The World Health Organization states that EMFs are not
harmful if they remain within strict frequency boundaries
set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing
Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
However, an investigation conducted by researchers in the
USA, where smart meters have been used since 2006, warns
emissions can exceed safety limits.
But a report from, California-based Sage Environmental
Consulting, reveals that the constant presence of a smart
meter could lead to prolonged exposure to potentially
The Sage report says: "Significant unanswered questions
still exist about what levels of radio-frequency microwave
radiation will be produced by these [smart] meters.
"Smart meters can produce excessively elevated RF exposures,
depending on where they are installed.
"With respect to absolute RF exposure levels predicted for
occupied space within dwellings, or outside areas like
patios, gardens and walk-ways, RF levels are predicted to be
substantially elevated within a few feet to within a few
tens of feet from the meter(s).
"The rollout of millions of new RF sources (smart meters)
will mean far greater general population exposures, and
potential health consequences."
The paper explains that people are already increasingly
exposed to radiofrequency radiation at home through the use
of numerous wireless devices.
These include mobile and cordless telephones, Blackberry and
iPhones, broadband, baby monitors and home security systems.
The report concludes that neither the authorities, nor the
utility providers nor the consumer "know what portion of the
allowable public safety limit is already being used up or
pre-empted by RF from other sources already present in the
particular location a smart meter may be installed and
The DECC states that the issue was noted in an impact
assessment which was published alongside the department's
'Smart Meters Prospectus' last July.
A DECC spokesman said: "We will keep under review any
evidence related to the effects of radiofrequency signals on
the health of individuals.
"Smart meters can pave the way for a transformation in the
way energy is supplied and used. They will provide consumers
with real-time information about energy use, enabling them
to monitor and manage their use.
"Consumers will receive accurate bills. Switching between
suppliers will be smoother and faster and improvements in
the delivery of energy efficiency advice will be supported.
"Decisions on the communications requirements for smart
meters have not yet been made and a communications
technology solution has not yet been selected.
"Part of the work of the Smart Meter Implementation
Programme, which is being taken forward by DECC and Ofgem,
will be to develop detailed plans in relation to smart meter
communications requirements, whether in the home or outside.
"This work will consider the range of issues relating to
smart meter communications and the different technology
solutions, including concerns expressed by some people about
electromagnetic fields and electrical sensitivity.
"We will continue to discuss the issues raised with the
Department of Health, Health Protection Agency and other
relevant organisations as our work on smart metering
"We are currently examining the responses to the recent
consultation on the roll out of smart meters, and we will
publish the Government’s response along with the plans for
the roll out later this year."
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