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‘Smart’ Meter Update: Late Lessons from Early Warnings, Still

By Patricia Burke of Safe Tech International. Images courtesy Floris Freshman 

“Rather than the road to hell being paved with good intentions, I suggest that the road to hell is paved with unexamined assumptions.” – R.I. Activist Sheila Resseger

In 2007, Alan Brandt published his book “The Cigarette Century, The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product That Defined America.” “From agriculture to big business, from medicine to politics, The Cigarette Century is the definitive account of how smoking became so deeply implanted in our culture, science, policy, and law. No product has been so heavily promoted or has become so deeply entrenched in American consciousness.”

What product now rules the collective consciousness, or more accurately, the collective unconscious, enabled by tobacco science and tobacco scientists?

At the center of the story is the seemingly innocuous meter that measures premise consumption of electricity for billing purposes.

Scrutiny of the safety science underlying “smart meters” is now before decision makers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well as the European Court of Human Rights.

The stakes are high: extending to the unexamined tsunami of wireless products and exposures across the age span, from the unborn to the elderly and/or infirm, with infrastructure also impacting every species and all of nature. Society is drunk on wireless.

First, some history.

1960’s Military Radar Research: ‘Microwave Hearing

In the 1960’s researchers began exploring the effects of non-ionizing radiation, including microwave hearing in military personel.

As reported by the Cellular Phone Task Force, “Previously, back in the 1960’s, Alan Frey, who was working for General Electric, discovered the phenomenon of “microwave hearing” which operated outside the normal hearing range. The “hearing,” however, didn’t happen via normal sound waves perceived through the ear. It apparently occurred somewhere in the brain itself, as microwaves interacted with the brain’s cells, which generate tiny electrical fields. Frey proved also that many deaf people and animals could hear microwave radiation. This phenomenon came to be known as the Frey effect, or simply “microwave hearing.”

“At that time the U.S. military, which was interested in greatly expanding its use of radar around populated areas, had substantial funding available to investigate the effects of such radiation on health. For the next two decades Frey, funded by the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Army, was the most active researcher on the bioeffects of microwave radiation in the country. Frey caused rats to become docile by exposing them to radiation at an average power level of only 50 microwatts per square centimeter. He altered specific behaviors of rats at 8 microwatts per square centimeter. He altered the heart rate of live frogs at 3 microwatts per square centimeter. At only 0.6 microwatts per square centimeter, he caused isolated frogs’ hearts to stop beating by timing the microwave pulses at a precise point during the heart’s rhythm. 0.6 microwatts per square centimeter is about 10,000 times less than the amount of radiation an active cell phone would expose a man’s heart to if he carried it in his shirt pocket.

(More recently, “Hearing of microwave pulses by humans and animals: effects, mechanism, and thresholds” by James C Lin and Zhangwei Wang was published in 2007.)

Melting Candy Bars

In addition to hearing thermo-elastic waves of microwaves altering the brain’s equilibrium inside the skull, in the 1960’s adult male military radar operators noticed that the candy bars they carried in their shirt pockets would melt when they were ‘in the radar beams.’

They didn’t notice that they were becoming infertile, or that they were developing unusual cataracts.

But the melting candy bar phenomenon has had an enduring influence, because the modern-day regulatory structure perpetuated by ICNIRP and the FCC assumes that unless body temperature rises in response to an exposure tested on an adult-sized inanimate mannikin, that a wireless product/exposure is safe.

As a result, the burgeoning consumer culture has not considered radiofrequency radiation exposure harm that might be independent of the heating effect, even though “the preponderance of research published since 1990 [ ] has found significant effects from exposure to radio frequency radiation as well as to extremely low frequency and static electromagnetic fields. “Source

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety: Effects of Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields: Thirty years of research (saferemr.com)

Humans are not experiencing adverse health effects previously reported by the military in 1971 because they are melting like chocolate, or because they have ‘a temperature.’

Untitled (mdsafetech.org)

They are experiencing adverse effects because there are apparent non-thermal effects of radio frequency radiation, including neurological damage. Health harm, including cancer, is not quantified by and is not correlated with a temperature increase.

