The blog of Xeno, a slightly mad scientist
Police are accompanying crews this week as they install smart meters at homes that previously sent away installers.
“The previous installation attempts were met with some resistance and we wanted to ensure our employees’ safety,” City Manager Doug Krieger said.
Naperville has installed smart meters on 57,000 homes and is about 99 percent through with the process. Officials have said the project will make the electric system more reliable and efficient and reduce costs.
However, the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group has expressed concerns over whether the wireless meters will affect health, security and privacy. The group has a federal lawsuit pending against the city.
The two women arrested Wednesday are leaders of the group.
Malia “Kim” Bendis of the 2200 block of Mercer Court was charged with two misdemeanors — attempted eavesdropping and resisting a peace officer.
Jennifer Stahl of the 1400 block of Westglen Drive, received two ordinance violation citations — interfering with a police officer and preventing access to customer premises.
Stahl, who was released from custody about 4:30 p.m., said when she refused the smart meter, installers accompanied by police cut the bicycle lock she had placed on her fence and entered her backyard. She then stood in front of her electric meter and refused to move.
“It was forced on my house today,” she said. “It was really a violation. I violated something, but I’ve been violated too so I guess we’re now in a society of violating one another.”
The city, which has repeatedly declared the wireless meters to be safe, offers a non-wireless alternative meter to residents with concerns. There is a $68.35 initial fee for a non-wireless meter plus a $24.75 monthly fee for manually reading it. Stahl said residents who want a non-wireless meter should not have to pay for it, and said she represents other homeowners who were not able to continue to refuse the wireless meter installation.
*Note: This original blog entry mysteriously vanished. Hours of work and no autosave from WordPress is unusual. Was it censored the first time? Here’s the recreation:
There is no mention in the above article of why people would be so concerned about smart meters that they would be arrested fighting them. Who what where …. when. Where’s the why? At the bottom of this post I’ll go the extra distance and tell you HOW to shield yourself, if you feel the evidence indicates a reason for concern.
As I’ve said for years, when you are faced with a debate the first step is to collect data. Then you can zero in on what facts need to be checked.
I’ve started to research how low level microwave radiation from cell phones might be causing biological damage. Learning that smart meters may be much worse that cell phones is an eyebrow raiser.
New calculations suggest that continuous whole-body exposure to electro-magnetic radiation from so-called ‘smart’ meters – which operate around the clock – may be between 50 and 160 times worse [than] that from cell phones.”
“Working with two graduate student assistants, Hirsch used the CCST’s own figures to calculate corrections to the multiple errors he found in the CCST report. His findings focus on whole-body exposure and ‘duty cycles,’ or the length of time ‘smart’ meters operate (24/7) as compared with the much shorter normal operation times of cell phone and microwave ovens. They are summarized in the chart below. [ Download a full PDF of the Hirsch critique here. ]”
Critics of the technology cite, among an array of concerns, the potentially vast surveillance capabilities of the new electric meters, which allow governments and other entities to gather detailed personal information on a previously unimaginable scale. Possible health risks, threats to privacy from hackers, higher costs for customers, efforts to reduce electricity usage and impose changes in energy-use patterns, and many other problems are also contributing to the growing tide of opposition.
Smart meters are ostensibly designed to monitor electricity use in far greater detail than traditional electric meters, all while giving energy suppliers faster and easier access to the data. The devices also wirelessly transmit the information collected to a central location and can even communicate with newer household appliances. A range of other advanced functions that older metering technology did not provide — some yet to be developed or even imagined — are also cited by critics and advocates alike. …
Opposition to smart meters actually made national headlines last month after a Texas woman pulled a gun on a man attempting to install one of the devices at her home. “My main concern originally was the privacy — as far as I’m concerned this is a surveillance device,” Houston-area activist leader Thelma Taormina told The New American after the incident. But in addition to the potential violation of the Fourth Amendment, Taormina and other smart-meter resisters have many other concerns.
At the top of smart-meter opponents’ lists is the systematic violation of personal privacy by authorities, Big Business, or any individual who knows how to access the wireless data being transmitted by the devices. Surprisingly, however, it is not just citizens and activists who have spoken out about the problem. In June, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), an official EU body, expressed serious concerns as well.
“The Europe-wide rollout of ‘smart metering systems’ enables massive collection of personal information from European households, thus far unprecedented in the energy sector,” the EDPS said in a report, calling the new system “a radical change” compared to past information gathering. “The potential intrusiveness of collection is increased by the fact that data are collected, which may infer information about domestic activities: data may track what members of a household do within the privacy of their own homes.”…
According to the report, smart meters will allow the collection of detailed data regarding energy consumption “down to the hour, quarter of an hour, and more.” The mass amount of detailed information, it said, means that anyone with access to the data will be able to “know when each individual appliance in a household is turned on and off, and can often also identify what specific appliances are used.”
