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ARE SMART METERS SAFE?. Nicola Tesla "If you wish to understand the secrets of the Universe, think of energy, frequency, and vibration." Born in 1856,

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Presentation on theme: "ARE SMART METERS SAFE?. Nicola Tesla "If you wish to understand the secrets of the Universe, think of energy, frequency, and vibration." Born in 1856,"— Presentation transcript:


2 Nicola Tesla "If you wish to understand the secrets of the Universe, think of energy, frequency, and vibration." Born in 1856, died in 1943, he was an inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, and futurist. Tesla's patents and theoretical work formed the basis of wireless communication and the radio.

3 Agenda Smart Grid vs Smart Meter How smart meters work How the mesh network works ElectroMagnetic Spectrum Naturally occurring EMF Health effect studies Why they are called “safe” What the FCC does and doesn't regulate What it all means

4 Smart Grid vs. Smart Meter: What’s the Difference?

5 Smart Grid Functions Deliver electricity where and when needed Manage power quality Improve grid reliability Improve operational efficiency Integrate renewable energy into grid Platform for “new products & services” (?)

6 Grid Net Network Architecture

7 Coming Capabilities Qualcomm chipsets “enable more real-time exchange of information to a new wave of smart devices” and “constant connectivity to ensure an ultra-fast, always on connection on any device” Grid Net “the state of all managed devices is known at all times” and “connected in a more or less real-time network talking to a central controller ” Smart meters will be always transmitting ! “All managed devices”: smart meter, thermostat, appliances, car charger

8 Electric Wireless Smart Meter Photo of Electric Smart Meter which emits RF Radiation into the home and neighborhood with each transmission

9 WHAT UTILITIES USUALLY TELL THE PUBLIC 1.Smart Meters are low power, therefore, not harmful 2.Smart Meters emit less RF Radiation than cell phones 3.Smart Meter emissions are a fraction of FCC Guidelines 4.Smart Meters transmit 4-6 times a day for seconds 5.Smart Meters only record total usage like analog meters 6.Smart Meters do not cause fires or “fry” electronics 7.Smart Meter RF Radiation does not pose a health risk 8.Smart Meter studies show no evidence of harm to health 9.Smart Meters are safe to install on homes and schools: WHO 2B Carcinogenic label only applies to cell phones

10 Functions of a Smart Meter Essentially a billing device Two-way communication (wireless relay) Meter can react to commands Change parameters remotely Remotely load new software More information collected (4 channels) Data collected in tiny snapshots of time (increments of 5-15 mins, sent 4-6 times/day) Also, send network messages every few seconds.

11 Switching Mode Power Supply Translates the 240v alternating current (AC) to the 2-10 volts direct current (DC) required Generates spikes of high frequency transients or electromagnetic interference (EMI), which travel along building wiring, radiating outward; can also back up all the way to the utility, infecting every energy customer in between Results in interference with electronic equipment, and also causes havoc with biological systems The ‘opt-out’ arrangement, of (digital) smart meter without RF transmitting function, would not eliminate transients (True ‘opt out’ is analog meter)

12 Dirty Power vs “Clean” Power

13 Pattern of Smart Meter Emissions (from Dec 2010 EPRI Report)

14 Neighborhood Collector

15 Neighborhood Collector

16 Neighborhood Collector

17 Mesh Network Diagram

18 Taken from Dec EPRI Report PP Peak smart meter transmissions

19 Pulsed versus Continuous Wave Bodies react to actual exposure, not averages!

20 How many times a PG&E smart meter transmits in 24 hours TOTAL TRANSMISSIONS ,396

21 PG&E Transmits & Duty Cycle Avg. Smart Meter - transmits every 8.66 secs. [86,400 (secs/day) / 9981 msgs.] Each is short duration (< 50 millisecs) so total Xmit time is only 45.3 secs ( duty cycle) (45.3 secs./86,400 secs/day) Max. Sm mtr - every 1/2 second (twice/sec.) ( (86,400 /190,396 max. msgs.) Max. transmits duty cycle (<15 mins) (875 total secs./86,400)

22 Ionizing Radiation Non-Ionizing Radiation Taken from “Public Health SOS” by Camilla Reese and Magda Havas

23 Spectrum Characteristics The higher the frequency (right side of chart), the deeper the penetration (i.e. Xrays) At very high frequencies (Xrays), the waves have the power to knock an electron out of an atom, creating ions (thus, ionizing radiation) The lower the frequency, the further it travels (i.e., fog horns) [Note: human cells use ELF] A stronger signal often will interfere with or override a weaker signal

24 Naturally Occurring EMF (ElectroMagnetic Frequencies) Schumann Resonance, earth’s own EMF, is 7.86 Hz Human heartbeat is 1-2 Hz Sleeping brainwaves are 2-4 Hz Awake brain is 8-13 Hz Overall, human cells vibrate at rate between 0-22 hertz These are ELF, Continuous Waves (CW) Visible light is trillion Hz (CW)

