Smart Meter Roll-Out – Response by Dr Andrew Goldsworthy

Smart Meter Roll-Out – Response by Dr Andrew Goldsworthy, Lecturer in Biology (retired) Imperial College London

  1. Smart Meters will not deliver value for money.
  2.  We should not expect any reduction in cost to the average consumer. In fact, people in the USA and Canada who already have Smart Meters have usually found that they bills have risen, partly because the meters have to be paid for out of revenue and partly because many people (particularly the poor and elderly) will not understand the complex tariffs. Past experience in the UK has shown that utility companies, when given the opportunity to use complex tariffs, use them to their own advantage. However, any potential benefits will be more than outweighed by the known and predicted health effects from being exposed 24/7 to intermittent microwave radiation.
  3.  There have been no truly successful implementations of Smart Meters in other countries because of their deleterious effects on health. Many users in the USA and Canada have experienced serious effects on their health, including severe headaches, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea and poor sleep following their installation. The mechanisms of these effects are now known, which may be regarded as further evidence that they are real.
  4.  Effects on the inner ear Tinnitus, dizziness and nausea are due to false activation of the sensitive “hair cells” of the inner ear. When it occurs in those of the cochlea, it can cause tinnitus (false sensations of sound). These hair cells can detect sound of as little as a billionth of a watt by first converting it to electrical signals that then trigger nerve impulses that are sent to the brain. They are also sensitive, even to weak pulsed microwaves.    When this occurs in the hair cells of the vestibular system (the part of the inner ear concerned with balance) they too send false signals to the brain, causing dizziness, loss of balance and symptoms of motion sickness, including nausea. These can be very debilitating.
  5.  Effects on the brain itself are also due to the pulsed microwave radiation interfering with its normal electrical activity by generating extra by false nerve impulses. This can result in brain hyperactivity, stress headaches and a reduced ability to concentrate (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)).
  6.  Autism can occur when ADHD occurs in the brain of the foetus and/or children under about 18 months. It can interfere with normal learning during this relatively brief period when the brain is concerned primarily with recognizing body language, other peoples’ emotions, basic communication skills and social interactions. At the end of this period, what the child has learnt become hard-wired into its psyche and cannot easily be added to later. This can result in one of a whole range of autistic spectrum disorders in which the child lacks one or more communications skills (often with other disorders) and is usually irreversible.
  7.  Microwave exposure has been linked to a fifty-fold increase in autism since the advent of mobile phones, cordless phones and their respective base stations. About one child in fifty is now likely to be at least partially autistic and the annual economic cost of autism in the UK has been estimated by workers at King’s College London as being about £27 billion. Wireless Smart Meters can only make this worse. Can the Nation afford it?
  8.  Other reported long-term effects of pulsed microwaves are obesity and fatigue. Exposure to the radiation from mobile phones and their base stations (circa seven years for living within 100 metres of a base station) is damaging to the thyroid gland, which is in an exposed position in the front of the neck. This results in hypothyroidism, the main symptoms of which are obesity and fatigue. It may be no coincidence that the Western World is currently suffering from an outbreak of obesity and chronic fatigue syndrome that Wireless Smart Meters can only be expected to exacerbate. The economic and health costs of both are also enormous; can we afford them?
  9. The disturbing effects of Wireless Smart Meters on sleep and cancer are apparently due to a reduction in melatonin production (a sleep hormone) by the pineal gland in the brain. This is also worrying since it disrupts our natural circadian rhythms. These circadian rhythms also control our immune systems, which are normally most active during what the body clock “thinks” is night (the subjective night). Similar disruption of the circadian rhythms of shift workers and people regularly exposed to light at night has been found to give rise to cardiac problems and reduced immunity to diseases. There is also a more than doubled risk of getting several forms of cancer as the immune system fails to dispose of aberrant cancer cells from various sources. Exposure to light at night is recognized by the World Health Organisation as being a Group 2A carcinogen (probably carcinogenic). We can therefore expect the current Group 2B status of wireless Smart meters to be elevated to Group 2A. Is the Government or Power Industry happy to take this risk with every household in the land? I hope not.
  10.  The situation is potentially worse in the UK than in the USA and Canada, where the meters are usually on the outside of houses and relatively little power is needed to transmit the signal.  In the UK, most meters are either under the stairs; i.e. in the centre of the house or in the basement, so a much higher signal strength is needed to reach the base station. Therefore our own exposure will be that much greater and the symptoms likely to be worse.
  11. Vulnerable customers should certainly not be allocated wireless smart meters,nor should charities be encouraged to support them. There will inevitably be litigation that charities may not be able to afford when their effects of health become fully recognized.
  12. The main pitfall in the introduction of wireless smart meters is the effects of their regular radiation pattern (especially at night) on the health of consumers. If you must have wireless smart meters for billing purposes, they should be restricted to one transmission per day and even that should not occur at night.
  13. However, it would be far better to use a wired of fibre optic connection using the telephone or broadband connections, which virtually every household already has.
  14. DECC is not giving the public the necessary information to enable it to decide on the safety of smart meters, particularly their likely effects on cancer and other health concerns.  Either it does not know about them or it has been badly misinformed.
  15. There are thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers showing biological effects from electromagnetic fields (including microwaves) that may be orders of magnitude below official safety standards (these only measure the short term heating effects). <>  .  Compliance with these standards cannot therefore be taken as an indication of safety. The public should be informed of this so that they can make a sensible and fully informed decision about the safety of wireless smart meters.   14. To carry out compulsory mass exposure to pulsed microwave radiation without the fully informed consent of the people affected is in contravention of the Nuremberg code. 
  16.  The question of security of supply has not been adequately addressed. Any wireless connection is vulnerable to electromagnetic interference such as that from solar flares, not to mention deliberate attempts at hacking by potential enemies (remember  the Stuxnet virus, which destroyed the centrifuges needed for the Iranian nuclear program).  Similar attacks on our smart meter system or the intense magnetic fields from a direct hit by the radiation from a solar flare could destroy the electronics of our wireless smart meters (which are designed to fail to the off position) so that the whole nation could be in darkness and without power. If that happened, it could be months if not longer before the meters were replaced and power restored. The likelihood that the meters will be outsourced from another country (probably from China) that will be aware of any vulnerability does little to inspire confidence in our procurement policies.     In conclusion, to go ahead with this wireless smart meter program can at best be described as foolhardy and at worst a recipe for National Suicide. Dr Andrew GoldsworthyLecturer in Biology (retired)Imperial College London.

