Documentary: Wi-Fi Refugees. Nowhere to run: Electrosensitive people try to escape wireless technology

Environment 19 July 2017 49 12532

Wi-Fi Refugees. Nowhere to run: Electrosensitive people try to escape wireless technology

Although these people are sick, their illness is difficult to diagnose, and it’s even harder to convince others that it actually exists. Their symptoms include cluster headaches, nausea, chronic fatigue, a burning sensation on the skin, and a metallic taste in the mouth. Sufferers claim the cause is wireless technology. There’s no known cure, and the only way to alleviate the symptoms seems to be to distance themselves from electronic devices and the influence of omnipresent wireless networks.

Related: Ghana’s electronic waste dump where child labour is rife 

Electrosensitive people insist that Wi-Fi and cell phones are inflicting constant harm on humans, animals, and nature. Their testimonies are not the only evidence that non-ionising radiation may not be as harmless as we have been led to believe. Scientific studies that have been conducted on plants, insects, and mice suggest these electromagnetic waves may be damaging living organisms. Scientists from around the world have appealed to the UN, warning of the negative, long-term effects that electromagnetic fields could be having on animal and plant life.

Related: Tips and Tricks how to begin zero waste lifestyle

At the moment, electrosensitive people have no choice but to flee to the woods or distant rural areas that wireless technology hasn’t yet reached. This often means leaving their families behind. Such sanctuaries are not easy to find, however, and they are becoming scarcer by the day. Sufferers warn that they are just the first to have detected the problem, which they expect to get worse and affect more and more people. Their message is not to stop progress, but to proceed with caution, making sure new technology is really safe before it is made widely available.+

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Are smart meters safe and secure?

Are smart meters safe and secure?

Published:   Updated: 

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Could new technology meant to save energy and money be dangerous and invade your privacy? One Indianapolis woman was wondering, so she came to I-Team 8 for answers.

Our viewer, who asked us to use her nickname “JR,” initially came to us worried the new smart meters might be a fire hazard. But as we began to investigate, we learned she’s not the only one with those concerns, and there are cybersecurity concerns as well. JR first learned about the smart meter in a pamphlet that came with her regular power bill from Indianapolis Power and Light.

“They stated that they would be putting in a smart meter,” JR said.

She got on the internet to learn more about smart meters, also known as AMI, or Advanced Metering Infrastructure. What she saw scared her: reports of the meters causing fires.

“I’m just a regular, average American and I work hard for what I have,” said JR. “I don’t want my house to burn down. It’s old, but it’s still my home.”

I-Team 8 started digging. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security Division of Fire and Building Safety had no data on smart meters. The U.S. Fire Administration does not collect data that differentiates between smart meters and traditional meters. However, the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission had 20 reports about smart meters. The reports are generated by consumers who go online and make a report, so it’s impossible to say if the problems are valid. Of the 20 reports, nine were about fires and eight were about electricity issues.

“I think we should be safe, I think everything in our homes should be safe, nothing should cause fires,” JR said.

Those weren’t the only concerns we found. Others are worried not about the physical safety of smart meters, but the cybersecurity.

“The security flaws that can exist in the smart meters can, in fact, be many,” said Larry Pesce, a SANS certified instructor.

Pesce is a penetration tester – which means he acts like a hacker and, with permission, exposes cybersecurity issues. He found out how hackers can get into a smart meter and what info they might be able to get.

“They could take your power offline,” Pesce said. “There’s a possibility, given a really determined attacker, that they could take lots of people’s power offline.”

He said they can also see how much power you’re using and when.

“I’ve seen some research that they can even tell what was being shown on your TV,” said Pesce.

If someone can tell how much power you’re using, they can figure out when you might be out of the house, possibly giving them an opportunity to break in or commit other crimes. But Pesce himself has a smart meter, and says the amount of time and effort it would take to hack in would probably not be worth it.

I-Team 8 took these concerns to IPL to see what they’re doing to keep your home safe.

“Our IPL field technicians that are out there servicing the meters, we have trained them and they know how to identify the signs that might indicate that there is meter damage or there could be meter damage,” said Clarie Dalton, a spokesperson with IPL.