25 How Much MW Radiation Today? 1980 Background Microwave was uW/cm2 Now in cities it is 0.4 to 100 uW/cm2 Background RFR has increased 20,000 times!! Smart Meter Mesh Networks will add to this Potential Chronic Health Effects could add to health care costs PREVENTION is key (Precautionary Principle) Source: Dr. Karl Maret youtube video, “The Truth about Smart Meters”

26 Traits of Microwave Radiation Intensity of emission (called power density) drops off sharply with increased distance (equation) The waves bounce (called reflection) off smooth, hard surfaces ( like glass, concrete, polished metal, granite countertops, etc.) The emissions are additive. When two (or more) waves intersect, the exposure is the sum of the two (or more). Multiple RF sources and/or reflection cause intersections, i.e. higher than expected pwr. density Damage done by RF is cumulative over time

27 Where Rays Intersect Sunlight is a form of RFR as are microwaves. When microwaves intersect, the effect is similar to sunlight concentrated through a magnifying glass. The curvature of a skull adds to the effect of “hot spots” in the brain

28 5 year old 10 year old Adult These are Cell Phone Studies but Smart Meters use same Frequencies Research of Dr. Om Ghandi, University of Utah


30 Known Biological Effects of HF EMF’s Can affect Electroencephalogram & Blood Brain Flow Disruption of cell communications—Ca+ ions Damage to genes and DNA (breakage) found in extensive REFLEX Study 2004 Long-term Increased Cancer risk

31 REFLEX Study 2004 Findings DNA strand breaks occur at only 1/40 th (2.5%) of guideline limits Significant increase in single and double strand DNA breaks Chromosomal aberrations in fibroblasts Changes in many proteins, including heat shock protein, the cell stress response This is solid evidence: Mobile phone radiation damages the genetic material and may increase the risk of developing cancer.

32 ` (from PhD Martin Blank's presentation at the Commonwealth Club of CA 11/18/10)

33 Effects of Pulsed Microwaves Breech the protective Blood Brain Barrier Affect the Neurotransmitters Affect Testosterone Hormone Levels Can Decrease Sperm Production in Men Affect the natural Rhythm of Brain Can affect Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability EEG Changes—also in sleep, reduction of learning, memory problems Lowers Hormones: Melatonin—affects sleep & testosterone in male rats



36 This is Not New Information! May 1975, Naval Aerospace Medical Research Lab – “…variability in the waveform (pulsed vs CW) could compromise the validity of conclusions” 1984 USAF 5 yr pulsed RF/MW study, Dr Bill Guy found increase in tumors RFIAWG 1999 Letter to IEEE—14 issues w/RF limits— “Studies continue to be published describing biological responses to nonthermal ELF-modulated and pulse-modulated RF radiation exposures that are not produced by CW (unmodulated) RF radiation.” The Salzburg Resolution of 2000 – Scientists set a target of 0.1 μW/cm2 (or V/m) for public exposure to pulsed radiofrequency (FCC limit is 600 uW/cm2)

37 EMF & RFR Research 1950s-1990’s Robert Kane, BSEE, MSEE in electromagnetics, Ph.D. in EE, esp. electromagnetics Former Motorola prod. design engr., research scientist, developer of cell phones and microwave telecommunications /04/17/robert-c-kane-cellular- telephone-russian-roulette/ /04/17/robert-c-kane-cellular- telephone-russian-roulette/ “Tissue destruction in one’s brain may be occurring w/o the slightest indication that anything is happening. And the damage may be repeated, over and over again, each time the energy exposure takes place.”

38 Health Effect Studies International Agency for Research on Cancer, at WHO states possible carcinogen based on Interphone study Dr. Magda Havas: Cordless phones (2.4 GHz, same as HAN and WiFi) affect heart rate at 0.5% of guidelines REFLEX Study, 2 hrs of 60 Hz breaks DNA – Mutates DNA which can lead to cancer – Children’s cells multiply much faster (duplicating mutations) Blood brain barrier leaks after 2 hrs GSM exposure (pulsed) Pulsed signal causes heat shock (stress) cell proteins Dr. Carlo said 2.4 GHz affects cognitive ability and memory "Windows" of effects at lower frequencies

39 RFR Damages DNA, Fertility Peer reviewed, published research shows damage to ovaries and testes Barrie Trower, British scientist, former naval weapons expert, specializing in microwave “stealth” warfare Low level microwaves can damage the ovaries in girls (they have all their eggs at birth) That girl could have a genetically deformed child, and that could be carried through generations. You are risking the future generations of your children with genetic disorders.