UK-Smart energy meters vulnerable to hackers, claims Labour MP

Smart energy meters vulnerable to hackers, claims Labour MP

13 May 2016
By Jack Loughran

Smart meters in Spain have supposedly been hacked by consumers to under-report energy consumption

Smart meters in Spain have supposedly been hacked by consumers to under-report energy consumption

Insecure smart energy meters are allowing hackers “through the back door”, according to a Labour minister.

Shadow business, innovation and skills minister Chi Onwurah claimed the Government has been complacent about protecting consumers’ data.

A government-led scheme will see smart meters – which display in near real-time how much gas and electricity is being consumed – fitted in all homes across England, Scotland and Wales by 2020.

Onwurah said during energy questions in the Commons: “Smart meters can transform domestic energy consumption and literally help save the planet, but only if consumers are given secure control and ownership of their own data.

“The display options that you refer to will still allow smart meters to be a back door in to our homes for hackers.

“Can you, before it’s too late, overcome your ridiculous complacency and announce measures which will give consumers the digital rights that they deserve?”

Critics have previously raised fears that the smart meters could be used by hackers to crash power grids, while others claim similar meters in Spain have been hacked by consumers to under-report energy consumption.

Conservative energy secretary Amber Rudd hit back at her opposition MP for stirring up fear among the public.

“You should know that privacy is absolutely protected and at the heart of the smart meter programme,” she said in response. “You should be careful not to put fear in to the hearts of people where none should exist.

“The data is protected and the data belongs not to government, which some people might not unreasonably fear, but to the energy companies.

“So we will make sure that we always reassure consumers that privacy is at the core of delivering safe meters in the future.”

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokeswoman said smart meters will not store data such as a consumer’s name, address or bank details and only organisations such as energy suppliers and network companies can access them.

The spokeswoman added that the Government has put “robust security controls” in place, based on international standards.

Cell Phone Study just more propaganda to confuse the Public

Joel Moskowitz comments on Simon Chapman’s mobile phone ‘all-clear study.

Joel’s comments, 14 May 2016: This study seems designed to serve as propaganda for the public debate about whether cell phone radiation is a cancer risk factor. The study’s lead author, Simon Chapman, published an opinion piece online (see below) in which he accused Devra Davis of being an “alarmist” for her position in this debate.

Yesterday, Medscape, a website that “offers specialists, primary care physicians, and other health professionals the Web’s most robust and integrated medical information and educational tools,” published a story about the study. The article cited Simon Chapman and John Boice, Jr. who supported the study’s conclusions, and Lennart Hardell who raised concerns. Since I have concerns about the study and do not believe the Medscape article was balanced, I sent Medscape my comments. See the Medscape article which appears below along with my comments in red (BOLD in this posting).

I strongly encourage scientists with expertise on EMF health effects to share their knowledge about the science with reporters. In my experience over the past seven years, most reporters are trying to write an accurate story. I realize that it is often inconvenient to talk to them, but it is the only way we can overcome the ignorance and bias promoted by scientists who have a vested interest in protecting the status quo.

SNIP (The Chapman paper as copied in the Moskowith posting is omitted here)

Following is a story about the study that appeared in Medscape. My comments appear in red.(Bold here) I sent my comments to the author of the article and the editor-in-chief of Medscape. The article is copyrighted so do not post it on the internet.

Study: No Link Between Brain Tumors, Cell Phones; Expert: But…

Roxanne Nelson, Medscape, May 12, 2016

A large study has found no link between cell-phone use and brain tumors, although this is undoubtedly not the last word on the controversial subject.