They are confident you’ll be safe and say the new smart meters might even be more safe than the meters on homes right now.

“With this AMI technology we’re able to see if it could melt or if something like that could happen, so we’re able to mitigate that issue almost immediately,” said Dalton. “We can monitor for heat damage through AMI technology.”

IPL said all the data coming from the smart meters is encrypted and does not contain any identifying information. Still, JR wants to be able to choose if she gets a smart meter.

“We heard that customers want an opt-out program and that’s something that we don’t offer, but we are really confident in the technology that we’re utilizing,” Dalton said.

IPL has no plans to let customers opt-out in the future.

According to the Edison Foundation, there are more than 65 million Americans with smart meters, and more than half a million of those here in Indiana. If you still have concerns about smart meters, IPL invited you to give them a call at 317-261-8222.

Are smart meters safe and secure?

 

Lawsuits claim faulty PG&E Smart Meters started house fires

ABC30

Lawsuits claim faulty PG&E Smart Meters started house fires

It can happen in a flash. Fiery videos posted to YouTube by several homeowners show fires they blame on smart meters. Jose Valdez does not have the video of the fire at his Firebaugh home in September 2015, but he thinks this is basically what happened. The fire spread across his driveway and back towards the bedrooms in his home.

“It was pretty scary. I mean, I have two little girls, a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old at the time. They were all scared,” said Valdez.

Valdez and his family ran out and firefighters had already started pouring water on the house.

Lawsuits claim faulty Smart Meters started house fires
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A device resting on the side of about ten million home in central and northern California is at the center of several lawsuits that claim it may not be as innocuous as it looks.

He noticed several PG&E employees got there almost as quickly, and he says one of them removed the smart meter while the firefighters worked. Firebaugh’s fire chief saw it too.

He says he is never seen that before, but he thinks he knows why they may have wanted the device.

‘Investigation after the fire was put out revealed that in all probability the fire was caused by a problem in the electrical panel and the problem in the electrical panel, in my belief, was the Smart Meter that was installed in the panel by PG&E,” said John Borboa.

Dozens of people have blamed smart meters for fires over the last several years and the issue has been a topic of discussion for the California Public Utilities Commission.

In 2014, a report from the CPUC acknowledging concern about smart meters as the possible cause of some fires said the commission’s staff determined none of the fires they examined were caused by smart meters.

Jose Valdez is not convinced.

His insurance company is suing PG&E over the fire at his house and they not alone.

“Active arcing going on, electrical activity happening with flames going up the side of the house,” said Don Macalpine.

Fresno firefighters put out the fire at the Sandoval home. Deputy Fire Marshal Don Macalpine says there’s no clear evidence it started with a smart meter malfunction, but their investigation doesn’t rule it out.

A second lawsuit filed on behalf of the Sandoval’s’ insurance company blames PG&E and the smart meter.

In fact, at least five lawsuits in California make the same claim about smart meters.

When I asked for PG&E’s response to the lawsuits, the company’s representatives asked me for a list of questions. They answered none of them, but they did send me a statement saying smart meters have to meet safety requirements and standards spelled out in the national electric safety code.

And they added, “Although we won’t comment on active litigation, we can say that PG&E stands behind the safety of our Smart Meters.”

But Valdez sees his differently now, as a possible threat attached to his home, in what he considers to be one of the worst possible positions.

“My kids’ bedroom is right next to the garage and who knows what would’ve happened after that if it would’ve been in the night,” said Valdez.

Both Fresno County lawsuits are set for trial in 2018.

 

New York-Life isn’t easy for smart meter opponents

Life isn’t easy for smart meter opponents

When the New York Public Service Commission recently put out a press release announcing its resolution of a Central Hudson stand-off regarding charging consumers to opt out of use of its ‘smart meters,’ Woodstocker Steve Romine chuckled at the ‘news’ from his Fitzsimmons Lane home that was cut off the grid by the region’s energy monopoly four and a half years ago.

As he would then note in a letter that ran in last week’s Woodstock Times, “Could it be this press release came about because I had just served them with court papers with legal action a couple of days before?”

