What are smart meters?
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Wikipedia defines smart meters as: A smart meter is usually an electronic device that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system.
Smart meters have been used for a number of years in some developed countries, especially in parts of Europe. In recent years, they have been installed in some areas of the United States as well.
Concerns have been raised about the safety of smart meters, mainly because they give off the same kinds of radiofrequency (RF) waves as cell phones and Wi-Fi devices.
How do smart meters work?
Acording to BGE (Baltimore Gas&Electric) “A traditional electric meter keeps an ongoing record of how much electricity your home uses. The meter is read every month and you are billed for the electricity you have used. A smart meter is an electric meter that allows two-way communication between the meter and BGE via a wireless network.”
“Smart meters are safe and secure”
How are people exposed?
Smart meters are typically installed outside the home, either in place of or as part of existing meters. How much RF energy that people are exposed to from the smart meter depends on how far they are from the smart meter antenna and how the smart meter sends its signal. The frequency and power of the RF waves given off by a smart meter are similar to that of a typical cell phone, cordless phone, or residential Wi-Fi router. Smart meters typically send and receive short messages about 1% of the time.
Because the smart meter antenna usually is located outside the home, people are much farther away from the source of RF waves than some other possible sources of exposure to RF radiation, such as personal cell phones and cordless phones. In addition, walls between the person and the smart meter’s antenna further reduce the amount of RF energy exposure. This means that the amount of RF radiation that someone would be exposed to from a smart meter is probably much lower than the amount that they would be exposed to from other sources.
Can smart meters cause cancer?
Smart meters give off RF radiation. RF radiation is low-energy radiation. RF radiation doesn’t have enough energy to remove charged particles such as electrons (ionize), and so is called non-ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation has enough energy to move atoms in a molecule around or cause them to vibrate, which can lead to heat but it can’t damage DNA directly.
RF radiation is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” This is based on the finding of a possible link in at least one study between cell phone use and a specific type of brain tumor. Because RF radiation is a possible carcinogen, and smart meters give off RF radiation, it is possible that smart meters could increase cancer risk. Still, it isn’t clear what risk, if any there might be from living in a home with a smart meter.
Do smart meters cause any other health problems?
Smart meters have not been studied to see if they cause health problems. Studies have looked at RF radiation from other sources. Exposure to large amounts of RF radiation, as from accidents involving radar, has resulted in severe burns. No other serious health problems have been reported.
One concern expressed is that the RF waves produced by smart meters might interfere with electronic medical devices such as a heart pacemaker. A study that examined the effect of smart meters on pacemakers and implantable defibrillators found that the smart meters did not interfere with these devices.
How can I reduce my exposure to RF radiation from smart meters?
In my research for an RF Radiation protection device for smart meters, here is what I have found. This brief video below gives the details about RF shielding and the device you can purchase through the Amazon link below.
You can also chose to to opt-out from having the smart meter installed. If you are a BGE customer you can click the link HERE to find out how