1975: Microwaves Breach Blood-Brain Barrier

Back to Alan Frey’s work, “In a study published in 1975 in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Frey reported that microwaves could induce “leakage” in the barrier between the circulatory system and the brain. Breaching the blood-brain barrier is a serious matter. It means that bacteria, viruses and toxins from the blood can enter the brain. It means the brain’s environment, which needs to be extremely stable for nerve cells to function properly, can be perturbed in other dangerous ways.” – Source

“At least a dozen laboratories throughout the world have corroborated this effect. Currently the most active research of this kind is being done at Lund University in Sweden. Dr. Leif Salford is a neurosurgeon at Lund University Hospital, and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery. Since 1988 he has led a team of researchers that have exposed thousands of laboratory rats to microwave radiation from various sources. [ ] Their results have been consistent and alarming: not only does radiation from a cell phone damage the blood-brain barrier, but it does so at even when the exposure level is reduced a thousandfold. Even more disturbingly, and contrary to what was expected, the damage to the blood-brain barrier worsened when the experimenters reduced the exposure level. The implies that SAR ratings for cell phones may be worthless and that it may not be possible to make cell phones safer by reducing their power.”Source

See more historical military and government research here.

See section 10 of the 2022 Bio-Initiative Report: Effects of Electromagnetic Fields From
Wireless Communication upon the Blood-Brain Barrier
for more information.

Wireless Overshoot: Civilians and Smart Meters

About twelve years ago, as public sentiment towards energy efficiency and carbon concerns gained momentum, the political-military-industrial-complex offered a shovel-ready project that would foster economic growth under the guise of sustainability; a so-called ‘smart grid’ enabled by ‘smart meters.’

Early on, states including Texas, California, and Maine accepted stimulus funding to deploy smart utility meters. Immediately, a portion of civilians began reporting injuries mirroring earlier military research.

Courtesy EMF Safety Network

Yet deployment of smart meters (and planned obsolescence replacement meters) continues.

The forced installation of meters is not similar to informed, consenting adults choosing to purchase cigarettes despite warnings.

Costs and risks are being imposed on ratepayers as well as on non-benefitting, non-consenting individuals by monopolies, in association with access to essential services of gas, water, and electricity. Which includes heat. With no protection and no warning or recognition of potential harm.

Attempts to Address Smart Meter Risks at the State Level Due to Regulatory Failure at the Federal Level

For more than a decade, engaged activists have provided evidence of risks and testimony of direct harm to local decision makers, and state utility boards and state legislatures, including in Arizona, Maine, California, and New York.


Unfortunately, in state after state, the question of safety has been reduced to the question of opt out procedures and punitive surcharges, rather than determining whether or not the meters are a reasonable investment for ratepayers, and whether or not they are safe (fire and health), secure, sustainable, and cost-effective, or save money or energy.

In Michigan, in 2019, NASA engineer and former state Senator Patrick Colbeck spoke regarding the need for customers to be able to choose the type of meter installed on their premises.

Colbeck testimony for true smart meter opt-out – YouTube

(See a chart of opt out policies and fees here)

2023 Rhode Island: Fire Risk, Health Effects, Planned Obsolescence, Power Quality

Currently, informed ratepayers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are attempting to bring adequate scrutiny, accurate science, and personal narratives of health damage to the run-away train debate about ‘smart’ meters and ‘smart’ grids.

In Rhode Island, utility regulators held hearings in April of 2023 about the state’s plan to deploy Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) smart meters. Sheila Resseger, Co-Founder, 5G Free RI and Board Member, Toxics Information Project, gave ratepayers guidance about the state’s proposed plans.

Just say NO to RI Energy’s AMF Plan | Cranston Herald (cranstononline.com)

Her subsequent article is here: “Smart” Meters not smart for RI.”

“There are three glaring assumptions that need to be addressed.’

Smart” Meters not smart for RI.” -Sheila Resseger

RI activists also recently filed records requests seeking data about how their utility regulator is addressing the following issues:

1.)  Smart meter negative impact on power surge protection 2.)  Smart meters in potential violation of National Electric Code Exemption
3.)  Need for smart meter remote disconnect switch technical review by a third-party expert 4.)  Smart meters creating dangerous interference on building wiring 5.)  Smart meter base stab connections not requiring certification

Testimony regarding meter base and socket problems can be found here: National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Decision and Order

Electrical Fires and Explosions, authored by Vytenis Babrauskas, Ph.D., top industry forensic expert on electrical fires, recognized worldwide.  The book is the most comprehensive collection of documents on electrical fire ignition science, based on decades of experience in fire research, experimentation, and forensic investigations. Each chapter of the book has been peer-reviewed by recognized subject matter experts.  Sold by FS&T, Fire Science and Technology Inc., 1250 pages. 

Electrical Engineer Explains How “Smart” Meters Can Lead to Higher Bills,  WestViews News   April 9, 2023 by Bill Bathgate

See also “the People’s Testament” interview by Children’s Health Defense here with Rhode Island’s Stephen Dahl, Director, Toxics Information Project and Rhode Islanders for Safe Technology about microwave illness, or ‘Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity.’

