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Wireless Power Meters May Present Radiation Risks

2/22/2011 12:00:00 AM

Tags: California, radiation, smart meters

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailA new study suggests that wireless power usage meters being installed in northern California homes may have significantly higher radio frequency radiation levels than previously thought, according to a San Rafael Patch article today. The devices, which allow for remote power and gas meter readings and eliminate the need for human meter readers, have sparked controversy, protests and installation bans in some cities, the Patch reports.

Sage Associates, environmental consultants based in Santa Barbara, say the study found FCC public safety limit violations could be possible within 6 inches of the meter, says Barry Smith, a spokesman for the Environmental Health Coalition of West Marin. “SmartMeter radiation will be a permanent part of the home, and people have no idea how high their chronic RF exposure might be,' Smith said in a statement.

The California Council on Science and Technology has concluded that the meters are safe, but the Sage Associates study suggests that consumers need more information about emissions of all devices, including SmartMeters.

“They’re great for saving energy, but are they safe?” baubiologist and healthy home consultant Mary Cordaro asks, pointing out that the smart meters will soon be rolled out nationwide. Valerie Tourangeau, a healthy home coach from Chandler, Arizona, says most people in her state don’t know the wireless meters are being installed. “There is no notice, and unless you’re home, they are installed without your knowledge,” she reports.

Are you concerned about radiation from wireless power meters? Should utilities give us a choice before they’re installed? Drop us a line and let us know what you think.

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