Smart Meter Health Issues – Real or Psychosomatic?

I was recently asked by SSMA to answer an email from a member of the public. She provided a link to this article http://theconversation.edu.au/smart-meters-are-about-as-dangerous-as-9413 and asked whether SSMA had any comment. She also indicated a friend who is a scientist mentioned “that the smart meter issue is like the wind turbine issue and that both only affect those people who are worried about being affected by them and that there is no reliable evidence of adverse health effects from either.” In writing my response to her I thought it would also be good to share what I wrote with the rest of you in a hope it will generate a healthy discussion. My response began as follows:
“Yes I have seen the article you included in your email and I couldn’t help but note that both contributing authors are mathematicians, which hardly makes them experts in the field of RF emission safety or qualified to make comments on biological effects that radio frequencies are reputed to have (claimed by many independent scientists). Conversely here is a link to an article that is pretty much in opposition to what they have said http://maisonsaine.ca/smart-meters-correcting-the-gross-misinformation/. As you can see it is a very hot topic that has divided scientists.

Just a little background on myself, I have a science degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology. I work in the IT industry and so you can say I have a logical mind and use scientific reasoning when investigating issues like these. For me, Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity also referred to as EHS is a very personal issue because I have been aware of my sensitivity to wireless for more than 10 years when I used mobile phones and wireless internet. Prior to the rollout of smart meters I was able to manage my sensitivity by not having any wireless devices turned on in my house. I did have a cordless phone but I was not sensitive to its frequency of operation which is 30 – 40Mhz. Mobile phones and smart meters (except WiMAX) typically operate at around 900Mhz and I am very sensitive to this frequency. With the recent rollout of smart meters in Victoria without the public’s consent my health is being compromised. EHS symptoms have been acknowledged by WHO and they have also admitted that it can be very disabling for some people but they refuse to link it to electromagnetic radiation (EMR).

Your scientist friend mentioned that smart meter issue is like the wind turbine issue. He is likely to be correct but not in the way he thinks. Both technologies share a lot of common symptoms which include:

  • Insomnia,
  • nervousness,
  • chest tightness
  • tachycardia or increased heart rate

Of course EHS has quite a few additional symptoms over and above what is listed immediately above.

I do not proclaim to be an expert in wind turbine technology but I understand that the effects mentioned above have been attributed to low frequency sounds (infrasonic to ultrasonic noise) that are emitted by the turning blades which interfere with the ear’s vestibular system (responsible for controlling our sense of balance). Of course what your scientist friend and many others in the science/electrical fraternity are alluding to is that the ailments claimed by sensitive people for both of these new technologies are psychosomatic in nature. Of course making such a statement is disingenuous to people such as myself who are very aware of our health issues and their cause. Words like ‘Nocebo effect” are being put forward as a possible reason. Of course how does nocebo effect come into play in the following scenarios?

  1. People who had no prior experiences in the use of a wireless device, have no phobia/fear of using the product and are actually looking forward to experiencing the benefits of said technology suddenly get headaches, tingling in the skin, pressure and pain in the chest, dizziness, altered state of mind (feelings of aggression – short fuse  or even anxiousness etc.), joint pain, lethargy etc. when using them. This is exactly what happened to me. It was both perplexing and very troubling when I first experienced this. It is only through applying scientific reasoning and testing myself to various RF sources and for varying durations was I able to come to the conclusion that EHS is real and can be directly attributed to EMR.
  2. People go to areas without knowing there are RF transmitters in the area, feel the same symptoms as described above and upon further investigation, triggered by these feelings, find that there is a transmitter close by.
  3. When people are suddenly finding they are waking up at similar times, finding it difficult to fall back asleep and suffering headaches after the installation of a smart meter but never had these symptoms prior to the rollout. With the feelings of worry only developing because of the effects they are experiencing and not because of the fact that a smart meter was installed. Most people in the community are uninformed of the potential dangers wireless emissions have on health and so are unlikely to be worrying about the equipment when they are installed.

