On July 31 Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), released its final report on the safety of smart meters. Titled Safety of Advanced Metering Infrastructure in Victoria, the report was written in response to ‘new issues’ raised regarding the safety of smart meters.
Stop Smart Meters Australia is appalled that there has been no attempt to address the issue of the health impacts of smart meters.
Although the draft report stated that the emphasis was on safety, the issue of possible health effects received little mention, simply concluding that the subject was “beyond the detailed scope” of the report and that the emissions were “well below the safe levels set by ARPANSA.” This totally overlooks that the ARPANSA standards are only designed for protection against immediate thermal hazards (tissue heating) at high intensity exposures and not against cumulative biological-effects from low intensity exposures.
In response to the draft report, many submissions were sent to ESV, a number of them expressing concern over possible health hazards from RF exposure. We were expecting a considered response to the issue of health effects. Our firm belief is that health safety is an integral component of any true safety audit, but ESV chose to completely ignore this issue!
Don Maisch, a spokesperson for Stop Smart Meters Australia, said “People at ESV have obviously decided that that the health issue is in the way-too-hard-basket and better left ignored. Perhaps ESV hopes that all those people reporting insomnia, tinnitus, headaches, etc. after a smart meter installation at their home (especially those installed close to the bedroom) will simply vanish to a ‘less smart’ state?”
“When questioned about the health impacts of smart meters, Government members continually refer to the ESV report indicating that smart meters are safe. They choose to overlook that this issue has been conveniently ignored!”
In its submission to ESV, Stop Smart Meters Australia presented a series of questions. ESV failed to address these in its final report. It also disregarded an EMFacts’ submission recommending independent research on health impacts of smart meters. These two submissions can be found at: https://stopsmartmetersau.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/esv-submission.pdf and http://www.emfacts.com/download/Comments_on_the_Draft_report.pdf
Further, the Electricity Safety Act 1998 quite clearly places a number of responsibilities on ESV. These do not appear to have been met in connection with the AMI roll-out.
“What is ESV trying to hide? ESV’s final report is cavalier and short on substance. It negligently ignores their duty of care. At best it is a lame whitewash, at worst, a cruel insult to the many concerned Victorians who bothered to send in submissions” said Don Maisch.