California State Assembly Member Jared Huffman (San Rafael) asked the
California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) to provide an assessment of the safety of
Smart Meters.
On August 16, 2010, CCST agreed to compile and assess the evidence available to address the
following two issues:
1. Whether FCC standards for Smart Meters are sufficiently protective of public health taking
into account current exposure levels to radiofrequency and electromagnetic fields.
2. Whether additional technology specific standards are needed for Smart Meters and other
devices that are commonly found in and around homes, to ensure adequate protection from
adverse health effects.
On October 4, 2010, I was invited to be part of a Technical Response Team and, as part of that
team, I was asked to provide a written response to two key concerns mentioned above.
On October 12, 2010, I submitted my report to CCST.
On December 13, 2010, I was informed that CCST was not appending any documents to their
report, nor were they making these documents available to others, but they were recognizing
those who contributed.
On January 11, 2011, CCST released their report “Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from
Smart Meters” on their website: http://www.ccst.us/news/2011/20110111smart.php. CCST is
receiving public comments until January 31, 2011.