The PSC decision, according to its October 19 release, directed Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation to withdraw monthly fees for residential customers who choose to opt-out of using meter-reading devices that can be read remotely. “This move reverses an earlier decision requiring residential customers pay a fee to cover the costs associated with the manual reading a customer’s electric meter,” it read. “For residential customers that currently have an advanced, automated electric meter installed at their property, the Commission determined that it is appropriate for the customer to make a one-time payment to cover the cost of switching from the advanced meter to a non-communicating, conventional meter, upon the customer’s request.” But the PSC also declined to require Central Hudson to make such old-style meters available “because such technology is obsolete and currently not in production by any major meter manufacturer, and therefore does not offer a viable solution to address the concerns of some Central Hudson customers” while simultaneously noting that it “will require the availability of a non-communicating, solid-state meter option.”

“The monthly fees associated with the meter opt-out program were designed to cover the cost of manually reading the digital non-communicating meters, and was initially approved by regulators. The Public Service Commission offered additional analysis, and issued a decision to waive the monthly fee, effective Dec. 1, 2017,” noted John Maserjian, Central Hudson’s Director of Media Affairs, in an email. “Central Hudson serves approximately 300,000 electric customers, and digital meters are currently in use in approximately 41 percent of accounts. The remaining analog meters are gradually being replaced: Central Hudson is required to test approximately 3.5 percent of its residential meters per year, and in doing so replaces older analog meters with digital ERT meters. ERT meters are also installed in new construction or to replace meters which may be damaged. To date, 81 customer accounts have enrolled in the opt out program. The opt-out meter is a digital, non-communicating model that must be read manually. They do not emit radio signals, and studies show these models emit lower levels of EMF than do analog meters, which are no longer produced. (All electrically operated devices, including household appliances, emit EMF.)”

Romine and his partner Raji Nevin galvanized Woodstock’s protest movement against “smart meters” nearly five years ago when the couple came to the conclusion that Nevin suffered a “mini-stroke” as a result of her proximity to a new GE-built Encoder Receiver Transmitter/meter supplied by Central Hudson. After requesting that the company replace their new device with the older meter they’d replaced, and getting no reply, Romine bought an analog meter online and documented his switch out of the new ‘smart meter’ for CH. After which the company sent someone to completely un-hook the couple’s rented home from the Central Hudson system, and hence the entire electrical grid.

Nevin said in a recent interview that its “not been fun” living without a regular electrical supply for four and a half years, although she added that Romine has “band-aided” a system of some sort together and that their landlord, who was contacted regularly by Central Hudson in the first year after the Fitzsimmons Lane house was shut off from the grid, backed up their battle with the power company. She added that, simultaneously, she’s “absolutely feeling better.”

Refurbished analogs

Romine, who has been representing himself through a pair of legal actions over the past five years, asked why Central Hudson and the Public Service Commission has taken so long to come to a decision on the opt out option regarding meters. He noted how Pacific Gas & Electric has long had such a program in Colorado, along with a number of states across the nation, including Maine, which uses refurbished analog meters. He was also quick to note that the PSC’s decision, and accompanying press release, appeared disingenuous, given that the meters they were extolling as “an alternative” also create electromagnetic interference, even if not in a “microwave” form.

“We had been waiting for that decision and press release for two years. We submitted a petition with over 1000 signatures. The [Woodstock] town board passed a resolution in our favor, and against smart meters. We notified and certified everything,” Romine said in answer to the state’s recent action. “Interestingly enough I served the NYSDPS (the state Department of Public Service) a couple of days before they made their press release. In the complaint I accused the NSYDPS of dragging their feet regarding the opt-out issue which is twofold — no monthly fees and the use of analog meters. Looks to me like they needed to show the court I am wrong about dragging their feet but continue to commit fraud maintaining analog meters are not available when twelve states have analog opt-outs. That being said I do consider the opt-out monthly fee a victory for the people but the ‘Meter Dispute’ is certainly not settled.”