The system could be a potential goldmine for non-governmental criminals, too — letting them determine, for example, exactly when a house is unoccupied. “This raises concerns with regard to security, the rights to privacy and the protection of personal data,” the report said. “The risks to data protection, however, go further than these most immediate concerns.”
Even more alarming for privacy advocates, the report continues by noting that “deployment of smart metering may lead to tracking the everyday lives of people in their own homes and building detailed profiles of all individuals based on their domestic activities.” On top of that, the EDPS explained, smart meters can even collect data from RFID tags, the electronic chips that are becoming increasingly ubiquitous worldwide. …
Then there are health concerns, especially surrounding the emission of pulsed radio-frequency (RF) radiation by the devices. Some activists say they suffered adverse effects when a smart meter was installed at their home….
“Multiple studies correlate RF exposure with diseases such as cancer, neurological disease, reproductive disorders, immune dysfunction, and electromagnetic hypersensitivity,” the academy says on its website about the radiation emitted by smart meters and other devices that use similar technology. “Genotoxic effects from RF exposure, including studies of non-thermal levels of exposure, consistently and specifically show chromosomal instability, altered gene expression, gene mutations, DNA fragmentation and DNA structural breaks.” …
ower companies seem to be unable to give consistent, believable answers about either how frequently Smart Meter radiation is emitted—or what the peak power is of the radiation signal at certain distances. Some representative say the meters transmit RF six times a day; others, once an hour. Independent RF specialists have measured them every 45 seconds, or even twice in a minute.
As for peak power of Smart Meter radiation signals, there is even more confusion. Power companies maintain that the RF transmissions are well within FCC standards, that they transmit data for only a fraction of a second and are far weaker than other everyday radio frequency emitters, such as cell phones, cell towers and Wi-Fi.
Putting aside for a moment the debate over the safety of even these “everyday” RF emitters, there’s reason to doubt these assurances from power companies that Smart Meters are safer than these other devices. Independent environmental EMF consultants have found that peak pulses are far greater in intensity than the “average pulse” that many utility companies claim—sometimes up to 1000 times more powerful than a cell phone.(1) Because of the skewed and inaccurate way in which they figure the number of pulses per minutes, their figures of an “average” pulse is greatly reduced.
Indeed, assurances of utility companies are reminiscent of promises that have been made over the years by plastics and chemical manufacturers who initially claimed that what they were producing was safe. …
1. WIRELESS SMART METERS – 100 TIMES MORE RADIATION THAN CELL PHONES.
Video Interview: Nuclear Scientist, Daniel Hirsch, (5 minutes).
Smart Meters emit wireless radio frequency/microwave radiation.
The FCC radio frequency (RF) safety standards are based on short-term heating, not long term chronic exposures. The Bioinitiative Report, which is recognized by the European Parliament, The European Environment agency and the Breast Cancer Fund, scientifically documents evidence of health effects far below the FCC safety standards. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Toxicology Program are currently studying RF. The intention of the 13 country, 30 million dollar WHO Interphone Study was to determine whether or not RF was a carcinogen. The updated results of this study found significantly increased risk of a glioma, a deadly brain tumor. Brain cancer is now the leading cancer death in children in the US.
A smart meter produces microwave non-ionizing radiation that penetrates the walls of your home and into your home 24/7, 365 days. The utility companies argue that because the radiation being emitted is non-ionizing that it is safe. However numerous studies point to the adverse biological effects associated with non-ionizing radiation.
Is Smart Meter Radiation Worse Than Cell Phone Radiation?
Daniel Hirsch, a lecturer and expert in nuclear policy at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), has written a report that reveals smart meters emit 160 times more cumulative whole body exposure than cell phones. He states that:
“the cumulative whole body exposure from a Smart Meter at 3 feet appears to be approximately two orders of magnitude higher than that of a cell phone, rather than two orders of magnitude lower.”
The big difference between smart meter radiation and cell phone radiation is that having a cell phone or not is a matter of personal choice, if you don’t want a cell phone you don’t buy one. Smart meters, on the other hand, are being forced on populations around the globe.
If you are suffering from insomnia, dizziness, headaches, high blood pressure, heart palpations, memory loss, lack of energy, tinnitus (ringing in ears) and lack of concentration, it could be the direct result of the smart meter that’s installed in your home. Smart meters are not optional, and utilities are installing them even when occupants don’t want them. What can you do?