2023 Massachusetts: Confronting Tobacco Science by Tobacco Scientists

In Massachusetts, in 2014, the Department of Public Utilities published order 12-76-B which implied that FCC exposure guidelines protect against non-thermal effects, thereby dismissing smart meter harm as “alleged.”

FCC and ICNIRP guidelines do not recognize or protect against non-thermal effects. To informed ratepayers, for a state regulator to make such an egregious error indicates either gross incompetence or corruption and malfeasance.

The 2021 court ruling against the FCC for its failure to justify 1996 exposure guidelines made the correct distinction about thermal and non-thermal effects.  The court reviewed smart meter harm as part of that proceeding.

The MA DPU and Legislature received many testimonies over the last 9 years identifying the 2014 error and objecting to the inappropriate relationship between utilities, the DPU and the notorious product defense firm Gradient which lies about harmful products, including air pollution, hex-valent, asbestos, vinyl chloride, gas infrastructure, tobacco, and smart meters.  

See the comprehensive testimony submitted to the DPU and to the Commonwealth’s Joint Committee on Utilites and Energy, regarding the implications of the court ruling relative to the DPU’s 2014 order at AMIHlthSafeEcoEnvRiskBurkeetal.pdf. (25 pages)

There are complaints on record to the DPU about Gradient and Peter Valberg’s compromised work dating back to 2003.


2023 Massachusetts Legislative Opt Out Bill Hearings

See Sept. 20 statehouse testimony in favor of a no-fee opt out for utility meters with an emergency preamble to protect health for Massachusetts ratepayers, beginning at 1 hour 15 minutes: Hearing Details – Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (malegislature.gov), including Cece Doucette, Director of MA4SafeTechnology.

Bill S.2152 (malegislature.gov) Bill sponsor Senator Michael Moore’s district was the site of the controversial National Grid smart meter pilot program.

See Jonathan Mirin’s Op-Ed: “Stand Up to “Smart” Meters” published in the Greenfield Recorder & Hampshire Gazzette. Visit Hilltown Health for a humorous video about the FCC’s non-response to the 2021 court ruling challenging reliance on 1996 exposure guidelines.

Inadequate Industry “Field Testing

‘Field testing’ of banks of smart meters in an empty field with no houses, no household electrical wiring, and no humans, measured against outdated FCC guidelines ruled by the Court not to be evidence-based, and based on the melting candy bar observation, is not a measure of health and safety.

smart meter test 3.PNG

smart meter test.PNG

Dirty Electricity

In addition to the exposure to pulse-modulated microwave radiofrequencies introduced by the meters, problems with polluted power quality have emerged, (especially when kilohertz frequencies are introduced, according to Paul Harding.)

Courtesy Paul Harding

Epidemiologist Dr. Sam Milham testified: “Dirty electricity” or “dirty power” are terms coined by the electric utilities to describe the electrical pollution consisting of high frequency voltage transients and harmonics riding along on the 50 or 60 Hz wave form and contaminating the electricity delivered to users. …

The APS “smart” meters are electronic devices which replaced the old electromechanical analog meters used to measure electric power consumption for billing purposes.  The smart meters have circuitry to measure power consumption and a microwave transmitter to send this information to the utility.  The health effects of microwave exposures are well known.  All transmitters, including the microwave transmitters in smart meters, operate on direct current (DC).  The APS smart meters contain a switching mode power supply (SMPS) which changes the utility 60 Hz alternating current to DC. …

Because it is at the front end of a building’s wiring, the dirty electricity from the smart meter’s SMPS has a gateway into that building’s wiring, and also into the earth via the house ground.  The house wiring acts as an antenna and the fields capacitively couple to the body through the air within 6 to 8 feet of the house wiring or extension cords plugged into the outlets. …” – SOURCE

Utilities already know a great deal about dirty electricity. Industries with sensitive electronic equipment are protected by code requirements far in excess of what is considered adequate for residences and human health.

Product Defense and Smart Meter Tobacco Science, “Any scientist can hang out a shingle and hope to attract the interests of a polluter

The history of Product Defense is described in the book “”Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health” by David Michaels. In a 2009 interview with Fast Company, he explained,

FC: What exactly do product-defense companies do? They combine science with public relations to help clients avoid regulation and litigation. I have yet to see a study published by a product-defense firm that conflicts with the needs of the study’s sponsors. The intent is to cast doubt on real science. The industry has deep roots in the fight over tobacco.

Who are the major players? Some of the big ones are Exponent, Gradient, ChemRisk, and the Weinberg Group. There are many small ones. Any scientist can hang out a shingle and hope to attract the interests of a polluter. There are a lot of academics who do this work.

