How safe are Smart Meters?

Victorian campaign warns of radiation health risks. Pressure grows on Baillieu government to follow UK and US models for voluntary take-up.

‘Smart’ electricity meters being installed across Victoria are a serious health risk and should be a matter of choice, according to Stop Smart Meters Australia – a campaign to make Victorians aware of alleged shortcomings and side-effects of the new technology. Smart Meters, which automatically measure electricity consumption and broadcast the data wirelessly via radio frequencies, began rolling out in 2009 as part of the government’s plans to upgrade the state’s electricity infrastructure.

Unless the Victorian government amends these plans, all households and small businesses will have their existing meter replaced with a Smart Meter by the end of 2013. But while the government’s Department of Primary Industries remains upbeat about the roll-out of the system – a vocal and growing lobby asserts that the serious health risks posed by Smart Meters have not been adequately researched by the government.

Already a number of people who have had Smart Meters installed claim to be suffering serious symptoms of illness due to the devices. Peggy (75), from a well-known Greek family in Seaford, told Neos Kosmos that after her Smart Meter appeared the first symptom was insomnia followed by ringing sounds in her head. “I couldn’t sleep and I’d never had a sleeping problem before in my life.

“I was extremely hot, I was burning. I had different noises in my brain, one side it was like bells ringing and I had nausea and headaches,” says Peggy Her Smart Meter was installed in early February 2011 and within a month she had begun to feel unwell.

“My blood pressure was high. I finished up in the the Afred Hospital’s emergency department. I had a lot of different symptoms and they all started after the Smart Meter was installed,” says Peggy. Now undertaking holistic and homeopathic treatments to alleviate her symptoms, she says she’s had to move her bedroom away from the meter, but her problems remain ongoing.

“The energy’s too high, it’s cooking me,” she says. “If they want to kill me, kill me with a gun not this slow torture.” Peggy and her family say the climbing plant on the exterior wall alongside the Smart Meter also began to wither as her symptoms became apparent, another victim of the device. Today the plant’s leaves are a pale, anaemic shadow of their former glory.

The family have written to the Victorian government asking for her Smart Meter to be removed, but without a shift in the government’s policy for implementing the original legislation – Victoria’s Electricity Distribution Code – she has little hope of the meter disappearing. On November 25 in Oakleigh, the Victorian Smart Meter Forum will share the latest scientific research on the impact of electromagnetic radiation and wireless systems – as used by Smart Meters – on consumers’ and the environment’s health.

Joanne Chak, one of the forum’s organisers told Neos Kosmos. “The Victorian Government claims Smart Meters are safe however their final report sidestepped the health effect issues altogether. “There is mounting strong scientific evidence that smart meters are not safe. “Our concern is that Victorians have not been given the opportunity to discuss or even choose whether they would like one of these meters fitted in their homes or their community.”

Chak points out that In February 2012 Smart Meters became voluntary rather than mandatory in the US and UK. Alex Alexis – spokesman for the City of Whittlesea Smart Meter Awareness Group and an IT engineer by trade – told Neos Kosmos that Victoria has been desginated as the guinea-pig in what he believes is a potentially dangerous experiment.

“Victoria’s the only state at the moment that has a mandate to roll Smart Meters out. “It’s a case of ‘experiment with Victoria first, let’s see how the public reacts and then we’ll worry about the rest of the country later'”. Highly critical of what he sees as a lack of proper research by the Victorian Government into the potential effects of Smart Meters on people’s health, Alexis says that international evidence exists to back up fears over Smart Meters, in particular a press release issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in May last year.

The press release – issued jointly by the WHO and AIRC (the International Agency for Research on Cancer) classified radio-frequency electromagnetic fields similar to those used by Smart Meters as “possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based upon an increased risk of glioma – a malignant type of brain cancer”. “This is evidence on a world scale, given by one of the world’s biggest scientific bodies,” says Alexis, whose Whittlesea group have approached their local council to take up the matter with the state government.

“We’ve asked them to write to the Premier for clarification, and ask if residents can have a choice on Smart Meter installations. “They’ve taken away our civil liberties. For Baillieu to say Smart Meters are mandatory is a breach of human rights. It should be a choice,” says Alexis. This week Neos Kosmos contacted the office of Energy and Resources Minister Michael O’Brien, to ask if the terms of the Smart Meter roll-out could be changed to allow consumers to exercise choice in the use of the technology.

The minister’s statement doesn’t suggest Victoria’s mandatory experience of Smart Meters will be transformed anytime soon. “Under an order in council by the former Labor Government in 2007, Smart Meters are required to be installed in all Victorian households and businesses by the end of 2013,” said the minister.

He went on to add that the Coalition Government’s continuation of the roll-out was being undertaken “following an independent review” and after “significant reforms to the program.” The minister’s statement ended by confirming that “under Victoria’s Electricity Distribution Code, property owners who want to be connected to the grid are legally required to allow their distribution business access to the company’s meter to undertake the upgrade.”

