Written by Dr. Alan R. Vinitsky
Replacing analog electric meters with new wireless “smart” meters in residential neighborhoods, schools and businesses across the United States and abroad, without first studying short and long term health effects, is an irresponsible and unprecedented biological experiment. Some people are unaware that electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a growing problem world-wide and are ill informed about the risks of using wireless technology on a daily basis. However, entire communities are already exercising precaution, demanding abstention from wireless in their homes and businesses.
The human body uses electricity from the chemical bond to the nerve impulse, and this delicate sequence can easily be disturbed by electromagnetic fields (EMFs), including pulsed radiofrequency (RF) signals like those produced by Smart Meters. EMF hypersensitivity has been documented in placebo-controlled and double-blind studies with exposure to various EMF frequencies, including RF. For example, William J. Rea M.D. and co-authors demonstrated that under double-blind placebo-controlled conditions, 100 percent of subjects showed reproducible reactions to the frequency to which they were most sensitive. That article was first published in 1991 in the Journal of Bioelectricity 10 (1 & 2), 241-256.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) issued a press advisory along with a position paper in April 2012 specifically outlining its concerns about smart meters. The Academy stated that “patients are reporting to physicians the development of symptoms and adverse health effects after ‘Smart Meters’ are installed on their homes. Immediate action is necessary to protect the public’s health.” http://www.scribd.com/doc/89510749/AAEM-Smart-Meter-Immediate-Caution- Advisory-April-12-2012
There are three phases of concern with smart meter installations: Phase 1 is having a single smart meter installed on your home as only one new source of pulsed RF. Phase 2 involves the entire neighborhood network going “live” and creates an invisible blanket of pulsed RF radiation throughout the whole community environment. RF will negatively impact the entire ecosystem. Many people report a change in their health following a community change to smart meters. Phase 3 is on the horizon, when all newly manufactured appliances will also be “smart” – some already are – creating yet another layer of radiation in the home, utilizing the same frequency as Wi-Fi.
On October 3, 2012, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) approved another public warning about Wi-Fi in schools in which the AAEM stated:
“Adverse health effects from wireless radio frequency fields, such as learning disabilities, altered immune responses, and headaches, clearly exist and are well documented in the scientific literature. Safer technology, such as use of hard- wiring, is strongly recommended in schools.”
Individuals who are already afflicted by over exposure to RF radiation and EMFs often seek the advice and treatment of a physician from AAEM because they were advised by sometimes ten or more healthcare providers that their symptoms are psychiatric and need more medication, when, in fact, a careful history and environmental analysis will detect the trigger of their symptoms. Many doctors who specialize in environmental medicine affirm that when they are frustrated by an inability to minimize their symptoms, there is likely a hidden exposure such as RF or EMF lurking. This sometimes “silent” source of environmental exposure results in alterations in nervous system function, behavior, concentration, mood, and a potential source of chronic physical stress. The treatment of their symptoms is avoidance of wireless technology.
Chronic physical stress leads to depletion of important nutrients, that, in turn, affect some of our more common public maladies – cardiovascular, diabetes, overweight, chronic pain, and cancer. In our quest to treat these health problems in an expeditious and cost- conscious manner, the environmental and nutritional contributions to these and other health problems are simply ignored.
Opting out of a smart meter is not only a preventive measure, it is also a treatment measure for patients who are already burdened by the exposure to RF and EMF in other contexts. Some of them are disabled because their environmental illness has impaired their ability to work and enjoy life. Their ultimate sanctuary is their home where they can repair and heal. Imposing RF and EMF on these individuals will aggravate their medical conditions. And for those persons who are not yet aware of the potential for their increased stress, their medical conditions may worsen over time.
Ideally, there should be NO SMART METERS. Sometimes, individuals must be protected, because they do not have sufficient information to make a safe choice. In the next best scenario, there should be a free opt out option for those who do know and choose to make their homes and businesses a safer place.
The Maryland Public Service Commission, at the urging of a public citizens’ group, Maryland Smart Meter Awareness (MSMA), has granted residents a temporary right to defer (or “opt out of”) the installation of a smart meter, and even to have a smart meter removed if already installed, both at no cost. This is not the case in D.C. or many others states who are vying for the right to retain the safer analog meter. After July 2013, the Maryland Public Service Commission will decide how much to allow the utilities to charge a ratepayer who chooses to opt out.
Opting out requires notification by email or a letter to the utility. For more information on smart meter dangers and opt-outs, please visit the MSMA website: www.MarylandSmartMeterAwareness.org. You can view AAEM’s April 12, 2012 press advisory and their position paper codifying the science concerning smart meters and EMF radiation on the same site, under Resources/Position Statements.
Alan R.Vinitsky, M.D.
Dr. Alan R. Vinitsky is a Board Certified Internist, Board-certified Pediatrician, and a long-standing member of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. He serves his community, the region of Maryland, and beyond, as a consultant in environmental health and illness. Dr. Vinitsky’s mentors in environmental medicine include those who authored the position papers referenced in the AAEM article cited above.
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