California: The Utility Reform Network (TURN) honors cell tower promoter Sen. Ben Hueso as “Public Health Champion”

From TURN, Winter 2019

Though TURN was n early champion of communities in fighting  Smart Meters, that support disappeared after TURN’s Michel Florio was appointed to the CPUC. CPUC-PG&E emails released after several lawsuits showed that Florio helped judge shop for PG&E in a proceeding, and also talked about tin-foil hats in reference to the public.

Sen. Ben Hueso co-authored California Senate Bill 649 in 2017 to take away local government control over cell towers in the public right of way, and to allow these “small cell” towers along streets and sidewalks, next to homes, schools, hospitals, parks and throughout communties,

Hueso and co-author Asm. Bill Quirk did give firefighters an exemption from having these small cells on their fire facilities due to the health effects but ignored the considerable testimony by members of the public disabled by electromagnetic sensitivity from current emissions levels, and the impacts of  increased exposure, the access barriers to their homes and communities, and costs to the state.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the bill after the legislature approved it.

Sen. Ben Hueso is TURN’s Public Health Champion.


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New report: Fire and electrical hazards of Smart Meters and digital utility meters

Smart Meters and other digital utility meters are electronic devices which vary considerably from traditional analog electromechanical meters. Differences in design and function, including basic design flaws ignoring National Electrical Code rules, create an enormous fire and electrical hazard in every community. Deaths, injuries, and property damage have occurred in the U.S. and internationally as a result of these electronic meters.

This week I released a 50-page overview  on the fire and electrical hazards of Smart Meters, ERTs, AMI, AMR, PLC and other digital utility meters used in the U.S. and Canada. Fire season is here, and with it, even greater risks to the public. Most people are unaware that the most preventable fire hazard may be these meters on the side of their homes and every building in their community, and on utility poles for cellular equipment — small cell towers.

These issues and vulnerabilities include:

  • Inadequate surge protection
  • No direct path to ground
  • No circuit breaker
  • “Catastrophic failure”
  • Overheating
  • Inferior materials
  • Faulty remote disconnect switches
  • Circuit boards
  • Meters don’t fit sockets
  • Thinner meter blades
  • Malfunctioning temperature alarms and sensors
  • Switching mode power supply (SMPS) surges and transients damaging appliances and electrical equipment
  • RF signal and transients routed onto building wiring
  • Interference with AFCIs/GFCIs
  • Flammable Lithium batteries in digital electric, natural gas, and water meters
  • No Protective Device Coordination Study
  • Poor installation quality and Inadequate installer training
  • Vibration and heat caused by RF emissions
  • Violation of FCC Grants of Equipment Authorization

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France: New ANSES report on low-frequency EMF (ELF); possible association with childhood leukemia; avoid 2-4 milligauss exposures, extend federal limits to all ELF exposures, limit fetal exposure


ANSES French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety:

Health effects associated with exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields

News of 21/06/2019

Today, ANSES is publishing a new expert appraisal on the health effects associated with exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields. In view of the data available, the Agency is reiterating its 2010 conclusions on the possible association between exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields and the long-term risk of childhood leukaemia. It is also restating its recommendation not to build new schools close to very-high voltage power lines. At the same time, the Agency stresses the need to better manage occupational exposure for employees who could be exposed to high levels of electromagnetic fields, particularly pregnant women.  

This new ANSES expert appraisal sought to analyse all the new scientific knowledge available on exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields and the possible biological and health effects. To better characterise levels of population exposure, particularly in the home, ANSES also financed a number of measurement campaigns.

Improved knowledge of exposure

Populations are exposed to many sources of electromagnetic fields, including power lines, transport and transformers outside the home, or household appliances inside the home. The many studies conducted since 2010 have given us a clearer picture of population exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields.

In particular, they show that the highest values outside the home are measured primarily under very-high-voltage power lines or next to transformers and electricity substations. Inside the home, household appliances may produce high levels of magnetic field, but exposure in this case is brief and highly localised.