Victorian Smart Meter Forum – November 25 To hear the views of those campaigning to stop the compulsory installation of Smart Meters, as well as experts who have studied the physiological effects of electromagnetic fields, the Victorian Smart Meter Forum will take place on Sunday 25 November (1pm-4pm) at Oakleigh Grammar Community Conference Centre. Guest speakers will include lecturer and EMFacts consultant Don Maisch PhD and Nicole Bijlsma, author of Healthy Home Healthy Family. Admission is free and the forum will start at 1pm.

MICHAEL SWEET, Neoskosmos, 20 Nov 2012

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9 Responses to How safe are Smart Meters?

  1. 1vimana1 says:

    Dear Michael,
    This is a great article of yours. I have found out that it was the Dutch Government and its Parliament which actually changed the Law in their Parliament some three weeks ahead of the British Parliament to stop the forced installation of these now proving to be Dangerous Microwave Smart Meters.

    The British Parliament, like the Dutch Government have also stopped the Smart Meters from being forced on people. Please note that anyone in Holland and in the United Kingdom who feels that the Smart Meter/s are making them sick, or who feels that these Electric Smart Meters will make them sick, now have the Legal Right to demand that these Electric Smart Meters be removed immediately from their residence and be replaced with the Safe and Passive Analogue Electric Meter/s which were taken from these people. All it takes is a polite Letter Of Demand to these Electric Power Companies who must foot the bill for the change-over from the Microwave Smart Meter/s to the Proven to be Safe and Passive Analog Electric Meter/s.

    Not only are many Humans getting sick from the Microwave Smart Meters, but Animals as well worldwide. From the many overseas reports I have read and still come across when searching the Internet.

    The World Health Organisation state that these Microwave Smart Meters are proving to be a very real possibility in causing Type 2B Carcinogens in Humans and Animals now appearing world wide.

    Those people who have been made sick from the Forced Imposition of the Microwave Smart Meters on their Private Properties and or Small Businesses, should join a Common Class Action with their Lawyer/s to be compensated for any expenses they have accrued through General and or Specialist Medical Fees and any Medicines they have had to buy to alleviate any suffering caused by being forced to accept a Microwave Smart Meter on their property/s against their Will and Better Judgement.

    Apart from the seemingly growing damage to Humans and Animals from these so-called Smart Meters, many of these Microwave Meters have caused and still are causing fires in many customers Electric Meter Boxes here in Victoria and world wide, and damage to many peoples’ electrical goods such as Fridges, and or T.V’s and or Computers, and or Printers etc. The customers suffering such damage to their electrical goods should have the right in law to SUE both these Electrical Power Companies and their Careless Governments as well, for being Complicit in this Wicked Scam of insisting people accept Microwave Smart Meters….( read here, not so smart meters ) against the peoples’ Will and Better Judgement.

  2. Albin Gaspar Mullner says:

    Now we must not let down our protest agints the Smart Meter’s installation. For two different reasons. One being that Smart meters are not healthy, secondly much effot has been done by the working members of this protest movement, so do not let it be wasted. A further reesoning would be that this protest would teach the piliticiants that they are only manangers of society and not thre boss of people. In democracy the pople’s will must prevail, otherwise we would grow to be
    a dictatorial nation.

  3. Simon says:

    Under corporate law anyone with an A B N number including state and federal government must issue you with a tax invoice re smart meters which you as a purchaser can refuse under federal law.

  4. TheBThing says:

    When are people going to realise it all to do with law and jurisdiction. The Government wont change her meter as the meter isn’t theirs, the ownership path has been played as if the distributor owns the meter, so you need to get them to agree to change it or make a new stance the original meter was yours and they need to return it, or you need to negotiate a new contact with them over the meter having RF turned off or an analogue meter installed.

    In the codes and regulations the land property owner has a right to add devices to read the meter’s usage data. therefore you can add a camera or take photo’s and relay your usage back to the energy retailer therefore eliminating the need for a manual on-site observation from a retail employee, even though they always need to do a yearly read.

  5. Freddie says:

    Congratulations to Neos Kosmos for the kind of principled journalism that is not afraid of the truth and that is an assett to our society. It’s interesting to see so many members of the Greek Community in Victoria showing leadership in dealing with the imposition of wireless meters on us and our families. It is a welcome reminder that Greece is the birthplace of democracy.

  6. Damian collins says:

    I have a friend who owns his own unit. There are 4 on the block. His is the front one,so the power box in on his lounge room wall. All 4 meters are on it. He is in his 60’s and has a delicate immune system. I warned him of the dangers of allowing 4 smart meters to be installed on his unit. I even gave him the dvd “death by smart meter”,which he never watched. He took no action against the installations. They were installed 6 months ago. After 2 months,he suddenly had joint and arthritic problems,which he never had before. He’s a top class ballroom dancer,but now can not walk very well,let alone dance. 18 years ago he had lymphona cancer,but has been in remission ever since. A week ago he told me the cancer is back. Of course this is just a coincidence,as Powercor will tell you. Coincidence after coincidence,when will it ever stop?

  7. Terry says:

    I wont be able to make the Forum at Oakleigh on the 25th, please include a thorough wrap up of proceedings in the next Newsletter. Thank-you Tez

  8. Marion Craig says:

    What can be done to video conference on the 25th across the state??

  9. MARLA SWIFT DAVID COOK says:

    Hear Hear for this article
    Am holding out. Meter is in garage so I keep it securely locked whenever I step out.

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