This statement is misleading: 1) this Australian study only examined malignant brain tumors (i.e., brain cancer); non-malignant brain tumors are more common; 2) the study had no measure of actual cell phone use; it relied on the industry reports of the number of cell phone subscriptions over time; 3) the study found a large increase in brain cancer rates among men and women 70-84 years of age as well as a small, but statistically significant increase, in brain cancer among all men (age-standardized) during a period when there was rapid adoption of cell phones in the population.

In fact, according to one expert, the analysis lumped together all brain cancers and did not separate out high-grade gliomas (especially in the temporal or frontal lobe), which are the most relevant type.

Excellent point. Brain cancer (glioma) incidence increased in the frontal and temporal lobes over time in England. Also, the incidence of high-grade gliomas (i.e., glioblastoma multiforme) in these two lobes has increased over time in the U.S. The current study did not examine types of brain cancer or location of tumors.

In their study, the researchers examined age- and sex-specific incidence rates in 19,858 men and 14,222 women diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia from 1982 to 2012.

The findings show that the incidence of brain cancer did not increase during the study period in any group except those 70 to 84 years of age.


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It’s important to know the facts, potential risks of smart meters

It’s important to know the facts, potential risks of smart meters


May 10, 2016
By DEBRA GREENE , For The Maui News


In her April 24 Viewpoint, Maui Electric Co. President Sharon Suzuki sang the praises of smart-grid technology, which includes blanketing the islands with smart meters. The plan, proposed by parent company Hawaiian Electric Industries, is now before the Public Utilities Commission.

No public testimony will be allowed in that process, so it’s important to know the facts about smart meters. They pose a threat to your safety, privacy, freedom, health and your wallet.

1. Your bill will go up. Hawaiian Electric’s $340 million smart-meter project will be ratepayer funded. Plus, where smart meters have been deployed elsewhere, energy bills have consistently increased, sometimes drastically. Price increases will be steeper when Time-of-Use pricing goes into effect. We will be charged more for electricity when we need it most.

2. Smart meters violate privacy. “With smart meters, police will have access to data that might be used to track residents’ daily lives and routines inside their homes, including their eating, sleeping and showering habits, what appliances they use, and when and whether they prefer the television to the treadmill, among a host of other details,” according to a U.S. Congressional Research Report. Also, the Hawaii Civil Liberties Union has expressed concerns about Fourth Amendment rights violations posed by smart meters.

3. Expect your detailed energy-use information, as described above, to be sold to third-party vendors to market products or track your activities. This is already being done in some Mainland jurisdictions and generates a substantial new revenue stream for the utility.

4. Smart meters do not help the environment or save energy. In fact, smart meters and mesh-grid systems take more energy because they require a multitude of additional wireless transmitters that use additional energy. If any energy savings is to be had, it requires you to take time out of your busy day to log-on to a website, study the charts and graphs available, and change your lifestyle inside your home to use energy more efficiently or buy expensive energy-efficient appliances.

5. There have been thousands of fires worldwide related to smart meters. Faulty installations, old wiring and impact vulnerabilities have been cited. Massive and expensive smart-meter installations have at times been halted because of documented fires. Most smart meters are not UL approved.

6. Smart meters are a health hazard. There are over 6,000 studies showing biological effects from the same form of radiation that smart meters emit. The World Health Organization has categorized such EMFs as a Class 2B possible carcinogen, the same class as DDT, chloroform and car exhaust.

7. Smart meters have been shown to emit between 5,000 to 190,000 pulses/day. These pulses occur randomly every few seconds throughout the day and night. There is evidence this unpredictable pulsation makes smart meters more toxic than cellphones or Wi-Fi, which are likely toxic themselves but emit more steady signals. It’s like the difference between white noise versus erratic loud blasts.

8. Smart meters have not been proven to be safe. Despite what the HEI website says, no one can make this claim. Although the meters meet FCC guidelines, such guidelines were established decades ago, before the proliferation of wireless devices, and the guidelines were not designed to protect us from long-term exposure to nonthermal levels of microwave radiation emitted by smart meters. People are becoming ill and authorities are speaking out, but there is a lag in policy change (think tobacco industry).

9. Smart meters make Hawaii’s electrical grid vulnerable to cyberattack. Cybercrime is on the rise and “secure” systems, from corporations to governments and the U.S. military, get hacked into frequently. Making Hawaii’s grid wireless threatens energy security, as one rogue individual could take down the entire power grid.

10. No one is required to accept a smart meter. MECO’s plan allows for an opt-out and they will charge for it, a $15.30 monthly fee. Some people are calling this extortion. And if you don’t opt-out in advance you will have to pay $49.52 to get the smart meter removed.

For sample opt-out letters and more information, please visit and sign our petition to stop smart meters in Hawaii until they are proven safe and secure.

* Debra Greene, Ph.D., energy health and environment consultant, is the Founder of, a Maui-based educational service that provides consumer information about smart meters and smart-grid technologies.–potential-risks-of-smart-meters.html?nav=18