Limit the exposure of vulnerable populations close to high-voltage power lines

In 2010, ANSES underlined a convergence in epidemiological studies showing an association between the occurrence of childhood leukaemia and exposure to low-frequency magnetic fields at levels exceeding 0.2 µT or 0.4 µT. In the light of new data, the Agency is confirming the “limited” level of evidence associated with this long-term effect, even though this association is found less frequently in studies published after 2010.

As part of this expert appraisal, ANSES financed a study to quantify the proportion of the French population – and more specifically the proportion of children – who are exposed to this level of field, emitted by high-voltage power lines. Conducted by a team from INSERM and Caen University Hospital, the study indicates that around 40,000 children under 15 years of age (0.35% of the population) are exposed to a magnetic field of over 0.4 µT in their homes, and that around 8,000 children (0.18%) are exposed to a magnetic field of over 0.4 µT in their schools.

In view of these results, the Agency is again recommending a precautionary approach that would limit the number of vulnerable people exposed to high-voltage power lines, as well as limiting exposure. To this end, it recommends not building or developing new facilities attended by vulnerable people (hospitals, schools, etc.) immediately next to very-high voltage power lines, or running new power lines over these facilities.  

ANSES points out that existing regulations in France govern exposure levels only next to electricity transmission and distribution lines, by setting an exposure limit. The Agency therefore recommends extending this regulatory provision to all sources of electromagnetic field to which the general population is exposed. 

Manage occupational exposure

Levels of worker exposure to low-frequency magnetic fields vary considerably, depending on the occupation held. A study conducted by the French National Research and Safety Institute (INRS) and the Occupational Health and Pension Insurance Funds (CARSAT) showed that some workers could be exposed to very high field levels. These could potentially exceed exposure limits (1,000 µT at 50 Hz) in specific circumstances, for example when using some types of industrial machinery.

In consequence, ANSES reiterates the importance of enforcing regulatory provisions in occupational health and limiting situations of overexposure, particularly by adapting workstations. In addition, ANSES recommends that manufacturers of industrial machines emitting low-frequency electromagnetic fields measure the exposure associated with machine use, and include these data in the technical specifications provided to customers and users.

Moreover, experimental studies have highlighted possible biological effects (oxidative stress, genotoxic stress, effects on cellular physiology) at the high levels of exposure sometimes encountered in the workplace. Nevertheless, the Agency indicates that the results of epidemiological studies are too heterogeneous to establish a link between occupational exposure and the development of chronic diseases, particularly neurodegenerative diseases and tumours of the nervous system. It appears necessary to continue research into the possible risk of diseases associated with exposure to low-frequency magnetic fields. At the same time, the Agency recommends that the next assessment of exposure limits should take into account the most recent scientific data available.

Lastly, the Agency draws attention to the specific case of pregnant women exposed in the workplace. In some scenarios of occupational exposure, it has been shown that the induced current density in the foetus may exceed the limits recommended for the general public. ANSES therefore recommends providing better information to women and raising awareness of the regulatory provisions allowing them to adapt their working conditions when they are pregnant, in order to limit foetal exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields.


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Video: FCC and the OTARD rule – eliminating state and local regulatory authority in order to deploy 4G and 5G

The FCC plans to revise and expand its Over-The-Air Reception Device  (OTARD) rule to allow 4G and 5G antennas/small cells on private property and eliminate state and local control over them.

If adopted, antennas of a certain size could be installed anywhere on private property. They would be exempt from all state and local permitting, public notification, public hearings, rules and ordinances regulating this equipment, and information about the equipment itself, including RF reports.

If adopted, state and local governments would likely have no information about how many antennas are installed or where they are located. And as a result, the public would have no information and no recourse. Since property owners would be offered income to host this equipment, regardless of the effect on surrounding properties, neighbors, or the environment, this would have a very negative effect on community cohesion.

This seems to be more commandeering of state and local authority by the FCC. The 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution separates state and federal authority, giving powers to each. The 1996 Telecommunications Act also gives regulatory authority to state and local governments. The FCC is trying to take away their powers.