When Central Hudson okayed an “opt out” of its new program to install digital meters throughout its coverage area, which they have described as a first step towards a “smart grid” that allows utility companies to tailor the supply of electricity to the measured level of demand to better lower waste and provide savings, they included both a one-time opt-out fee and a monthly add-on fee to cover what they said were added labor charges for reading analog meters. The new decision cuts out the monthly cost while slightly raising the one-time “opt out” fee.

“Well isn’t that nice of them for not charging us $7 a month for the rest of our lives. The interesting thing is that out of the 300,000 customers Central Hudson has, 200,000 customers still have analogs utility meters on their homes and none of them ever had to pay $7 a month to have  the meter read manually, so why should anyone who opts out have had to pay?” Romine noted. “Furthermore Central Hudson and the NYPSC  continue to commit fraud on the public by stating ‘analog meters are no longer manufactured and are no longer  available.’ On the contrary, three manufacturers nationwide re-manufacture original analog meters which are more accurate than when they were first manufactured and have a longer guarantee. A dozen states use them in their opt-out programs, including Texas, Michigan, Nevada and California which has the strictest standards in the country.”

“Central Hudson’s standard ERT meters use a low-power radio signal to communicate with hand-held receivers carried by meter readers. These meters are safe and reliable, and used widely by utilities in New York and across the United States,” Maserjian noted, in reply. “The ERT meters deployed by Central Hudson are approved for use by the New York State Public Service Commission and meet or exceed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) safety requirements. The meters operate independently and do not communicate with a central computer system, as do two-way smart meters. Central Hudson has no plans to use two-way smart meters as it’s standard, but is offering these on an opt-in basis for a monthly fee for those interested in more closely monitoring their energy use.”

Romine’s first legal case with Central Hudson ended in a summary judgment motion against them based on his having added Central Hudson’s CEO and president among its defendants. He has been pushing to have that decision reversed since it “froze all my rights” and cut off his access to due process, along with his “right to electrical service.”

Romine and Nevin have long noted how most of the homes on their street, just off Tinker Street, are still using analog meters.

The new lawsuit, first filed in May before state Supreme Court Judge Christopher Cahill, was answered by a 100 page response from Central Hudson, which Romine then answered with 60 new pages of argument and 570 pages of exhibits.

“I answered all their questions. They’ve refused to answer all my questions,” Romine said. “The judge has not ruled yet but my lawyer friends see the four month time lapse as a good sign.”

Speaking on behalf of the Woodstock Smart Meter Forum that he chairs, and which Nevin and Romine are members, Weston Blelock wrote of the recent SC decision that, “I have mixed feelings. Obviously, the PSC tried to pacify the waters with a compromise… The radio-off or non-transmitting meter is marginally better than the ERT, but it still emits dirty electricity. The latter is a known carcinogen. In addition, the radio-off meter is subject to power surges which can engulf a home’s wiring and fry its electronics…Other states such as California offer opt-out seekers the opportunity to retain their electromechanical or analog utility meters. These meters have no health impacts, don’t catch fire or collect private information. This was — and still is — our preferred option.”

Blelock further pointed out how Central Hudson Fortis (as the company is now called, following a merger with a Canadian power company) got the NYS Public Service Commission to exempt it from having to pay for damages created by deficiencies with its meters or service. He also noted the power company’s recently approved rate surge.

“The fight will continue,” he added.

“It’s still dirty power, dirty electricity, and that’s where I object,” Romine said. “Why their recalcitrance on this issue…they’re a monopoly…they’re power trippers.”

“It’s all insidious,” added Raji Nevin. “There should be red flags going up every time they say ‘smart-this’ or ‘smart-that.’ Before you know it everyone will be affected.”

Maserjian, speaking on Central Hudson’s behalf, said it was company policy never to discuss pending litigation.

For the full power commission decision, visit the Commission Documents section of the Commission’s Web site at www.dps.ny.gov and entering Case Number 14-M-0196 in the input box labeled “Search for Case/Matter Number.”

https://wordpress.com/post/smartmeternewsupdates.wordpress.com/12971

Public outcry crops up over Jefferson County smart meter plan

Public outcry crops up over Jefferson County smart meter plan

Rosemary Sikes of Port Townsend shares her concerns at a meeting Monday over the Jefferson County PUD’s plan to implement smart meters. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Editor’s note: This article has been changed to reflect a correction to the amount paid to and the name of a meter company.

