Smart meters are not so smart — zigbee chips to follow

Does Gary Murphy, chief project officer for the “smart” meter program, really believe what he writes?

Editor, The Times:

Does Gary Murphy, chief project officer for the “smart” meter program, really believe what he writes?

Addressing concerns from various parts of the province, he has sent out form letters to the editors of several newspapers assuring people how ‘beneficial’ the more modern system is, with repetitions of that sad old myth: “… you would have to stand next to your meter for 20 years to get the equivalent amount of radio frequency as a 30 minute cell phone call.”

This claim was debunked two years ago by Daniel Hirsch, UCSC. We learned in Grade 6 math class never to compare different units of measurements on one chart, yet the dose to the ear from an hour’s use of cellphone was compared to continuous, cumulative, whole body exposure of a smart meter.

When the chart is corrected to reflect the same units of measurement, it is evident that smart meters are at least 100 times more powerful than cellphones, which are increasingly being linked with brain tumours.

Mr. Murphy says “Smart meters are safe and communicate using radio frequency signals that are similar to what has been used for decades in televisions, radios and other common household devices.”

Does he truly not understand that the ‘smart’ meters are wireless transmitting devices, not hard-wired receivers? As one reader commented, “If he doesn’t know the difference between something as basic as this, how could he possibly understand the dangers of RF radiation?”

Wireless smart meters typically produce atypical, relatively potent, very short pulsed RF/microwaves whose biological effects have never been fully tested. They emit these millisecond-long RF bursts on average 9,600 times a day with a maximum of 190,000 daily transmissions and a peak level emission two and a half times higher than the stated safety signal (compare this to Murphy’s statement: “Hourly consumption information is sent back to BC Hydro three times per day for less than a minute in total.”

Murphy maintains that the meters pose no known health risk (my italics), yet the BioInitiative Report has reviewed another 1,800 new studies citing evidence for risks to health from electromagnetic fields and wireless technologies (radio frequency radiation).  Claims about the safety of RF fields should concern us, if it means a massive, longterm, uncontrolled experiment on public health.

Murphy’s letters to the editor should not go unanswered. Too many trusting individuals who don’t have the time to do the research are being misled.

Following the ‘smart’ meters will be the ‘smart’ appliances with zigbee chips—consumers will need to upgrade their appliances to comply with the new technology. (How ‘green’ is this, when all the analog meters are being trashed, followed by the ‘out-dated’ appliances?)

However, it’s the health issues that prompted me to relocate from the city to acreage; it’s called the “Precautionary Principal”, and I wish our government would embrace it.

P. Gregson


Upper Clearwater, B.C.