40 RF Effects on Children Children’s bodies affected more by RF Smaller, thinner bones Higher water content Cells rapidly multiplying (mutations are multiplied) Asphalt playgrounds reflect (intensify) RF The earlier exposure starts, the higher the health risks

41 Radio Frequency Guidelines and Effects RF Testing

42 So Many Studies, Why No Action? Thousands of RFR studies find bioeffects. Industry says, “No effect has been found.” Actually, every assertion of risk has a counter assertion of no risk. For every study showing damage to DNA and memory, there is an opposite study. How is it scientifically possible for 50 percent of all studies to get an opposite result? H. Lai split 326 studies in 2006 by funder (industry vs private); 70% of privately funded show bio effect, only 30% of industry funded did.

43 Key Resolutions/Appeals re: EMF/EMR Health Effects Helsinki Appeal (2005) – Drs. & researchers ICEM’s Benevento Resolution, Italy (2006) - Scientists (International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety) Venice Resolution (2008) - Scientists Freiburger Appeal (2008) - Doctors Porto Alegre Resolution, Brazil (2009) – Scientists & Drs. Seletun Scientific Statement (2010) - Scientists Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe –(2011) Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (2011)

44 Why (falsely) claimed to be "safe" RF is well below FCC limits ( but effects at < 3% of limit) Emissions ( claimed to be ) less than a cell phone ( which is itself a possible carcinogen) Emits only a "little tiny bit" of radiation (based upon averaging out the peaks) Only transmitting 1-2% of time (as often as twice per second)

45 FCC Guidelines The guideline is for EXPOSURE, not for EMISSIONS (but not enforced) FCC guidelines protect: 6 ft 200 lb man from thermal effects (heating) Emission averaged over 30 mins Protection from one device alone Single exposure (acute)

46 FCC Compliance is not safety (it’s just legal) From 1993 internal FDA memo: “available data ‘strongly suggest’ that microwaves can ‘accelerate the development of cancer’.” From 2002 EPA letter: “The FCC’s exposure guideline is considered protective of effects arising from a thermal mechanism but not from all possible mechanisms. Therefore, the generalization by many that the guidelines protect human beings from harm by any or all mechanisms is not justified.”

47 Guideline Deficits No protection from: Non-thermal, bio-effects Pulsed signal vs. continuous wave (no distinction) Momentary peak emission (no cap) Emissions from other simultaneous devices (whether smart meters, WiFi, cell phones, etc) Daily, annual accumulation No provisions for : The vulnerable (children, elderly, pregnant women) Nighttime period for cells to recover

48 What does it all mean? FCC regulations do NOT protect against all effects The low RFR frequency mimics/interferes with cell communication Residents’ exposure is much higher than admitted by utilities RFR is a 'toxic accumulant', i.e. the effects of exposure build up over time Wireless microwave communication is NOT acceptable for the smart grid

49 END



52 Smart Grid Traits Communication uses Wireless Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR, also called microwaves) Uses pulsed waves (as much as 2 times per second) not Continuous Waves (28 times worse than CW) Each brief transmission reaches high intensity peaks The peaks are averaged over 30 minutes and whole body exposure, hiding the peak Multiple transmitters (ZigBee, neighbors’ meters, apt. bldgs., collectors, backhaul to utility) Background radiation (cell twrs, WiFi, cell phones, cordless phones, microwave ovens, etc.)

53 Neighborhood Collector

54 Peak Pulse Intensity vs Avg. Exposure Short pulse (<50 milliseconds) with ~1 watt (10,000 uW) peak pulses can average to Power of 9 uW/cm2 (Tell Report) The body feels actual peak pulse, not average! Consider the Biological Effects of high power pulsing. The physical max of a meter would be 72,000 pulses transmitted in an hour

55 (from Martin Blank's presentation at the Commonwealth Club of California 11/18/10)

56 Cell Phone vs. Smart Meter Why the comparison? Same/similar frequency Most people have cell phones--reluctant to give them up (inclined to ignore/discount reports of health effects) Claim smart meter emission is much less than cell phone However Daniel Hirsch, nuclear policy expert: corrected duty cycle and measurement unit, smart meter emits 100 X’s more WHO announced (May 2011) cell phones (and all wireless devices) are possible carcinogens

57 Not as “Safe” as Claimed “

58 (from Martin Blank's presentation at the Commonwealth Club of California11/18/10.)

59 Are there Really Safe Levels? “The actual exposure levels at which these genetic effects are shown are about 0.5 to 1.2 uW/cm2. These are not safe levels, they are just experimental levels that show, that at extremely low experimental levels, genotoxic responses occur cell-by-cell. There is no safe threshold.” Dr. Neil Cherry, New Zealand EMF Researcher Studied Health Effects of SF Sutro Tower


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