CHIMACUM — Jefferson County Public Utility District officials agreed to discuss potentially halting the rollout of new “smart meters” after a public meeting in which community members expressed health and privacy concerns as well as unease about the cost and longevity of the new meters.

The meeting Monday night lasted roughly three hours, with more than 100 community members in attendance, many of whom stood or sat on the floor in the Chimacum Fire Hall.

The rollout of the new smart meters was approved in March by PUD commissioners as an upgrade to the current mix of analog and digital meters, as well as a way to cut down on the utility’s carbon footprint.

However, at Monday’s meeting, a number of community members said they felt the project had been pushed through with little public input.

“There needs to be a better democratic process here,” said Julie Dumond.

PUD commissioners had been discussing the implementation of the smart meters in their public board meetings before the project was approved in March.

“In the PUD’s defense, we have had discussions, but we haven’t had this kind of public engagement until recently,” said PUD Commissioner Jeff Randall.

According to PUD Commissioner Wayne King, the board had been discussing smart meters since 2013.

“Where the hell were you at? 2013 is when we started talking about this,” King said.

Many community members spoke in favor of keeping the analog system, but PUD officials have stated the current systems aren’t working. The PUD pays $300,000 per year to Landis and Gyr Meters for data collection on the old meters, they said.

PUD officials also have stated the new meters provide more accurate billing and allow the PUD to more quickly identify outages — without requiring meter readers.

King said in Monday’s meeting that in order to keep up with demand, the PUD would need 40 meter readers, each with his or her own truck, to get to every PUD customer to read analog meters.

“What do you think that would do to your power bill?” King said.

Because the meters are wireless, there were concerns over privacy. While PUD commissioners said they have no plans to sell the data of PUD customers, community members were concerned the system could be hacked.

There was also a concensus that the PUD should wait for better, long-lasting technologies, since the life span on a smart meter is about seven years.

A number of other community members expressed concerns over possible health risks, citing stories from other cities and counties that have implemented smart meters and the 2013 anti-smart meter movie “Take Back Your Power,” which was screened in Port Townsend by the local Smart Meter Objectors Groups (SMOG).

Community members cited the film, saying the RF radiation emitted by the smart meters had been known to cause headaches and other issues.

PUD officials pre-emptively responded to this concern. Earlier in the meeting, PUD citizen advisory board member Thomas Engel did a presentation on RF radiation, which is the same kind of radiation emitted by cellphones.

In his presentation, Engel noted that the radiation emitted by a smart meter is significantly less than that emitted by your average smartphone.

“If you have a cellphone and you don’t think it’s harmful to your health so far then you’re not going to have any issues with the PUD smart meters,” Engel said.

Many community members disagreed.

“Just because there are no studies that say it is absolutely positively causing harm doesn’t mean they’re not causing harm,” said Rosemary Sikes.

“I feel like the communities who implement this technology are the longitudinal studies and they are the guinea pigs,” said Tamara Pratt. “I don’t want to be a guinea pig.”

Randall attended the film screening and King and Commissioner Kenneth Collins said they had also viewed it.

“That ‘Take Back Your Power’ movie is one of the best ways to create paranoia,” King said.

Collins agreed that not all the information he saw in the film or that has been sent to him by community members seemed entirely accurate.

“I agree with Wayne that some of the information I’ve received is not credible, but some of it is,” Collins said.

Despite that, community members pushed for more meetings on the topic before moving forward.

“If our meters are falling apart this solution isn’t enough and I think a room full of people telling you that should be enough to act on it,” said Amiee Ringle.

Both Collins and Randall agreed with community members that there was enough public outcry to warrant further discussion.

Collins said they will continue to discuss what they heard at Monday’s meeting at the next PUD board meeting, which is scheduled for 5 p.m. Nov. 7 at Jefferson Transit, 63 Four Corners Road.

Collins said he is also willing to hold the decision because there could potentially be state funding available for fiber-optic technologies down the line.