EHS is a very misunderstood condition. Tests such as the provocation test which are used to test whether a person is EHS are very subjective. There appears to be a serious lack of interest and funding to look for biological markers – at least in Australia. What also makes it difficult for sufferers is that the majority of people do not experience this and so it is easy for people, including scientists, to come to the conclusion that it is not real and that it is in our heads so to speak. Of course not everyone suffers peanut allergies but we know it can occur because the symptoms are very obvious and visible. How does one see a headache? I believe there are biological markers if one wants to find them and is exactly what a French professor, Dr Dominique Belpomme  has indicated in an interview in 2010 on this subject. Refer to http://www.emfacts.com/2012/01/electromagnetic-intolerance-elucidated/.

There is quite a lot that is known about RF effects particularly from a military perspective with over 70 years of research available but conversely there are still huge gaps in our knowledge particularly in terms of understanding the biological processes that are effected/contributing to the generation of non-thermal effects that have been observed by many independent researchers and include genotoxic events.

You will note that I put a lot of emphasis on independent research because it is important to understand what affiliations and sources of funding that researchers have particularly when:

a)     The majority of research in the past has been performed by or sponsored by the industry

Evidence: When the FCC created its RF standards they were based on the research that was available at the time which was predominantly performed by the industry. Please refer to page 8 of this document http://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineering_Technology/Documents/bulletins/oet56/oet56e4.pdf

One can also safely assume the same research pool was used by the ICNIRP to develop their 1998 international guidelines on RF safety that Australia adopted in 2002.

b)    There is evidence that industry is influencing research findings – this is not a new concept especially when we look at past history relating to research on smoking, asbestos, thalidomide etc. and the behaviors of the those peddling their dangerous goods. I can only speculate on the actual reason but I feel pretty confident when I say the wireless industry is unlikely to release results that are unfavorable to their position especially when it could jeopardize a >4 trillion dollar global industry!

Evidence: One only needs to actually look at ratios of finding of “effects” vs “no effects” between industry funded research and independent research to get a clear picture of what is really happening.

Cellphone Biological Studies

Industry Funded:             27 studies          28.1% Effects Found          71.9%  No effects found

Independently Funded: 154 studies         67%    Effect found              33%    No effects found

source: http://www.radiationresearch.org/pdfs/reasons_us.pdf  (Page 34)

Another article I had not included in my response but supports my statement above can be found here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1797826/

There seems to be a lack of commitment by the science community in general to seriously investigate these issues. In some cases this is purely because there is a lot of money at stake particularly in regards to the wireless industry. The catch phrase “follow the money” is very apt. Much of the money provided for research is from the industry that markets these devices and to a lesser degree the government who actually make money from access to the RF spectrum through licensing (ACMA).”

It is my intention to write further blogs on the SSMA website soon.

Best Regards,

Steve

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29 Responses to Smart Meter Health Issues – Real or Psychosomatic?

  1. Pingback: Farewell Steve and thank you! | Stop Smart Meters Australia

  2. John Wilson says:

    psychosomatic is a term frequently used by lazy incompetent researchers and the medical profession or those paid by vested interests instead of doing real work. Sometimes when they cannot achieve the outcome wanted then just write up psychosis as the cause.
    My wife suffered from this type of response for 38 years, suffering extreme pain and a deteriorating body until finally it was confirmed she suffered MS. I had to fight them for years to get her some help. there were some doctors and specialist that knew she was ill but could not tell me what was wrong.
    Therefore I am extremely cynical when some alleged professor or other specialist speaks of psychosomatic conditions

  3. Jac says:

    Fantastic that we have this kind of information and people can vent their frustrations and share their stories, but it is only of use if something is done with it. I followed all the procedures to not have a smart meter installed, signs, letters to companies/govt, etc – it didn’t seem to matter, they just turned up and did it anyway! I admire Pam who has engaged a lawyer, but what is sad, is that she will be out of pocket to defend against something she didn’t ask for in the first place. Three months of headaches, sleepless nights, tingles and forgetfulness have kicked in. I was overseas for 5 days this week and not one headache, not one sleepless night and no tingling, I got home last night and this morning my headache is back – my conclusion is my house is making me sick. Thousands sign petitions, write to the papers, write to the Govt – but nothing has changed – so where to from here?

    • Mark says:

      Jac, two questions………..

      1. In taking all the steps, did you lock your meter box ?
      2. What country did you go to ? I’d like to go there too…..