From Americans for Responsible Technology


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New York: State-funded workbook on EMF health risks published in 1990

Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) : A Training Workbook for Working People
Produced by The Labor Institute, NYC
October 1990

Funded by a grant from the New York State Department of Labor, Occupational safety and Health Training and Education Program, Contract Number C006029


“Evidence has emerged which raises questions about the health effects on workers of seemingly harmless electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emittedby power lines, electrical equipment and computer terminals. We now know that these fields are not harmless and that many workers and their families may be exposed to potentially dangerous electromagnetic fields.

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Independence, Missouri cancels AMI contracts, prohibits Smart Meter installations

On June 3, the City Council of Independence, Missouri passed an ordinance prohibiting the installation of AMI/Smart Meters anywhere in the city and voiding all city AMI contracts.

The City of Independence including the Mayor, City Council, City Manager, City Employees, and or anyone on their behalf shall be prohibited from installing AMI, also known as Smart meters at any location within the city limits of Independence or on any customer of municipally owned utility known as Independence Power and Light, and shall be prohibited from entering into a contract with any entity for the purposes of installing AMI, also known as Smart meters at any location within the city limits of Independence or on any customer of municipally owned utility known as Independence Power and Light. Furthermore, Non-ordinance action Item number 2, defeated on 03-18-2019, and passed by city council on 04/01/2019 authorizing “Council action is requested to authorize the City Manager to enter into a contract with Core & Main for Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) for the Water, Water Pollution Control, and Power & Light Departments”, shall be voided and any contracts entered as a result of non-ordinance action item number 2 shall be canceled.”.

After the council adopted an AMI contract on April 1 in a highly irregular and secretive manner, residents collected signatures to put the issue on the ballot for a community vote. When the ballot initiative qualified for the next election, the city council decided to take this action to avoid a community vote. 

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Electrical engineer: The meter itself is the “hazardous” condition

From Michigan Stop Smart Meters

By William Bathgate, Electrical Engineer
October 12th, 2016
Revised October 13th, 2016

Editor’s Note: In the following article, originally written as a public comment to the Michigan Public Service Commission, Mr. Bathgate considers safety issues with the new electric meters as related to our current discussion of a proposed rule change concerning emergency shutoffs for “hazardous conditions.” Revisions to this article are indicated in blue and consist mainly in the addition of a section dealing with the lack of lightning arrestors in the AMI meters.

Case No. U-18120
Proposed Rule 460.137 — 37(1)(a) & 37(1)(i)

 A utility may shut off or deny service to a customer “without notice, if a condition on the customer’s premises is determined by the utility or a governmental agency to be hazardous.”

I hold an electrical engineering and mechanical engineering degree and previously was employed through late 2015 for 8 years at the Emerson Electric Company. While at Emerson Electric I was the Senior Program Manager for Power Distribution Systems and in charge of an RF and IP based digitally controlled high power AC power switching system product line in use in over 100 countries and I was also directly responsible for product certifications such as UL, CE and many other countries electrical certification bodies. I am very familiar with the electrical and electronic design of the AMI meters in use because I was responsible for very similar products with over 1 Million units installed across the world.

I have just reviewed the transcripts of the hearing held in Lansing on this subject and came to realize there were many comments regarding the issues identified from the effects of both the RF emitting AMI meter and the non RF emitting AMI Opt-Out Meter. I have personally tested the RF emissions from the AMI meter and measured that the meter does not send data just a few times a day as the utilities publish. It actually sends an RF pulse about every 4-5 seconds constantly and a longer duration RF emission after midnight running about 3-5 minutes. There is no need for the AMI meter to send a pulse every 4-5 seconds all day just to synchronize and time stamp the clock inside the meter, the meter only needs to send data once a day for 3-5 minutes. All these pulse transmissions the AMI meter is doing is a complete waste of energy and because it is a short but frequently pulsing signal that is not needed to measure power consumption, it is creating needless health effects and is impacting consumers as evidenced in the testimony. Some consumers have been affected to the point of near death experiences. The Mesh Network design is saturating the environment with RF transmissions mostly for the purpose of the network synchronization not the consumption measurement of power. I could not think of a worse network design for a power measurement device.

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