“Stepping back for a number of months makes sense,” Collins said. “I’m willing to take some time to see if an opportunity materializes.”

________

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com

Karen Sturnick shares her concerns at a meeting Monday over the Jefferson County PUD’s plan to implement smart meters. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Jefferson County PUD Commissioner Wayne King comments on the roughly three hours of public comment heard at Monday’s PUD meeting on smart meters. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Are smart meters safe and secure?

Are smart meters safe and secure?

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Could new technology meant to save energy and money be dangerous and invade your privacy? One Indianapolis woman was wondering, so she came to I-Team 8 for answers.

Our viewer, who asked us to use her nickname “JR,” initially came to us worried the new smart meters might be a fire hazard. But as we began to investigate, we learned she’s not the only one with those concerns, and there are cybersecurity concerns as well. JR first learned about the smart meter in a pamphlet that came with her regular power bill from Indianapolis Power and Light.

“They stated that they would be putting in a smart meter,” JR said.

She got on the internet to learn more about smart meters, also known as AMI, or Advanced Metering Infrastructure. What she saw scared her: reports of the meters causing fires.

“I’m just a regular, average American and I work hard for what I have,” said JR. “I don’t want my house to burn down. It’s old, but it’s still my home.”

I-Team 8 started digging. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security Division of Fire and Building Safety had no data on smart meters. The U.S. Fire Administration does not collect data that differentiates between smart meters and traditional meters. However, the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission had 20 reports about smart meters. The reports are generated by consumers who go online and make a report, so it’s impossible to say if the problems are valid. Of the 20 reports, nine were about fires and eight were about electricity issues.

“I think we should be safe, I think everything in our homes should be safe, nothing should cause fires,” JR said.

Those weren’t the only concerns we found. Others are worried not about the physical safety of smart meters, but the cybersecurity.

“The security flaws that can exist in the smart meters can, in fact, be many,” said Larry Pesce, a SANS certified instructor.

Pesce is a penetration tester – which means he acts like a hacker and, with permission, exposes cybersecurity issues. He found out how hackers can get into a smart meter and what info they might be able to get.

“They could take your power offline,” Pesce said. “There’s a possibility, given a really determined attacker, that they could take lots of people’s power offline.”

He said they can also see how much power you’re using and when.

“I’ve seen some research that they can even tell what was being shown on your TV,” said Pesce.

If someone can tell how much power you’re using, they can figure out when you might be out of the house, possibly giving them an opportunity to break in or commit other crimes. But Pesce himself has a smart meter, and says the amount of time and effort it would take to hack in would probably not be worth it.

I-Team 8 took these concerns to IPL to see what they’re doing to keep your home safe.

“Our IPL field technicians that are out there servicing the meters, we have trained them and they know how to identify the signs that might indicate that there is meter damage or there could be meter damage,” said Clarie Dalton, a spokesperson with IPL.

They are confident you’ll be safe and say the new smart meters might even be more safe than the meters on homes right now.

“With this AMI technology we’re able to see if it could melt or if something like that could happen, so we’re able to mitigate that issue almost immediately,” said Dalton. “We can monitor for heat damage through AMI technology.”

IPL said all the data coming from the smart meters is encrypted and does not contain any identifying information. Still, JR wants to be able to choose if she gets a smart meter.

“We heard that customers want an opt-out program and that’s something that we don’t offer, but we are really confident in the technology that we’re utilizing,” Dalton said.

IPL has no plans to let customers opt-out in the future.

According to the Edison Foundation, there are more than 65 million Americans with smart meters, and more than half a million of those here in Indiana. If you still have concerns about smart meters, IPL invited you to give them a call at 317-261-8222.

Are smart meters safe and secure?

Family chooses to live with no power rather than a DTE Smart Meter

Family chooses to live with no power rather than a DTE Smart Meter

 – It’s a debate that continues to rage on, can the radiation Smart Meters give off, cause cancer?

