Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Smart Meters Draw Fire From Left and Right in California"

According to a January 31, 2011, article in the New York Times,
Pacific Gas and Electric’s campaign to introduce wireless smart meters in Northern California is facing fierce opposition from an eclectic mix of Tea Party conservatives and left-leaning individualists who say the meters threaten their liberties and their health.
I discussed the "liberties" angle in an earlier post, but the "health" concern caught me by surprise. The key is not the meters themselves, but the wireless technology they use to transmit data to power plants. It turns out that some people believe they are sensitive to radiation from mobile devices, WiFi, and smart meters, causing "dizziness, fatigue, headaches, sleeplessness or heart palpitations." It's called “electromagnetic hypersensitivity,” or E.H.S.

The article mentions that no health risks from such radiation have been confirmed. My impulse is to be skeptical of unconfirmed exotic conditions brought on by new technology, but lack of evidence  is not proof that there's no effect. At any rate, the power company in question - Pacific Gas & Electric - is exploring the possibility of offering the option of hard-wiring the smart grids.

Ken Pimple, PAIT Project Director

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