    • Steve says:

      Jac, May 5th is a good opportunity to do something about it. I expect there will be news coverage. If we can beat last years attendance significantly then it would send a very powerful message to the Government.

    • 1vimana1 says:

      Hi Folks,
      It seems to me that “All is not well in the State of Denmark” …. to paraphrase William Shakespeare. I mean Victoria, so why does Service Stream keep needing to advertise for more workers to obviously put in these damned dopey now proving to be DANGEROUS Microwave so-called Smart Meters?

      Richard Leschen.

      From: Not for publication.
      Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 1:02 AM
      To: Richard Leschen
      Subject:Fw: Smart Water meters?

      —– Original Message —–
      From:
      To:
      Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 3:38 AM
      Subject: Smart Water meters?

      A Grade electricians – AMI – Contractors – Melbourne CBD & inner suburbs

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      Reporting to the Field Supervisor the role will be responsible for the installation of Advanced Meters ensuring that all work performed is in accordance with the contractual work instructions.

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  4. Ashley says:

    Recognize that the network of propaganda out there is wider than we may first think! Scientific analysis is valuable but we can all use our own highly intelligent intuition too. The style of the article is a give-away in itself. I suggest it is most unlikely penned merely by loyal academic minds but instead is very deliberate propaganda.

  5. FCC finally opens review of cell phone safety standards
    by Marguerite Reardon
    March 29, 2013
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57577100-38/fcc-finally-opens-review-of-cell-phone-safety-standards/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=title

    The Federal Communications Commission officially opened an inquiry today into whether U.S. standards need to be updated to protect people from cell phone radiation.

    Chairman Julius Genachowski circulated a notice of inquiry last June that looked at a series of questions surrounding whether the current standards need to be updated or whether the agency’s testing practices should be altered. But it took nine months for the notice of inquiry to become an official part of the FCC docket.

    Now that the notice of inquiry is officially registered, the FCC can begin its review and receive comments from the public and industry about its testing process.

  6. Informed Choice says:

    Thanks Steve – I also appreciate your accurate information and look forward to reading more blogs. I refuse to believe the sceptics and their nonsense about psychosomatic symptoms as i found out a long time ago that my cordless phone was causing pain and burning to my ear and replaced it with a corded one. I am affected by smart meters from neighbours homes although I don’t have one myself, like Freddie and others. All the naysayers can take a LONG WALK OFF A SHORT PLANK INTO THE BLACK HOLE FROM WHICH THEY SLITHERED OUT OF. They will never convince me wireless technology is safe… These geeks are deluded, misguided and addicted to their gadgets, even if they know of the harm caused by them – some just do not care! Others just want to push their ‘dumb’ ideas onto the unsuspecting public, not giving any choice in the matter- this is unacceptable and most would agree if they really thought about it.

    • 1vimana1 says:

      Informed Choice,
      Yesterday I received a reply from a gentlemen who had previously PO-POOD my conviction that Microwave Smart Meters were the cause of nose bleeds, and or chronic insomnia to extreme nervousness, to dizzy spells and or violent headaches etc in humans, and as well as this, to a number of fires in Electric Meter Boxes and in many cases damage to customers private electrical goods like fridges, and or washing machines and or T.V Sets and or Computers etc, after the safe and passive Analogue Meters were removed by the Smart Meter Installer Men.

      This gentleman admitted to me that he had followed up my polite request to do a lot of research on Smart Meters here in Victoria and World Wide. This he has now been doing and still is doing. This gentleman admitted rather sheepishly to me, that he had been wrong in believing that the Smart Meter Complaints by customers of Microwave Sickness were definitely not Psychosomatic, but were real and genuine Medical Complaints after being exposed to the Microwave Radiation from these so-called Smart Meters which he now realises are not SMART in any way at all, and that the World Health Organisation’s claim that the Smart Meters were a very likely cause of now so much World-Wide Health Complaints as aforementioned in this article, related to these so-called Smart Meters was a very likely cause of The Type 2 B Carcinogens spreading now World-Wide over the Earth where these Microwave Smart Meters had been and still are being forced on people.

