This is an email sent to us from a parent living in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne Victoria. His family is being affected by smart meters and is desperate to have them switched off.
This email outlines the effect the neighbour’s smart meter is having on my family and some of our neighbours.
On Monday 10th October, a smart meter was installed at our next door neighbour’s house and I presume the rest of the street. My wife happened to see a Jemena technician entering our front yard and said to him that she preferred to defer the installation of our smart meter.
Ever since the installation of smart meters in our street my family has been suffering from the effects of them. Our next door neighbor’s smart meter faces the side of our house where we have 5 bedrooms (3 on ground level and two up stairs). The neighbour’s smart meter directly faces my bedroom and my son’s bedroom, only meters away.
After a couple of nights sleeping in our bedroom following the installation of the neighbour’s smart meter, my wife found that she could not sleep deeply and felt as if she was half awake all night. My wife then moved out of our bedroom and now sleeps on the lounge room floor on a mattress. She now has no problems sleeping deeply. I must admit, I questioned the correlation between my wife’s inability to sleep deeply with that of the neighbour’s smart meter. However, after a few nights sleeping in my bedroom, I began waking up with head aches and I realized when I went into the study (which is located in the front of the house facing another smart meter across the road), I was also getting headaches, but not when I was at the back of the house. The headaches were similar to those I have when I use a mobile phone (more on that later). I then also decided to sleep in another room further away from the neighbour’s smart meter, as well as my 14 year old son who also started getting headaches, whose window faces the smart meter.
In the meantime, my wife decided to have our house independently tested to ascertain the amount of microwave frequency emitting from the neighbour’s smart meter through our house, room by room. My son’s room had the highest readings, followed by the master bedroom and the study, and progressively reduced as the technician moved further away from the smart meter. The company we hired is called Y Shield. The results from Y Shield confirmed my wife’s fear.
Two years ago I went to my doctor complaining of getting headaches when I use my mobile phone. If I recall correctly, my Dr commented that she hadn’t heard of anyone before who experienced this effect but would conduct some research. Following medical research, my Dr advised me that there was evidence that some people are affected by the electromagnetic frequencies emitted from mobile phone and counseled to limit my mobile phone use and when using one to connect an ear piece or use the loud speaker option to keep it away from my head. I follow her advice most of the time, but when I use a mobile phone in the ‘normal’ way of placing it close to my ear, I get headaches that last a few minutes after completing the call. The reason I mention this is that these headaches are the same I am now constantly suffering when I am in or at the front of my house.
Two representatives from Jemena came to my house on Friday to investigate my complaints and I requested that they replace the relevant smart meters with the old meters or stop their transmission. The Jemena representatives acknowledged that my complaints seemed legitimate, and as a consequence agreed to reduced the neighbours’ smart meter frequency output by 90%, and if that is not enough, they said they could look at reducing them by 99% and even other surrounding smart meters near our house. They explained that they had no authority to switch off the transmitters or replace the smart meters with the old meters. It was explained to my wife and I that government regulations prevented them from doing so. I have since found out that at this point of time, there is nothing preventing Jemena from switching off the transmission features of smart meters.
By the way, while I do not want to speak on behalf of my immediate neighbours, you should know that they are experiencing adverse health effects as well and would prefer to have the relevant smart meters removed or transmitter switched off. They are happy to be contacted if required.
The two-week saga since the installation of my neigbour’’s smart meters has put a great strain on my family. My son, who has never experienced headaches previously, is finding it very difficult to study and seems to have become a lot more sensitive to electromagnetic fields. As exam time is approaching, we have been looking at the possibility of him staying at his grandfather’s house so he can have a room to study in without experiencing headaches. He cannot use his room at all and when he comes home from school, he starts getting headaches just by being in the house (similar to the effects I have when I come home from work). My son went to his doctor (a different one to mine) and she has written in a certificate that the symptoms he is suffering were not preset prior to the installation of the neighbour’s smart meter and after measuring the impact of electro magnetic radiation on his body, she found he had a very high reading for “mobile phone radiation”.
Over the past few days, I have conducted considerable research and found that electromagnetic pollution has been associated with an increase in the number of individuals suffering from a condition know as electro hypersensitivity (EHS). EHS is defined by the World Health Organization as: “…a phenomenon where individuals experience adverse health effects while in the vicinity of devices emanating electric, magnetic, or electromagnetic fields.” In Sweden, it is classified as a disability and a Canadian Human Rights Commission report also acknowledges environmental sensitivity attributed to electromagnetic exposure. Researchers estimate that approximately 3% of the population has severe symptoms of EHS, and another 35% of the population has moderate symptoms such as an impaired immune system and chronic illness.
There is much overseas research correlating EHS to smart meters, with some authorities now reversing earlier decisions of not allowing residents to ‘opt out’ of installing smart meters. For example, California has recently reversed its long-standing policy of mandating smart meters for every household. Due to concerns over health effects, the California Public Utilities Commission ordered PG&E (the Electricity company that managers the Californian installation of smart meters) to provide ‘opt-out’ options for residents. This document by Dr. Karl Maret commenting on the California Council on Science and Technology Report “Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from Smart Meters”, assisted with reversing California’s policy:
My concern is primarily the health of my family, however I am also concerned with the effect a blanket cover of electromagnetic fields over Victorian homes and the prospect of increased health risks to the general population.
We are currently feeling desperate, not knowing where we can go to protect our family from the effects of the smart meters all around us. My 16 year old daughter, who previously never showed any signs of electromagnetic sensitivity got a sharp headache today as soon as she walked in the door of our house. She came home feeling generally unwell, but she did not have a headache before walking in the house. She is upset and doesn’t want to live here anymore as she knows she is becoming sensitive to EMFs and is fearful this is going to ruin her ability to live a normal life. My 14 year old son had a headache all weekend. He was unable to study. Previously he has had a good ability to study and is a very high achiever. They are worried that they will not be able to study for the exams they need to complete within the next month.
My 11 year old daughter is also home from school sick with a headache. We had a friend visit today for half an hour and he also got a headache and could feel it very strongly outside the front of our house.
I know it must seem unbelievable. We also cannot believe what has happened to our family over the past two weeks. As everyday goes by, my family’s sensitivity to electromagnetic fields is worsening. Please help us to turn off smart meters in Victoria and I urge you to share your stories especially with your local MPs and the Minister for Energy, Michael O’Brien.
The references below may interest you if you require more information on electro hypersensitivity.
(Name and contact details can be provided)