Smart meters (also called “advanced meters”) are wireless, digital meters that transmit electricity and gas usage to DTE using radio-frequency (RF) communication. These new “smart” meters harm the health of humans, animals, and insects, such as bees, by disrupting cellular communication, promoting stress hormones production, and disrupting many other biological processes of the body. These new meters allow for the ZigBee home area network (HAN), which allows the utility company to inventory and control your new “smart enabled” appliances. These new smart appliances have a wireless communication chip in them. These new advanced meters enable the ability to collect and store data to see what appliances you own, when you use them, and how long you use them for. The new meters are causing electrical issues in homes, both new and old. These issues include causing fires and causing appliances to short out. They are also interfering with AM/FM radios and with other wireless devices in some homes.
Smart meters transmit pulses of wireless radiation between 9,600 to 190,000 times per day. Even if you don’t have a smart meter installed on your property, if your neighbors do, you will be subjected to these wireless pulses. The meters all talk to each other and can each have a range of over 2 miles. The waves of radiofrequency (microwaves) emitted by smart meters can intersect with each other, and, as we know from our high school physics classes, when waves intersect they become stronger (amplification, or constructive interference). Banks of smart meters and closely spaced meters are particularly bad, as typically seen in apartment complexes, government housing, and condominiums. See a great graphic depiction of how these waves amplify when they intersect by clicking here.
Very importantly, both smart meters and the radio-off opt-out meter offered by DTE and Consumers Energy generate what is commonly known as “dirty electricity” (power quality issues, line noise, and voltage transients and harmonics). Dirty electricity is a spiky, pulsed electromagnetic current that radiates out perpendicular to your home’s wiring and into the room, and it causes as many health problems as the radiofrequency radiation. This is why DTE’s opt-out plan, which uses a smart meter with the radio-transmitter turned off, will not protect your health. People who have accepted the opt-out and who have had the smart meter wireless radio turned off are experiencing the same health problems as people with the wireless radio turned on, just to a slightly lesser degree. Please see our Dirty Electricity page for a simple discussion. Also see this Prevention Magazine article, which talks about the dangers of electromagnetic radiation and dirty electricity. Click here to learn how to keep a smart meter off your home.
There is yet another layer of microwave radiation added to your neighborhood that allow for the meters to report back to DTE and Consumers Energy. First, one in every 17 or so homes or office buildings is the collection point for all the meter transmissions in an area. This meter is called a “collecting meter,” and as one DTE installer put it, “We know the person who has a collecting meter on their home is going to have a funeral coming up soon.” That’s because this is a hot spot for radiofrequency radiation. In addition to putting two transmitter on your home (one for electric, one for gas) and a collecting meter every 17 houses, the company also builds a network of broadcast towers, known as “repeaters” or “access points,” in your neighborhood. The access points (often small antennas mounted on existing utility poles) receive the data packets from everyone’s smart meters and/or the collecting meters. These data packets are then wirelessly sent to DTE and Consumers. Typically, each access point has two antennas—one to communicate with directly with all the meters in the neighborhood and one that connects all the access points and the utility company to the Internet—effectively creating an area-wide WiFi network.
Digital “Square” Wave
Wireless “Sine” Wave
Digital + Analog Waves
Review the images above. Note that the data packets are digital and represent a square wave. The wireless RF carrier wave is a nice smooth wave. When a digital device needs to wirelessly transmit digital data, it has to do so over the smooth carrier wave of the wireless radiofrequency by (modulating) the square data over the smooth wave. This makes the resulting output very choppy and irregular, as you can see above. You can still see the profile of the smooth carrier wave, but now riding along that sine wave is the digital on-off-on-off data. Science is showing that this pulsing irregularity is what our bodies are reacting to the most. Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy discusses this in many of his articles, which can be found here on our Health page.
Smart Meters Have Health Consequences
Our cells naturally communicate in our body by using electromagnetic fields. These fields are generally ordered and have to harmoniously exist to promote wellbeing. Our cells cannot handle being electrically tossed around by a highly variable electromagnetic field, and in response will build up a sugar coating around themselves over time. This means that it will become harder for nutrients to get in and waste toxins to get out. In addition, these electromagnetic currents fields cause the bonds holding DNA together to break, increasing the risk of various diseases like cancer. Think of a jackhammer going off and on every day, 24/7. That is what the cells in your body experience. Even though you can’t feel it, it’s still hurting you. Brain cancers take 10 years to develop, and few people feel the cancer until it is too late.
Three to seven percent of the population is immediately affected by smart meters, experiencing problems ranging from heart arrhythmias to fatigue. They can feel the effects of these meters, some from the very moment that they are installed. People who are affected in this way are unable to be in homes or buildings where smart meters are installed. This means that they cannot go to the grocery store, the doctor, or visit their friends. These people are living in our very cities. At least thirty-five percent of the population will be severely affected over the long term. Children, the elderly, and the chronically ill are most susceptible to both short and long term effects of this technology.
Smart meters can have a dramatic impact on health because of the pulsed waves they emit, both from the microwave radiation and what is commonly called dirty electricity. For some people, this impact is immediately apparent in the form of:
tinnitus (ringing in ears)
Our brains and hearts are already electrically conductive systems. That is why pacemakers work, and that is why people can have seizures. Smart and digital meters interfere with the electrical conduction systems in our bodies by affecting the way an important cell messenger, calcium, can be used in our bodies. Calcium is a ubiquitous cellular messenger. The electromagnetic frequencies emitted by smart meters cause calcium ions to become dislodged from the cell membrane. Studies are showing that this phenomenon accounts for the wide variety of effects seen by exposure to this radiation.
People with certain health conditions and/or medical devices should not be exposed to smart meters. The electromagnetic radiation from smart meters can severely affect those with:
traumatic brain injuries
Smart Meters and the Environment
Strong evidence suggests that the wireless frequencies emitted by smart meters are part of what is killing the bees. Plants, insects, and animals of all kinds are affected in numerous ways when exposed to the technologies that smart meters utilize. The Department of the Interior recently issued a long statement on how cell phone towers are harming wildlife. See our Environment pages, including our main Environment page.