Right now the ringing in my ears is driving me crazy. Did it start about a year ago when my Smart Meter was put in? Did my autoimmune problems start about then? I don’t know. I didn’t keep track because I never thought smart meters were dangerous.
To minimize microwave energy fields entering your home from Smart Meters or your abutting neighbor’s wireless computer router transmitter, you can line your interior walls with aluminized Mylar sheeting called “energy blankets” typically found at sporting good stores, or camping equipment stores, or even from drug stores in some areas. The ones I bought are called “Space brand, Emergency Blanket, First-Aid Thermal Blanket” (available from http://www.warmers.com). I paid $3.99 each, purchased at a local Big 5 sporting goods store (but now available online for $2 each, 1/2 price). The “blanket” is made of thin Mylar plastic with an aluminum coating on one side. The one I bought measures 56 inches x 84 inches and weighs 3 oz.
The aluminized coating is conductive to radio frequency (RF) waves and will collect some of that energy and not allow it to radiate to the other side of the Mylar sheet, thus blocking or shielding some portion of the RF energy. I measured the DC resistance (using my digital multi meter) from one corner of the “blanket” to the opposite diagonal corner and got a resistance reading of only 6.2 ohms, which is quite good considering the thinness of the aluminized coating. Remember that the aluminized coating is only on one side of the Mylar sheet, the opposite side of the sheet is Mylar plastic so we have to carefully identify which side of the sheet has the aluminum coating. The only sure way is to take a resistance reading using a multi-meter or ohm meter. …
The aluminized side will register a relatively low reading in ohms while the opposite side will register an infinity reading. The aluminized side is slightly shinier than the plastic side and you might “feel” the aluminized side is different than the plastic side (but use a meter to be sure). The significance of knowing which side has the aluminum coating will become apparent when we install the sheets on the wall and overlap their edges to insure a single conductive surface.
If you know from which direction that microwave energy is being radiated into your home, you can put up a wall of these aluminized energy blankets, ground them to the grounding socket of your grounded electric wall outlet, and effectively install a grounded metal shield barrier to the RF energy. This will essentially cut down the RF energy entering that protected space. I’ve taken RF energy readings both in front of the grounded Mylar energy blankets and behind them and found the shielding to be quite good (considering the low cost and thinness of the aluminized coating).
You can block most RF energy from entering a designated space by erecting a six sided metal box (four walls, ceiling and floor) or cage all around that space and grounding out the metal. A “Faraday cage” is simply the radio engineer’s name for such a metal enclosure. If the frequency is not too high, you can get away with all-metal screening such as fine mesh copper screening or aluminum screening. Solid and continuous metal foil (thicker the better) will block very high frequency RF waves better than screening, but I would still use screening if I had no other choice. In our case, we are using the aluminized Mylar energy blanket as a substitute for solid aluminum foil. It’s not nearly as thick as aluminum foil and therefore not as effective, but it’s easy to mold it to whatever shape you want and it won’t tear apart. …
I do have a few of those thermal blankets around, as well as some silver mesh that blocks cell phones and wifi. I should be able to put it on the back of my acoustic treatments and ground those without it looking too strange. I’m also getting zapped by a new whole building WiFi transmitter installed right outside of my office.
If non-thermal RF/micorwave radiation does do damage as some are claiming, it would make sense to 1) run ethernet cable in my home and turn off WiFi, 2) put up shielding.
I wonder what would happen if I dropped my silver mesh over the smart meter…. I’d sure love to stop the ringing in my ears.
Here comes the science:
Non-thermal activation of the hsp27/p38MAPK stress pathway by mobile phone radiation in human endothelial cells: Molecular mechanism for cancer- and blood-brain barrier-related effects
Article first published online: 14 MAY 2002
Abstract We have examined whether non-thermal exposures of cultures of the human endothelial cell line EA.hy926 to 900 MHz GSM mobile phone microwave radiation could activate stress response. Results obtained demonstrate that 1-hour non-thermal exposure of EA.hy926 cells changes the phosphorylation status of numerous, yet largely unidentified, proteins. One of the affected proteins was identified as heat shock protein-27 (hsp27). Mobile phone exposure caused a transient increase in phosphorylation of hsp27, an effect which was prevented by SB203580, a specific inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK). Also, mobile phone exposure caused transient changes in the protein expression levels of hsp27 and p38MAPK. All these changes were non-thermal effects because, as determined using temperature probes, irradiation did not alter the temperature of cell cultures, which remained throughout the irradiation period at 37 ± 0.3 °C. Changes in the overall pattern of protein phosphorylation suggest that mobile phone radiation activates a variety of cellular signal transduction pathways, among them the hsp27/p38MAPK stress response pathway. Based on the known functions of hsp27, we put forward the hypothesis that mobile phone radiation-induced activation of hsp27 may (i) facilitate the development of brain cancer by inhibiting the cytochrome c/caspase-3 apoptotic pathway and (ii) cause an increase in blood-brain barrier permeability through stabilization of endothelial cell stress fibers. We postulate that these events, when occurring repeatedly over a long period of time, might become a health hazard because of the possible accumulation of brain tissue damage. Furthermore, our hypothesis suggests that other brain damaging factors may co-participate in mobile phone radiation-induced effects.