Historically, product defense defended harmful corporations from liability by lying. When a state utility regulator rubber stamps infrastructure financed by ratepayers on the basis of corrupted testimony, it is no longer “defense.”

Many victims who have been denied justice by ‘product defense’ (for example via cigarettes) feel that product defense ‘experts’ belong before the international criminal court, rather than being referenced by the MA DPU and other regulators to justify major infrastructure projects.

Peter Valberg of Gradient testified to de-certify a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Philip Morris cigarettes the same week that he testified about smart meter safety before the MA DPU. Phillips vs. Philip Morris Companies (truthinadvertising.org)

Although the question of tobacco science for smart meters is currently before the legislature in Massachusetts, product defense firms Gradient (Maryland, Hawaii, Vermont, Michigan, Iowa) and Exponent (Nevada, Maine) promoted smart meters and/or testified across the country over the last decade.

Norway; European Court of Human Rights and Smart Meters

The United States is not the only county where smart meter injuries (and fires) were reported. Informed activists in Canada and the UK are also advocating for human health, safety and the environment by opposing smart meters.

Norwegian experts filed a complaint on July 17th, 2023 with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) regarding health issues caused by microwaves and dirty electricity created by smart meters.

The documents for the smartmeter/health complaint to the European Human Rights Court | Jeg har noe på hjertet … (einarflydal.com) 755 pages

Solutions – Credential Experts Bound by a Code of Ethics

In referencing Alan Brandt’s book on the Cigarette Century, The Washington Post’s reviewer noted, “I can’t remember a time when I read a more scathing indictment of corporate malfeasance.”

In the lucrative, unethical field of product defense, “any scientist can hang out a shingle and hope to attract the interests of a polluter.”

Sam Parish, a forensic engineer from Rhode Island, offers an eloquent solution to the current predicament, recommending a “Smart Meter Infrastructure Code of Ethics for Engineers.”

Not just any scientist/expert should testify.

The smart meter debacle would have been stopped in its tracks if the experts were bound by a professional code of ethics, with transparent complaint procedures, investigation, and oversight because the reign of product defense would have been halted instead of enabled.

Sam suggests a pledge: “A primary objective of any infrastructure improvement project should be to promote the public safety, health, and welfare, without compromise.  Based upon the available technical data, my best professional judgment and the Code of Ethics for Engineers, I am obligated to recommend that the public agency XYZ____ have smart meter health and safety issues, including those we have identified, be reviewed by a licensed and independent third party engineering expert familiar with electrical and fire problems documented in past legal cases involving smart meter failures. The following supports this recommendation for a third-party review:

  1. Public works project review and approvals – Licensed engineers shoulder the responsibility for not only their work but the lives affected by that work.  Only a licensed engineer may prepare, sign, seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval, or seal engineering work for public deployment.  A licensed engineer must be responsible for planning and independently reviewing public infrastructure projects for approval.
  2. Life safety requirement first – The Code of Ethics for Engineers requires them to hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
  3. Notification of authorities – If engineers’ judgment is overruled under circumstances that endanger life or property, they shall notify their employer or client and such other authority as may be appropriate.
  4. Testimony requirement – Engineers shall be objective and truthful in professional reports, statements, or testimony. They shall include all relevant and pertinent information in such reports, statements, or testimony, which should bear the date indicating when it was current.

Citizen Science: Sleep Disturbance Assaults Health

Newsweek recently reported, “Why You Keep Waking Up at 4 A.M., According to Science” based on science that has not yet recognized that bio-active night-time data dumps are interrupting essential sleep.

In contrast, see Paul Harding’s story here. “When the Arizona utility company came to install a new digital, wireless electronic meter on Paul Harding’s home 10 years ago, he welcomed it, because he thought that it would enable him to save money. (For those who are not aware, smart utility meters enable time-of-use billing, with peak, off-peak, and other rate schemes, including pre-pay.) Then, the next morning, he was awoken abruptly at 3:12-3:15 am, “from a dead sleep to 100 MPH.” When it happened again at the exact same time the next morning, not sleeping, with the smart meter mounted 3 feet from his head, Paul got up and took out his computer. He typed in a search for “smart meter sleep problems.”

Determining whether or not disturbed sleep and disruption of the circadian rhythm is caused by night-time data transmissions is not rocket science. For example, Paul Harding and Warren Woodward were able to demonstrate the disruptive impact of smart meter transmissions on the human heart.

