Smart meter questions

Dear Editor:

Re: City isn't rushing to install smart meters, The Record, Jan. 25. I was pleased to read that the City of New Westminster is not rushing to install smart meters. I have heard arguments for (to promote energy conservation, energy efficiency and load management) and against, such as privacy issues (these meters would make good surveillance tools), but I haven't heard much about the health ramifications of the population being subject to mass amounts of electromagnetic radiation. I have taken much of the following information from an article by freelance writer/researcher Joyce Nelson, which was published in the March 2011 Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Monitor, to illustrate these concerns.

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In Switzerland the guidelines for microwave radiation exposure is 100 times more stringent than Canada's. The safety level in Canada's Safety Code 6 is around 6,000 times less stringent than advocated in the Bio initiative Report that was released in 2007 by the University of Albany and includes about 2,000 expert international research studies on electromagnetic radiation, electromagnetic fields and brain tumors, leukemia and other illnesses.

A 2011 study released in California by Sage Environmental Consultants estimates that the amount of microwave radiation from a home installed smart meter is comparable to living within 200 to 600 feet of a major cellphone tower. This will be going on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

The human species is adaptable, but how are we going to deal with this bombardment of radiation? How will this affect pregnant women, people with frail

health, young children, pets and wild animals. The Austrian Medical Association is lobbying for a ban of all Wi-Fi systems in schools, citing the danger to children's thinner skulls and developing nervous systems.

Why is it that when it comes to making money, corporations and our various levels of government tend to disregard contrary scientific and medical research, and public safety.

I am not a gambling person, but I would bet that not only will we be paying for these smart meters with our wallets, we will be paying for them in the long run with our health. Please rethink trying to force these devices on us.

Lee Oliphant, New Westminster

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