  7. Steve says:

    Thank you all for your feedback. Just to let you all know, the member of public who triggered this blog did not appear to be pro smart meter but wanted an informed opinion.

    For those who like to keep up to date on research that is occurring on EMR I find this site to be invaluable. It appears to be neutral in that it posts research results that show effects and also those that don’t show effects. http://www.emf-portal.de/

    One particular recent study appears to basically support my position that EMR emissions at levels that are considered by our standards to be safe do show biological effects

    “Analysis of the mobile phone effect on the heart rate variability”

    Conclusion: The data of the non-linear analysis showed a significant change of the heart rate variability signals under real exposure compared to stand-by exposure, indicating an increase in the complexity of cardiovascular system behavior.
    The results suggest that the chaotic dynamics of the heart rate variability signals are affected by the electromagnetic field emitted by a mobile phone.
    Source: http://www.emf-portal.de/viewer.php?l=e&aid=21644

    This would explain why some sensitive people are waking up with heart palpitations since smart meters were installed in their neighbourhood.

    Of course the next battle once we get scientists to admit that EMR has biological effects is to convince them that “effect” = “health issue” because they are not always synonymous. This is unfortunately where the industry and skeptics will again require proof.

    My next blog will be just as controversial as I put power companies under the microscope and show who really is responsible for this potential health disaster!

  8. Rob Guy says:

    Research seems to have concentrated on exposure levels consigning the larger question of long-term accumulated dosage to the “too hard” file. This is becoming more and more of a risk as the number of applications is increasing exponentially. Last I saw was a range domestic light bulb talking wirelessly to each other so as to match the colour to the mood of the home resident. Apple stores in the US sell them.

  9. Bren says:

    What a posting, fantastic to read, many many thanks—now to read all your links

  10. Freddie says:

    This blog written by Steve is invaluable and it is hoped that people read it carefully and understand the implications. Not only does he have the appropriate scientific knowledge and background to comment on these issues, but he is also able to articulate the FACTS in such a way, that all can understand them, yet none of the details and accuracy are lost.
    I also have developed acute and disabling symptoms after wireless smart meters were rolled out in my street. I became ill BEFORE learning that they had been installed, which rules out the nocebo effect 100%.
    Most worrying are the long term effects on all those who DO NOT have any symptoms. They will include high blood pressure (which leads to heart and kidney disease), elevated blood sugar (which leads to diabetes), weight gain, neurological disorders (including dementia and autism) and CANCER (brain, breast and other cancers). In 5 to 10 years time, when the increased incidence of cancer in Victoria will be picked up by epidemiologists, who will be held responsible?!
    Some people, like Steve, myself and others develop acute symptoms from the wireless meters, but ALL people are sensitive to their emissions (whether they feel symptoms or not) and will be affected in the long term.

    • Freedom Rules says:

      I agree with what you have said, Freddie. So concerned that my family are living with a ticking time bomb ( trying to convince a husband who feels ‘nothing’ is really frustrating when you have all the symptoms yourself). I don’t think I can wait around for the long term consequences, I have experienced unexplained weight gain over the last yr since smart meters were installed in our street, also anxiety and chronic fatigue- like symptoms, not to mention daily headaches, which i never suffered before these devices were installed.

  11. Thank you, Steve! Look forward to hearing more from you…

  12. Elizabeth says:

    It is interesting that those people who are pushing the Smart Meters will argue that there is “No evidence of harm.” In actual fact there is “No evidence of safety!”

    Any child who has high levels of “Heavy toxic metals” in their system (like my son), their parents should be very cautious exposing them to Smart Meters. These children’s, already ailing health, should not be subjected to any further harm. In the event parents witnessing their children’s health decline in anyway, should be allowed to have the Smart Meters removed immediately!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hi Steve,
    Great article of yours, you cover so much ground here very well indeed. If there were no money to be made from this now proving to be dangerous to Human and all Life Microwave Technology we would be rid of it. The very fact that this Australian Government and (ACMA) makes money out of it is the bug-bear, as they of ACMA are putting PROFIT OR FILTHY LUCRE AHEAD of any due CARE FOR HUMAN HEALTH and or the health of animals and all life. This is a disgusting attitude of ACMA’s and The Victorian Government as well as they must replace these very dangerous Microwave Towers by removing all of them and replace them with Fibre Optic Cable.