A family in Lenox Township in Macomb County, is worried not only about their health but the question of surveillance. So much so that they’re living without power and using a generator instead

They claim their power was cut off by DTE Energy because they don’t want the Smart Meter and haven’t been set up to get the new opt-out version. They’re sticking it out because they feel it’s their right to.

“My mom passed away from brain cancer so the health issues is a big concern,” said Cindy Michaels.

And the Michaels can’t help but wonder what the Smart reader she had on her home had to do with it. It is one of three basic reasons they’re not okay with this new type of meter. The second is that they worry about the meters being surveillance.

“We don’t consent to that, absolutely not, there’s no reason to,” said Tony Michaels. “We have a meter that’s already working.”

But the main reason is choice.

“We should have the choice as a citizen to be able to choose between a Smart Meter or to keep our analog meter,” Cindy said.

Right now their power is out, turned off by DTE. They claim because they won’t get the Smart Meter and haven’t been set up for the new digital opt-out meter.

The family is running a generator in the meantime, which is noisy enough for neighbors to hear.

“It’s not bothering us at all, but we can hear it,” said one neighbor.

Despite the noise, cold and expense they won’t relent and are standing firm.

“We’re going to have to, there is no choice,” Cindy said.

FOX 2 reached out to DTE tonight and they wrote in part:

“We are confident in the safety, security and benefits provided by Smart Meters. We also recognize that this is a very emotional issue for a small number of our customers. Those customers can choose to opt-out of the program for a fee and receive new digital meters that do not wirelessly transmit usage information.”

The claim Smart Meters are safe are backed up by the American Cancer Society. They say because, the amount of RF radiation you could be exposed to from a Smart Meter is much less than what you could be exposed to from a cell phone, it is very unlikely that living in a house with a Smart Meter increases risk of cancer.

“We have been fighting DTE on this pretty much since 2015,” Cindy said.

And the Michaels say even as it gets colder they won’t yield. They spend about $50 a day on the generator. They say their power was turned off by DTE on Nov. 4 which adds up to $250 so far.

Late tonight DTE said they will schedule a time to install the new digital meter once the family’s dogs are secured and a lock is taken off the meter.

The cost to opt-out is $67.20 and $9.80 per month. Since the digital option doesn’t transmit wirelessly, a meter reader stops by. DTE says it has to do this to replace the remaining old, obsolete meters to comply with a Michigan Public Service Commission request.  They’ve done about three million so far.

http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/family-chooses-to-live-with-no-power-rather-than-a-dte-smart-meter

HALIFAX-VOICE OF THE PEOPLE: Nov. 4, 2017

HERALD OPINION

VOICE OF THE PEOPLE: Nov. 4, 2017

 November 4, 2017 – 4:00am
 November 4, 2017 – 4:00am

Are smart meters safe?

The recent news article and supporting editorial about Nova Scotia Power’s application to install smart meters are misleading. Not only are there still concerns regarding the safety of these devices and the economics (they do not save money!), but also there is a question of their health impacts.

Mounting evidence is showing that deployment of these meters increases exposure to non-ionizing radiation which the World Health Organization has classified as a Class 2 carcinogen. Scientific studies have demonstrated physiological and behavioural impacts along with genetic and cellular disruption that, with chronic exposure, could result in cancer.

Despite Health Canada’s claims that there is no conclusive evidence and hence no need for better standards than the current one based on tissue heating, which is not an issue with smart meters, it must be recognized that standards are developed with industry input and only reflect what industry says is possible.

The increased EMF output these devices will cause in already heavily polluted radiation environments should be cause for concern. While it may not be possible to thwart this flawed initiative, the good news is that those of us opposed apparently will be allowed to opt out and stay with our current meters.

I suggest everyone take the opportunity to research this issue thoroughly and let NSP and the Utility and Review Board know your concerns, as I doubt there is “overwhelming” desire for this technology to be deployed.

Fred Gilbert, Bridgewate

http://thechronicleherald.ca/letters/1517330-voice-of-the-people-nov.-4-2017

IMPEACH DONALD TRUMP PETITION

Last week, we ran an ad on Fox & Friends calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump.

The president, unsurprisingly, was none too happy about it — and his friends at Fox News heard the message loud and clear. Without warning, our ad was pulled off the air in blatant act of censorship.