Provocation study using heart rate variability shows microwave radiation from 2.4 GHz cordless phone affects autonomic nervous system
Abstract Aim: The effect of pulsed (100 Hz) microwave (MW) radiation on heart rate variability (HRV) was tested in a double blind study. Materials and Methods: Twenty-five subjects in Colorado between the ages of 37 to 79 completed an electrohypersensitivity (EHS) questionnaire. After recording their orthostatic HRV, we did continuous real-time monitoring of HRV in a provocation study, where supine subjects were exposed for 3-minute intervals to radiation generated by a cordless phone at 2.4 GHz or to sham exposure. Results: … Provocation Experiment:
Forty percent of the subjects experienced some changes in their HRV attributable to digitally pulsed (100 Hz) MW radiation. For some the response was extreme (tachycardia), for others moderate to mild (changes in sympathetic nervous system and/or parasympathetic nervous system). and for some there was no observable reaction either because of high adaptive capacity or because of systemic neurovegetative exhaustion. Conclusions: Orthostatic HRV combined with provocation testing may provide a diagnostic test for some EHS
sufferers when they are exposed to electromagnetic emitting devices. This is the first study that documents immediate and dramatic changes in both Hearth Rate (HR) and HR variability (HRV) associated with MW exposure at levels. ( changes in heart rate, sympathetic, and parasympathetic tone before, during, and after blind provocation with a 2.4 GHz cordless phone that generates exposure of 3 to 5 microW/cm2 )
Provocation study using heart rate variability shows microwave radiation from 2.4 GHz cordless phone affects autonomic nervous system (pdf)
… in 1953 a study of workers at Hughes Aircraft Corporation found excessive amounts of internal bleeding, leukemia, cataracts, headaches, brain tumours, heart conditions and jaundice in those employees working with radar.7 As a result, the USA military was forced to initiate the first ‘open and public’ investigation into the biological effects of microwaves. The aim was to establish “tolerance levels” for both single and repeated exposures, because it was generally accepted that standard thresholds of tolerance exposure must exist. Since little research data of this kind existed at that time, it was decided that the known ability of microwaves to heat up tissue (its ‘thermal effects’) would be the main criteria, and with a safety margin applied, this has been the foundation of all so-called Western safety standards since. … The decision to choose tissue heating as the key exposure parameter was based more on a lack of scientific data than for positive reasons; however it quickly gained favour with both the military and industry as it created something that could be claimed as a safety standard, and avoided (without openly dismissing) the possibility that low-level, non thermal health effects could exist without tissue heating. The ‘thermal school of thought’ quickly became the accepted norm …
A 20-year study of servicemen (in Poland) has established the strongest link yet between mobile phones and cancer. Research by Polish scientists shows a high cancer death rate among soldiers exposed to microwave radiation – at levels comparable to that emitted by mobile phones when in use. This is believed to be the first significant study which shows a link between humans, microwave radiation and cancer. The team checked the medical records of servicemen who were exposed to the radiation between 1970 and 1990. It then compared their medical histories and death rates to a group of soldiers who were not exposed. Researchers found those exposed – largely through using military equipment – were more likely to get some cancers. They were also more likely to develop a whole range of cancers 10 years earlier than those who had not been exposed. There were higher death rates from cancers of the skin, brain, blood, digestive system and lymphatic system among the exposed group. The Polish paper concludes: “To our knowledge, the data for the first time presents a hint that there exists a relation between cancer risk and exposure in microwave radiation fields”. Dr. Neil Cherry from Lincoln University in New Zealand has found that, depending on the model of phone used, exposures to the head may exceed the highest exposure mentioned in the Polish study.28,29
7. McLauchlin JR. A survey of possible health hazards from exposure to microwave radiation. Hughes Aircraft corp., Culver City, Ca, USA 1953.
28. Szmigielski S. “Cancer morbidity in subjects occupationally exposed to high frequency (radio frequency and microwave) electromagnetic radiation.” Science of the Total Environment, Vol 180, pp 9-17, 1996.