    As well as this every Microwave so-called Smart Meter/s which are not smart in any way at all must be removed from Victorian home-owners and small business premises and the proven to be safe Analogue Electric Meters which have been STOLEN must be reinstalled with the entire expense being born by the foreign owned Victorian Based Electric Power Companies.
    These five Electric Power Companies here named and shamed…..Jemena, PowerCor and CitiPower Australia Ltd and S.P Aus Net and United Energy and their contracted Smart Meter Installer Agents as well as Mr Michael O’Brien the past Minister for Power are all responsible for using using criminal coercive, bullying and lying tactics TO STEAL the SAFE Electric Analogue Meters in the first place. In using the Lying and Bullying and Illegal tactics they did, they the five foreign owned Victorian Based Electric Power Companies at the behest of the Victorian Minister for Power all carried out Criminal ACTS for which they these five C.E.O’s and the past Victorian Minister for Power Mr Michael O’Brien need to be arrested, then dragged into COURT and tried and duly punished for these gross acts of WICKEDNESS. They should also be sued as well and made to pay recompense to all those people in Victoria who have suffered Medical Sickness from these Accursed Microwave so-called Smart Meters which have caused and are still causing so much apparent sickness to now so many people here in Victoria.

    • Pam says:

      I agree 100% with your Comment Annoyn. The sooner the better for all of us……………..Pam

    • Richard Leschen. says:

      I am not anonymous. I as 1vimana1 wrote this above.

      • Pam says:

        Richard – It sounded like one of your comments, but I wasn’t sure. Steve explains the effects of Smart Meters, so I can follow and understand it a little more. When is this nightmare going to end????? .Cheers Pam :-)

  14. Fiona says:

    Thank you for that logical and indepth reply! Can you please tell me the frequency of WiMAX. I have been on a mission to beat it but maybe I have been applying strategies that are more aimed at the 900Mhz. I have found that people selling protection do not know there is a difference and am dumbfounded when I mention an external antenna.

  15. Lets take the Power Back says:

    Thank you for such an informative post, now I have a better understanding of why many of us are suffering ill effects, and also why so many so called “officials/professionals??” will not listen to those suffering. What will it take to get through to the Government, ACMA, ARPANSA etc????

  16. Pam says:

    Steve – Thank You for sharing your Story. It’s all to do with the Almighy Dollar. They have spent mega bucks on th roll-out of Smart Meters without any investigation into the effects these devices have on peoples’ lives. It’s as if they are all trying to hide something from us. For me this has been going on for two years. It got to a stage where I had to engage a Solicitor to act for me, because it became all too complicated for me. I will never ever have a Smart Meter, but I am surrounded by them. I am always “ON ALERT” – looking over my shoulder to see if Power Companies are lurking somewhere in my area. They have been here twice and on both ocassions I told them to leave as they were Tresspassing. The first lot said I had been listening to too much of Neil Mitchell. The second lot said I would eventually have to have one installed – it was out of MY CONTROL. I asked them to read what my signs said and LEAVE MY PROPERTY. They just laughed and left. It was then I decided to take MY STORY TO OUR LOCAL PAPER. I have had two articles printed and there will be another one shortly. This Website keeps me informed AND I CHECK IT DAILY and have made two very good friends who are very ill with EMR. Their ilnesses are NOT PSYCHOSOMATIC, they are VERY REAL. For myself I have never been the same person since these darn things were installed. I never ever thought I would have to fight so bloody hard to protect an annalogue meter. Every time I leave my home I check to see if my Lock has been tampered with on my return. We should not have to live like this. I am hoping the new Energy Minister will investigate our issues. He has all the current available information on this WEBSITE. i refuse to write any more letters to any Power Company, it is a waste of time and my money. My Solicitor wrote to them (POWER COR), before Christmas to have me placed on the Refusal List and to date he has not had any reply to his letter. I am Registered on the SSMA HEALTH REGISTER. Look forward to any other information yiou can give us. Good Luck….Pam

    • Richard Leschen. says:

      Pam please send these people continuing to annoy you the following as I have done, please see the Anti-Harassment notice below. It comes from The Federal Government in Canberra and I have already spoken to these lawyers. My sending this below has so far stopped the C.E.O and their Ilk from communicating with me since they received this very powerful notice. Copy it and send it to as many people who need it.