Fox News violated our First Amendment rights in an effort to appease their #1 fan — a volatile, thin-skinned President Trump. That’s why we’ve brought in Bernie Sanders’ lawyer, Brad Deutsch. He’s joining the fight against Donald Trump and is helping to defend our right to freedom of speech.

A plurality of Americans favor impeachment. Our impeachment campaign has clearly struck a nerve with the president and is gaining more momentum by the day. Please share our video and keep up the pressure on Congress.

The time to impeach is now.

Thanks,

Tom Steyer

More Canadians petitioning the government about fear of cellphone radiation

More Canadians petitioning the government about fear of cellphone radiation

A growing number of Canadians are very concerned about being zapped by radiation from their cellphones, baby monitors and wireless internet routers

Seven of the 16 petitions “concerned potential adverse health effects on humans from radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from personal wireless devices.”

If petitions are any indication, a growing number of Canadians are very concerned about being zapped by radiation from their cellphones, baby monitors and wireless internet routers.

Seven of the 16 environmental petitions submitted to the auditor general’s office between July 2016 and June 2017 “concerned potential adverse health effects on humans from radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from personal wireless devices,” according to one of the fall reports from Canada’s environment commissioner, released Tuesday. That’s up from one in 2014-2015 and none in 2015-2016.

Several of the petitions express concern about how close people hold their cellphones to their bodies. One requests that Canada stop marketing wireless devices to children under 14. Another focuses on the possible impacts of radiation on the human eye and newborn babies. One asks that Statistics Canada collect data on electromagnetic hypersensitivity as part of its Canadian community health survey, while another wants the federal government to monitor radiofrequency and microwave radiation in schools.

The petitions were submitted by individuals and organizations in Ontario and Manitoba. One was filed by a group called Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST), which claims on its website that “current assumptions about the safety of electromagnetic radiation are outdated and must be revised.”

On its website, Health Canada states that a growing number of people are reporting symptoms they attribute to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), including headaches, fatigue, nausea and skin redness. But according to the department, “there is no scientific evidence that the symptoms attributed to EHS (electromagnetic hypersensitivity) are actually caused by exposure to EMFs.”

According to the World Health Organization’s website, ‘no adverse health effects from low level, long-exposure to radiofrequency or power frequency fields have been confirmed.’

The true cause of the symptoms is “unclear,” Health Canada says, but could be related to fluorescent lights or glare from computer monitors.

The petitioners all take aim at Canada’s Safety Code 6, Health Canada’s radiofrequency human exposure guidelines, many suggesting the guidelines aren’t stringent enough.

Health Canada says Safety Code 6 guidelines are based on hundreds of peer-reviewed studies and are “set far below the lowest level of RF (radiofrequency) exposure that could produce potentially harmful effects in humans.” The code was most recently updated in 2015.

According to the World Health Organization’s website, “no adverse health effects from low level, long-exposure to radiofrequency or power frequency fields have been confirmed,” though research continues. Studies to date have not shown a link between normal exposure to radiofrequency radiation and increased risk of cataracts, cancer or pregnancy problems.

In June 2015, the House of Commons health committee issued a report recommending that the government further study electromagnetic hypersensitivity and a possible connection between wireless device use and cancer. In response, the government promised to keep studying the international scientific literature.

But that’s not good enough, argue the petitioners. According to the environment commissioner’s report, one petition “asks the (health) minister to produce the scientific findings that Health Canada used to support Safety Code 6.”

Unlike other government petitions, environmental petitions don’t need multiple signatures. They are submitted to the environment commissioner, who obtains answers from relevant federal ministers. None of these seven petitions have yet received a response.

In contrast, public petitions presented in the House of Commons require the support of at least five Canadians and must be sponsored by a member of Parliament.

Recent public petitions include requests that the government ban shock collars on pets (5,421 signatures), that curling be declared a national sport (3,659 signatures) and that Parliament pass a law giving employees the legal right to ignore work emails outside working hours (79 signatures).

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More Canadians petitioning the government about fear of cellphone radiation