Part 2 is also available here: EKG Proof That “Smart” Meters Affect the Human Heart, Part II – YouTube

Mainstream Medicine: Up a Creek

In 2012, “The American Academy of Environmental Medicine released its position paper on electromagnetic field (EMF) and radiofrequency (RF) health effects calling for immediate caution regarding smart meter installations. Citing several peer‐reviewed scientific studies, the AAEM concludes that “significant harmful biological effects occur from non‐thermal RF exposure” showing causality. The AAEM also expresses concern regarding significant, but poorly understood quantum field effects of EMF and RF fields on human health.” Source

Yet many health providers remain uninformed.

Dr. Daniel Satcher, the 16th U.S. Surgeon General, wrote, “The Cigarette Century” is a brilliant history of America’s struggle with cigarettes and with the tobacco industry. It should help to prepare the next generation of public health leaders to deal not only with tobacco but with other threats to human health as well.”

Unfortunately, it has not worked out that way. Instead, lack of appropriate boundaries has enabled product defense to flourish, extending to many other industries.

Mainstream medicine is not the only area of concern.

Misguided Environmentalism Led by Product Defense

As quantified by Norm Alster of the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, the FCC is a captured agency, controlled by the industry it is supposed to regulate.

One of the most tragic aspects of this debacle is that the ‘environmental movement’ has become a pawn and a driver of damage, as recently described by Safe Tech International’s Sarah Aminoff in “Bright Greens, Red-Pilled & Blue-Pilled Big Picture View of Earth.”

By unquestioningly promoting many supposed ‘energy efficient’ strategies that do not account for power quality issues and/or RF emissions, from EV chargers to solar invertors to LED lights to smart meters to placing wireless transmitters on whales and wildlife, the clean energy movement has lost its bearings.

Professional accountability and proper discernment are possible strategies for addressing this dumpster fire.

In addition to properly vetting experts, another suggestion is to require utilities to carry liability insurance for health and property damages.

What is clear is that a very small number of citizen researchers and independent experts and a very small number of ethical decision makers, world-wide, have been constructing the scaffolding that will enable humanity to eventually evolve the science and to safeguard, once again, the planetary frequencies that sustain all of life.

It is the activists (and not the mainstream media) who are creating the accurate historical record, published only by the “alternative, independent press,” including Activist Post.

As the equinox approaches, seekers contemplate the balance of darkness and light. They know change will come. Because “truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief, or ignorance.“- W. Clement Stone

Learn More:

Learn more about smart meters here; Smart Meter (eiwellspring.org)

EI Wellspring: How to cope with chemical and electrical hypersensitivities

Dr Zach Bush explains “EMF Radiation & Electricity Pollution” in a 32-minute introductory overview here:

Also, see recent guidance about the inadequacy of ICNIRP guidelines relative to the EU Electronics Code, created by UK activists Karen Churchill and Neil Mc Dougall, here. (81 pages)

See also:

Smart Meters and Wireless vs. Energy Intelligence: It’s Time to Stop Consulting Drs. Who Smoke – Safe Tech International

How the Body Reacts to EMFs and Smart Meters: We Can Now See How We Are Breaking Our Hearts (and Heads) and We Can Stop – Safe Tech International

The Alarming Link Between the Ohio Train Derailment’s Vinyl Chloride Leak and Smart Meters: A Mercenary Scientist Dictating Public Policy – Safe Tech International

‘Smart’ Meters, Faster Storm Outage Restoration? Safe? Secure? Reliable? – Not! Maine and Virginia – Safe Tech International

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  1. they stole my old analog meter in 2010. and I got very ill. A big xplosion on pole a few feet from my home and a big ball of white light sailing toward my home. There was no wind. it was a warm evening at 1:30 a.m. explosion frightened me. pg&e lied said a tree fell on the line.
    I filed complaint with cpuc.
    the meter they installed (they removed the stupid meter 2 yrs later, the bills are extreme. I do not use the furnace in winter except when other people are around. there is no way my use is that high. It does not matter how much cooking, how much laundry, the bills are extreme. I have perfect credit and the idea they have this much power over my financial situation is very frightening. And the worry about fire caused by the stupid meters scattered everywhere, is frightening. Also, the em toxins released in the environment have effects on my health. I bought light bulbs @ 10$ a piece to save energy, my fridge, water heater, stove, dishwasher, all new and still it does not show on the $ …charges. I asked home depot for a rebate and they told me they do not have rebates because the appliances are so efficient now. So WHY are my bills soooo extreme then! We know the answer to that!

    I know we are charged to keep their stupid grid working; it is working non=stop. The consumer is paying while the corp. laughs all the way to the bank. This is WRONG

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