      (DATE)

      (INSERT OWN NAME)
      (ADDRESS)

      (Insert name and
      Address of Power Distributor)

      NOTICE OF PROHIBITION OF UNDUE HARASSMENT OR COERCION FOR SMART METER INSTALLATION
      This notice is provided to _______________________________________________ and any persons, entities,
      (Insert Power distributor name and ACN no off letter you received)
      Employees, associates, corporations, sub-contractors and agents of the fore mentioned (herein referred to as Your Company).
      Notice to agent is notice to principal.

      Note: This notice is provided in addition and following a NOTICE OF PROHIBITION FOR
      SMART METER INSTALLATION (date of your first letter) and NOTICE Your Company’s
      INTENTION TO DISHONOUR AND VIOLATE PROHIBITION FOR SMART METER
      INSTALLATION NOTICE (date of your letter received from Power Distributor after) served on Your Company.
      Your Company is prohibited and forbidden from communication in any manner, with the intent to solicit for the installation of a “smart meter” or meter containing wireless communication function(s) at the following (service) address: (Insert your address). Such an act is herein referred to as a PROHIBITED ACT.
      I have lawful and legal standing and claim of right to make such a demand.

      Any PROHIBITED ACT will be considered an act of undue harassment or coercion with the supply or possible supply of goods or services as defined by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CTH) Vol. 3, Ch. 4, PT> 4-1, Div. 5 Sec. 168; such an offence carries a penalty of $10,000,000. If Your Company is in any way directed by the Government (State of Victoria) and State of Victoria Corporation to perform such an offence, the Government and individual members are liable under tort may in addition be held vicariously liable.
      Any PROHIBITED ACT remains prohibited unless I provide a NOTICE OF CESSATION OF PROHIBITION explicitly annulling this notice, or following a sale of property and change of property title holder for the property in question.
      A copy of this notice will also be provided for their records to (via regular mail):
      1. Customer Relations, DPI,
      2. Minister Michael O’Brien, Government in the State of Victoria.

      If a response to this notice containing any dispute of facts or CLAIM OF RIGHT based on lawful claim of right is not received within fourteen days from Your Company, it shall be fact that you accept as fact this notice and facts contained within, and will honour this notice; such requiring no further action on your behalf.

      Sincerely

      _______________ ____________________ _____________________
      (Your SIGNATURE) (Witness to your Signature) (Print Witnesses name)

      • Pam says:

        Richard – I am not writing to anyone anymore. My Solicitor is handling all my stuff. O’Brien is no longer Energy Minister and Baillieu has resigned. Intersting to know what O’Brien passed over to the New Minmister on Smart Meters. They (the Govt. both Federal and State) must look at this Website. They know the dangers of these bloody things). However they choose not to take any notice of people like Steve and all the other knowlegable people who have kept us up-to-date. We have to continue to be patient, stick together and never let anyone a Smart Meter in our Homes. I feel the damge has been done and is continuing to be done, even for those of us who do not have a smart meter. Our neighbours have them and we can’t escape from their effects, unless we spend a lot of money and I just can’t afford to move or spend a heap of dollars on paints etc. KEEP FIGHTING ……..Cheers Pam

      • Eric says:

        Richard, I would assume that a failed second or subseuent attempt at installation that did not come with prewritten notification would not constitute an intention to dishonour but indeed an ACTUAL DISHONOURING AND VIOLATION OF PROHIBITION FOR SMART METER INSTALLATION NOTICE.

        In this case I would still want to NAIL THEM. I’m assuming that an amendment to your letter could be done in this case.

        Or the other thing I could do is to just attempt to get the ten million out of them.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Let’s ask this member of the public to explain why in the north western Melbourne suburb of Delahey, there is a large reserve of land around the radio transmission towers on the corner of Kings Road and Taylors Road. Why are there no residential homes built closer to these towers ?
    And while we’re at it, let’s also ask her why all the large electricity transmission towers have reserves of land along their cable course between pylons.
    I would love to hear her answer !

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