Smart meters not safe

Assurances to the contrary from BC Hydro not backed up by studies

Dear editor,

Recently our newspapers have printed letters from Gary Murphy, BC Hydro’s Chief Project Officer, who states, “Safety is our number one priority.” Mr. Murphy has chosen to conveniently ignore The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) under the World health Organization (WHO) which classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields (which INCLUDES, but not limited to, EMF from wireless phones) in Group 2B which means “possibly Carcinogenic to Humans.”

If you read the fine print on your wireless gadgets you will see clear warnings regarding exposure limits in terms of time of usage  and proximity to your body.  Other sources of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields include; WiFi in all its forms, baby monitors, bluetooth devices and smart meters.

Both Health Canada and WHO acknowledge that more research on EMF exposure and health effects is warranted.Specifically, “In response to public and governmental concern, WHO established the International Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Project in 1996 to assess the scientific evidence of possible adverse health effects from electromagnetic fields. WHO will conduct a formal risk assessment of all studied health outcomes from radiofrequency fields exposure by 2012.” (Fact Sheet No. 193 June 2011).

Gary Murphy’s assurances of safety are premature.

Those of us who have taken health warnings seriously choose to limit exposure by removing wireless devices from our homes, specifically our sleeping areas. The most commonly reported negative effect of EMF exposure is difficulty sleeping.  Without sleep your body can not repair itself and over time can cause serious health effects.

Sleep deprivation is a common form of torture.  My computer, mouse and keyboard are all hard wired, I do not own a cordless (DECT) phone (a huge source of EMF). I appreciate new technology but not at the risk of my health.  Since BC Hydro does not have an opt out option for smart meters this imposition restricts my ability to limit my exposure and protect my health.  This is a violation of my right to be safe in my own home.

My meter (currently analog) is mounted on my bedroom wall but my neighbour’s meter is less than 30 feet away.  In order to sleep I have had to move to the opposite end of my house.  Smart meters are NOT ‘green’ or energy efficient. According to a report by Sage Environmental Consultants in California, in order for the smart meter to control energy usage in the home (rather than convey billing data), “the consumer must (next) be willing to install power transmitters” for each new smart appliance to communicate with the smart meter.  A typical kitchen and laundry may have a dozen smart meters in total.”

So making the smart meter mandatory is an obvious boost for smart appliance makers like General Electric. (reference: “Spins and lies fuel campaign for Canada-US energy grid” by Joyce Nelson in The CCPA Monitor Vol. 18 No. 8).

“Not having all customers participate in the new system will have a cost impact on the vast majority of customers who have a new meter.” says Gary Murphy on Nov. 30, 2012. As a customer who is not participating in the new system I will (at no charge) send to BC Hydro my monthly electrical consumption data from my analog meter.  BC Hydro can do random checks to ensure that my data is accurate.  I am prepared to pay a significant fine if my data is found to be incorrect.

Susanna Kaljur

 

Courtenay

 

 

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